Saturday, March 11, 2006

The Cardinal Sings

What a difference a day makes. After a rainy, warm day yesterday a warmer sunny day today. The night before last a cardinal was singing in the bush beyond the edge of the far field. Last night a single red-winged blackbird sang a couple of phrases across the street; today, early singers galore.

In the cedar bush at least two robins and a purple finch were singing. The tracks of a raccoon couple crossed the swamp. And beyond the edge of the far field two or three cardinals traded phrases. Chickadees checked me out, then went back to their hierarchy battles of song and chase. Blue jays everywhere--making almost every sound in their repertory (I've got to learn more about the language of blue jays!). Crows flew around, kicking up fuss after fuss, about what I don't know.

This is 4 shots pasted together to show part of the edge of the far field. This shrubby, fading into woodsy bit of territory is some of the best birding on my walk. Last year this little stretch was home to magnolia warblers, chestnut-sided warblers, the Brewster's and blue-winged warbler couple, American redstarts, common yellowthroats, catbirds, brown thrashers, kingbirds, vesper sparrows, cardinals and more.

Back at the house, more purple finches singing, and two pairs visited the feeders. I hadn't seen these guys for ages--nice to have them back. The white-breasted nuthatches indulged in a little courtship feeding. Red-winged blackbirds came to feed, and could be heard singing in all directions. (The song of the red-winged blackbird is the sure sign of spring for me.) A couple of grackles joined them at the feeders--first of these I've seen this year. Commn redpolls, juncos, starlings, and goldfinches were also in attendance.

And I found these poking up through the ground in the spring bulb bed on the south side of the house.



Overly optimistic of them I'm pretty sure. But we can dream.


Dave @ Around Alaska said...

Hey. Your trying to have spring already. What's up with that?

Anonymous said...


Gwyn Calvetti said...

It's coming here, too. Saw some new iris shoots the other day in my brown yard.

Pamela Martin said...

Spring is a coming and going thing in March around here. By tomorrow we'll be back in winter for a little bit--below freezing, flurries, and probably more real snow before the month is out. But the early bulbs and the short-distance migrants reassure us that the real thing is almost here.

Anonymous said...

And it is so nice to know that we are not the only ones with such optimism!
The pic of your best-birding spot reminds me very much of mine - where swamp, field, and dense scrubby bush all met in a kind of corner. It was all the best spot to find the and hear the best variety of birds, particularly in spring.