habitat with wood thrush © Lang Elliott First Wood Thrush recording of the season. 6:15am, 3 May 2016. Shindagin Hollow near Brooktondale, New York. © Lang Elliott. Please adjust volume for a gentle and soothing listening experience.

Yesterday I rose early to hear the fluting of a Wood Thrush, but didn’t hear a peep. This morning, as if by magic, the songs of thrushes rained down upon the forest floor, glittering like stardust sprinkled upon the greening landscape. How enchanting and reassuring … the Wood Thrushes have once again returned!

Arriving in the twilight, my friend Beth Bannister and I heard a Wood Thrush singing on the far side of the hollow, too distant for a nice recording. So we moved farther down the road and found another, but he flew up a steep hill and over the ridge, his songs scarcely audible in the distance. Finally, we found a male singing on a forested slope above a gurgling brook. He stayed put and allowed us to get a wonderfully soothing soundscape, which is featured here.

Lang in Hellebore - by Beth BannisterThe air smelled of wild leeks, which carpeted the forest floor. Brilliant green patches of false hellebore were scattered here and there. I laid on the ground with my head among the leaves and peered at the canopy above. Somewhere in the treetops, our singer scattered his flute-notes with a rhythmic cadence that was relaxing and hypnotic in effect. How glorious it was to lie there among the sprouting herbs, with signs of spring all around. A moment to be treasured, an elixir for the coming day.

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