Mid-week we passed the vernal equinox.
All week we had warmer than normal temperatures in Connecticut (70's).
Last week the Eastern Phoebes returned in great numbers - hooray!
The evening chorusing of Spring peepers is hard to miss.
Jupiter, Venus, Mars and Sirius are all shining brightly in a stretch of clear moonless nights.
And we have another two-week bird list to report. But, weekly listing will begin soon, as more and more migrants pass through our greening hilltop at West Campus.
Bird list for the two week period from March 12th through 23rd, 2012:
4. Carolina Wren
7. American Goldfinch
12. House Sparrow
16. Dark-eyed Junco
19. Brown-headed Cowbird
24. Northern Flicker
28. Northern Raven
Great Black-backed Gull
38. Wild Turkey
West Campus Coyote, Canis latrans, photo L.Jones
Of course we always have an eye open for other denizens of our hilltop and stream valley. This pale coyote still sports its winter coat and has lost a few pounds during the lean season. And Lynn points out that it has lost something else as well...
Submissions to the bird list for the past two weeks have come from Tom Parlapiano's 3rd grade field trip, from Nate (his excellent sighting of the Sharp-shinned Hawk in the courtyard), mostly from Lynn Jones and a few additions from yours truly.
--have a good weekend, and I probably don't have to tell YOU to get out and enjoy these days!
Friday, March 9, 2012
American Robin, Turdus migratorius
What's not to be happy about? A big wave of migrating birds has come in with the recent south winds and warm weather. On campus we've seen lots and lots of robins these past two weeks. Elsewhere in the state, folks on the coast are monitoring the plankton blooms to get ready for the gulls which follow. Large blackbird flocks are noticeable even to the casual observer driving along the interstates. One late afternoon I watched many small skeins of Canada Geese moving northward.
Yesterday evening at home I heard two American Woodcock calling - "peenting" as birders hear it, followed shortly by the whistling sound made as the bird spirals back to the earth. These sounds are part of their early spring mating display. The males will call from a small patch of open ground then take off skyward, flying so high they're almost lost to our sight. Then they perform a sort of spiralling freefall back to their patch of turf, air rushing past specially modified wing feathers to make the whistling sound that we hear.
Watch for Red-tailed Hawks performing their dramatic aerial duets. Watch for the first moth, the first butterfly on the first dandelion, the first salamander crossing the road on a warm rainy night.
The return of spring still thrills this Homo sapiens, who lives in a world where so many people seem to shut out the natural world.
No way, I say hooray for spring - let's all go out and get MUDDY!!
West Campus bird list for the two week period from February 27th through today, March 9th, 2012:
Great Black-backed Gull
10. Downy Woodpecker
20. Northern Cardinal
27. House Sparrow