Suddenly I am not refilling the thistle-seed feeders. The little birds are gone--the siskins and goldfinches and Cassin's finches--gone until new winter migrants arrive.
Somehow I missed the departure of the black-headed grosbeaks too.
Only the jays and an occasional evening grosbeak peck at the sunflower-seed feeders.
The broad-tailed hummingbirds are still here.
And in the woods, the hermit thrush's distant song is replaced by the call of the white-breasted nuthatch--like a little tin horn blown by a tiny clown who is always somewhere farther away.