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Posts Tagged ‘spring birds’

redwing

The red-winged blackbirds are back! Finally. I’ve been waiting and watching and waiting, and last Friday I was finally rewarded when the distictive ‘oak-a-lee’ call reached my ears.

The blackbirds are late this year. I thought the 15th was late last year but it was still nearly a week earlier than this year’s date.

2015: March 21st
2014: March 15th
2013: March 10th
2012: March 3rd
2011: March 10th
2010: March 10th
2009: March 7th

Our long, cold, snowy winter has been holding on, holding on. We had a few teaser days a week ago, when the temperature rose above freezing, but there is still plenty of snow on the ground. Still, the sun gains strength every day, and the snow is slowly melting away, even as a cold wind makes us keep our coats buttoned up tight. Winter can’t hold on forever. Today I saw my first robin!

garden

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change1

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.

change2

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.

change3

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