I was sitting under the apple tree, the gardens on one side of the gate the pasture on the other. Then the marsh, cornfield, a red barn and my neighbors, the Green Mountains, the far distance.
It’s one of my favorite places to watch the birds. It’s like watching a good movie, waiting to see what will happen next.
The birds are different now that the summer is ending.
The Barn Swallows and Red-Winged black birds are gone. Flocks of blackbirds land in the treetops, and begin their deafening chatter. Then, all at once, they silently lift off in a speckled mass that continually changes shape until they land again or disappear over hills.
I don’t know if the Phoebe has been here all along and I just haven’t seen her. I only noticed her lately sitting on the fence where the barn swallows and sparrows used to be.
To my surprise the Phoebe landed on one of my dinner plate dahlias. It’s the first year I’ve had such big dahlias, but I never expected to see a bird perch on one.
As she flew from the dahlia to the apple tree she plucked a moth from the air.
The Phoebe landed on a branch just above my head with the insect in her beak. She didn’t eat it right away but seemed to move it closer and closer from the tip of her beak to the back of it until she swallowed it.