Further along, as I entered the far field at the north end (the swamp and cedar bush is at the south end, in mosquito season I leave it until last), I picked up a Vesper Sparrow escort. I couldn't tell where the nest was the--poor bird was carrying food, but wouldn't go to its young while I was near. It wasn't until I was past the old apple tree that it could relax and go about its business.
Once the sparrow escort had gone I stopped for a while. I could hear a warbling song, thought probably a Rose-breasted Grosbeak, and soon I could see it. The sun behind me shone on the bird, the colour was fantastic. After a few moments an Eastern Towhee started up. This song as been driving me nuts for years. It's clear, it varies very little, has two parts to it; it's a very easily distinguished song, and yet it has refused to stick in my head. I think I've finally got it, and the bird this morning very kindly sang from high in a dead tree, giving me an excellent view. And then the grosbeak joined it. Fantastic sight!
All the while I could hear warbler song from in the shrubbery. I picked out a Black-and-white Warbler, and I think I heard a Yellow Warbler as well. And something else: chestnut-sided? Yes! The singing Chestnut-sided Warbler emerged and spent some time singing from perches on which he was nicely visible, before he continued south on his rounds (that's him in the pictures). A female Rose-breasted Grosbeak came out to take a look at me. A cardinal sang from somewhere back and beyond. A brown thrasher landed briefly in the old apple tree and gave me the evil eye. A catbird called. Chickadees came and went.
Why do I birdwatch? I stood there, in one spot, watching one scruffy bit of edge habitat for about half an hour, totally absorbed in the moment. Everything else falls away, it's just me, and the birds, and the beautiful morning.