20 April 1854

by layman k

Heard on the 14th a singular note on or near the hill, like a guinea-hen or other fowl, or a squeaking pump-handle. Heard [it] again this morning, and saw two large dark birds go off from a walnut with a loud squeaking quack. Is it a strange large woodpecker or possibly a teal? Heard the same at starlight, — ker-chuck ker-chuck ker-chuck. I think it is the red-wing only sings bobylee. Saw one pursuing a female(?).  I am not sure whether these or the crow blackbirds are the earliest. Saw a small black-striped warbler or flycatcher (?) on a willow. Hear the long-drawn scold of a flicker, sounding very loud over the water.

from the journals of Henry David Thoreau