Monday, April 8, 2013

Phoebe Back!

34 degrees and sunny this Sunday at 8:00 a.m. I was greeted immediately as I walked from the lot to the lower gardens with this very vocal nuthatch and the swallows were already very involved in trying out both bird boxes at that location. There was quite a bit of song between the chickadees, cardinals, song sparrows, red-winged blackbirds, and robins. Some cowbirds were atop a nearby tree and goldfinches were halfway between winter and spring plumage. Excitement is definitely in the air!

New Sign
I was thrilled to see the bluebirds in the lower gardens for a change. The male and female were checking out a certain box. I felt certain that they had already decided on it, but when they left to do a little foraging, a tree swallow couple took over and did some investigating. Reminded me of some of the open houses in my neighborhood. Each couple trying to imagine whether it feels like their home or not.

I hope people notice that we now have a dog sign at each entrance of the park. I'm disappointed that the $50 fine isn't in writing, but at least this is a good start.

Tree Swallow
The upper gardens had the same cast of characters with a mourning dove thrown in and titmice calling from the woods near the swamp. I cut through the woods and down to the soccer field where I counted at least 44 robins! A lone white-throated sparrow sang from a tall tree which surprised me as I'm so used to seeing them in the leaves on the ground.

A large group of grackles were in a tree by the pond, but no sign of any ducks. A goose couple quietly paraded down the river and another group of cowbirds were perched in a tall tree.

I had run into Bev when I first arrived and she had asked if the Phoebes were back. I was sure they would be, but didn't see any near the Nature Center. Disappointed, I was about to leave Woodcock meadow, when I heard phoebe, phoebe and I suddenly realized this was no chickadee. I finally saw it in a tree, a blush of yellow on its sides. I think it's the first one back. Maybe next weekend it's mate will arrive!

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