The brown thrasher woke me yesterday and today and serenaded me at dusk yesterday. Perched in the upper branches of a bare tree, it sings early and late, its varied double calls far better than bells or bugles.
The thrasher, whether he or she (they look alike), perches above the range of my camera. Instead of my own snap, I offer this beautiful one from George Grant's photographs stored on PBase (http://www.pbase.com/image/58941011).
There may be better beginnings and endings to the calendar of days, but I'd be hard pressed to name more melodious ones.
For proof, I offer this recording from Cornell University's website, All About Birds. Give it a listen: http://www.birds.cornell.edu/AllAboutBirds/audio/Brown_Thrasher1.html. You won't be sorry.