He’s out there again. Singing his high, strong, lazy song. Peeee-ah-weeee! Peee-wooooo! A loud, squeaky, distinctive tone of voice, cheerful, almost like a toy bird. Not particularly wild, or beautiful, but certainly unique. This is, apparently, one of the characteristic sounds of the wood in the American east, during spring and summer, but somehow I’d either never noticed it before or this common flycatcher had simply evaded me entirely – like many common birds do.

Whatever the reasons for never having heard it before, over the last two weeks I’ve barely stopped hearing it. I picked it up during our first evening in the house, as we arrived from the airport. As we sat and ate round the dining room table, I could hear him sing. He’s there when we sit out on the back deck to eat dinner, he’s still singing at dusk when we’ve retired to the living room. His plain intonations ring out over the dawn chorus of fluty robins, me still barely awake enough to recognise them. I even heard him sing twice whilst I typed this entry.

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