SPRING-ING! April 10, 2019

April 10, 2019  •  Leave a Comment

It's wonderful to look outside and see varying shades of green in the leaves, yellow Celandine Poppies, pink buds and beckoning blossoms of Virginia Bluebells and russet buds of Red Buckeye. Spring is definitely springing now that April is here in earnest.

 

Bumblebee on Celandine Poppies (Stylophorum diphyllum) 4-10-19Bumblebee on Celandine Poppies (Stylophorum diphyllum) 4-10-19
Bumblebee on Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica) 4-10-19Bumblebee on Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica) 4-10-19

Red Buckeye (Aesculus pavia) 4-8-19Red Buckeye (Aesculus pavia) 4-8-19

 

The Carolina Wren wakes me every morning in cheery greeting. The pair bounce about, checking other possible nesting spots.

 

Carolina Wren singing 4-3-19Carolina Wren singing 4-3-19 Carolina Wren in Spicebush  3-31-19Carolina Wren in Spicebush 3-31-19
Carolina Wrens 4-6-19Carolina Wrens 4-6-19

 

An Eastern Towhee was calling from the yard next door for several days. I finally was able to see this skulking female, digging to China in the leaf litter.

 

Eastern Towhee female 4-3-19Eastern Towhee female 4-3-19

 

A female Yellow-bellied Sapsucker came in very briefly one day, and flew to this oak after working on sap holes in a Shagbark Hickory.

 

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 4-5-19Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 4-5-19

 

The nesting birds are busy. The Red-shouldered Hawks have been coming in and catching voles and chipmunks. One day, i spotted one struggling near the neighbor's pond. It came up with a PAIR of Bullfrogs, probably locked in a vernal embrace.

 

Red-shouldered Hawk with bullfrogs 4-8-19Red-shouldered Hawk with bullfrogs 4-8-19

 

Downy Woodpeckers are excavating a nest cavity in the dead limb of a Green Ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica). Both birds take turns working and then come down for a drink. What hard work for those small bills!

 

Downy Woodpecker at nest hole in Green Ash 4-8-19Downy Woodpecker at nest hole in Green Ash 4-8-19

Downy Woodpecker gets a drink 4-10-19Downy Woodpecker gets a drink 4-10-19

 

It has been nine years since we've had Eastern Phoebes nest under the gazebo. The fledglings were just about ready to leave the nest when it was torn down and raided, we thought by a raccoon. One of the fledglings made it.

 

5-24-10 Eastern Phoebe chicks in the nest5-24-10 Eastern Phoebe chicks in the nestMargy Terpstra
5-25-10 Eastern Phoebe feeding fledgling5-25-10 Eastern Phoebe feeding fledglingMargy Terpstra

 

This year, the pair have chosen the same spot and have been working constantly on it. We hope they get used to our presence as we are careful not to disturb them. I wait until they're off feeding before I take a photo. They chatter back and forth to each other, just love to hear them.

 

Eastern Phoebe nest 4-8-19Eastern Phoebe nest 4-8-19

Eastern Phoebe gathering twine 4-8-19Eastern Phoebe gathering twine 4-8-19 Eastern Phoebe calls to mate 4-9-19Eastern Phoebe calls to mate 4-9-19

 

We're still seeing some winter visitors around. Today, two Pine Siskins came in. The Hermit Thrush is still around and a Brown Creeper comes in occasionally. The Dark-eyed Juncos seem to have moved on with these southerlies.

 

American Goldfinch and two Pine SIskins 4-10-19American Goldfinch and two Pine SIskins 4-10-19 Hermit Thrush 4-3-19Hermit Thrush 4-3-19

Brown Creeper with tiny larvae in bill 4-1-19Brown Creeper with tiny larvae in bill 4-1-19

 

I had just put the hummingbird feeders up and fifteen minutes later, a Red-breasted Nuthatch came looking for a peanut. I hadn't seen that bird in 12 days. Yes, this is indeed the cusp of spring when anything can show up! Birds are on the move.

 

 

At 9:05 am today, our FOY Black-and-white Warbler flew in and checked out the Bubbler. It then flew to the Black Oak stump. It is species #56 and warbler #5 for the year.

 

FOY Black-and-white Warbler female 4-10-19FOY Black-and-white Warbler female 4-10-19 FOY Black-and-white Warbler female 4-10-19FOY Black-and-white Warbler female 4-10-19 FOY Black-and-white Warbler female 4-10-19FOY Black-and-white Warbler female 4-10-19

 

Happy Spring!

To see all the photos since the last post, begin here:  April birds

 

 

 


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