Most of yesterday I was online for a webinar and took a couple of breaks to squeeze in bird counts for eBird's October Big Day. I hadn't seen any phoebes in the holler for awhile. They aren't the flashiest birds around, but they have a quiet, elegant presence that never fails to warm my heart:
I usually see phoebes once or twice in October and sometimes November, then they disappear for a few months before they return to nest near my house in the spring. I checked my photo files and found this one from October 15, 2020:
During two observation periods yesterday, I saw nine different species: downy woodpeckers, tufted titmice, mourning doves, eastern blue jays, Carolina chickadees, white-breasted nuthatches, a rose-breasted grosbeak, Carolina wren, and the eastern phoebe. Eleven of the 30 individuals I saw over both sessions were mourning doves.