Even though we still have a deep snow cover, and the thermometer reads minus 10 C this morning, Spring is slowly, quietly creeping in. If you stand in a protected spot, out of the wind, the greater warmth of the sun is striking. Even on cold days, puddles form where the sun heats the ground. And the morning chorus is changing.
All winter long, when I step out the door to top up the bird feeders each morning, I am greeted by a raucous cacophony of Blue Jay voices. A few birds seem to watch for me, and upon my entrance, bird seed in hand, they send up a cry that brings a rush of blue as the belligerent diners assemble, each one anxious to be among the first to snatch up the prized peanuts.
But now the jays are quieter, less aggressive, hanging back. In the treetops, a flock of goldfinches assemble each morning. As they preen their feathers, they gossip amongst themselves with cheerful chatter. Their bright conversation is punctuated with an occasional chuck from a Red-winged Blackbird, and this morning I heard a robin call.
When I look at the photograph of the individual below, I think perhaps I can detect a touch of bright yellow just beginning to brighten his face. As winter fades, the goldfinches replace their subdued bronze feathercoat with the iconic brilliant yellow of summer American Goldfinches.