Birds are coming in!
Yellow-rumped Warblers have arrived. The first one was seen on Tuesday, April 6, 2021. That same day, a Northern Parula was heard. Soon, we'll be seeing more neotropical migrants. The height of spring migration is upon us and the next four weeks will be busy!
An Eastern Phoebe was splash-bathing at the bubbler on a couple days. Now it seems these birds are busy gathering moistened nesting material. We've had some rain, which makes the muddy areas in the vernal wetland a likely place to spot this bird.
Hermit Thrushes have been coming in to forage. Some years they will overwinter and we see them more often, but not this year. Two were seen on Thursday, April 15, 2021.
A Brown Creeper found some tiny insects in the Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia). (Well, that makes total sense, a creeper in the creeper!) Pine Siskins stay in the trees most of the time now, but they still come to the feeders for a quick meal.
Another Winter Wren was here for a couple days. They are busy little birds and move so quickly through the vegetation. It stopped to check out the bubbler before going to the smooth hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens) and disappearing in the gooseberry patch (Ribes missouriense). A bumble bee was busy pollinating the tiny, pendulous flowers there.
This may be a first, I don't recall seeing a Downy Woodpecker getting in for a bath before! The female worked her way in carefully.
Back in 2003, I began to document the birds and other critters here and I'm still learning so much through this method. An exciting discovery this week was seeing the Ruby-crowned Kinglets feeding on reddish aphids in the Blackhaw Viburnum (Viburnum prunifolium). In the last blown up photo, the bird has one in its bill and one clinging to its lower mandible! Wonders never cease, birds keep our native plants healthy!
The Bubbler is ready to greet the birds! Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica) and Red Buckeyes (Aesculus pavia) await the imminent arrival of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. Time to get those feeders up.
To see all the photos taken in April, open this gallery: 2021 Birds as Shady Oaks Apr-June
If you're mostly interested in warblers, look here: 2021 Warblers