This week has been busy with nesting birds, new arrivals and the first Monarch laying eggs. The Northern Cardinal female carried material to her nest and the Downy Woodpeckers were busy at their nest hole on Sunday, 4-9-17. On that same breezy day, the first Tiger Swallowtail danced and nectared at the Bluebells (Mertensia virginica).
On Monday, 4-10-17 I stepped outside and heard a a Swainson's Thrush six or seven times around 2 pm. It seemed very early in the season to hear this bird and I confirmed that the earliest arrival record for it was 4-14-1983.
One can check on seasonal occurrence of all of our Missouri Birds on this site.
I stayed near the camera and finally saw this bird in the woodland for about 8 minutes at 3:40 pm. It moved on and has not been seen since.
Here are a few photos.
On Wednesday, 4-12-17 the first Chipping Sparrow popped out near the Bubbler, one of the Eastern Phoebes splash-bathed and a female Yellow-rumped Warbler soon followed.
On Saturday, 4-15-17 I went out to weed in the garden but immediately put down my bucket and tools. There was a female Monarch butterfly down low in the Marsh Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) and it was laying eggs! The Monarch continued to flit through the garden and search out every little patch of Marsh Milkweed. There are at least a dozen and these plants are only inches high. This female was on a mission to lay her pearls!
I had heard the first Blue-gray Gnatcatcher and Northern Parula warbler calling on Friday. Their songs are quite distinctive with the gnatcatcher's being buzzy and wheezy while one of the warbler's sounds like 'zee-ee-ee-up!'
The first bonafide flurry of activity at the Bubbler began on Saturday afternoon. I was very pleased to see a female Northern Parula get in and bathe!
Easter Sunday, 4-16-17 was warm and overcast with rain expected. Most of the rain passed to the south, leaving hungry new arrivals ready to drink and bathe! Yellow-rumped Warblers numbered a dozen and brought with them two Nashville Warblers and an early Indigo Bunting!
To see all the photos of birds from the last week: Birds since 4-9-17
To see more butterflies and insects: Butterflies since 4-9-17