Monday, March 24, 2014

Late Winter Catch-up

It's been a brutal winter, and here it is the fourth week of March and we're still getting snow and well-below-normal temperatures. Here are a few of the photos I've taken from inside my house recently. The squirrels have been showing great gymnastic ability. The deep snow makes the squirrel baffles less effective, but I don't begrudge them the sustenance. They still work pretty hard for it.

I love it when the light hits the red spot on the back of a male downy or hairy woodpecker's head. This is a downy on our suet log -- note the tiny, pencil-point beak. So cute.

I like this final shot of a female cardinal, which shows how they turn seeds into an up-and-down orientation to crack the shells. And I rarely get this nice a few of a bird's eye. As always, click on the photo for a larger view.

Spring is getting here, even though it doesn't feel very springy. Recent phenology notes:

  • We started seeing a robin on our (snow-covered) lawn about two weeks ago. A few nights ago, friends on social media were reporting large flocks of them in treetops and on the ground. Some robins do stay year-round, but they suddenly seem to be more prominent.
  • Red-winged blackbirds were trilling in the trees by the Cannon River yesterday.
  • My friend Mary of the My Northern Garden blog reported seeing a great blue heron in flight near the wetlands off the east end of Jefferson Parkway.
  • A few days ago I saw a crow on Woodley Street with nesting material in its beak
  • Birder Dave Bartkey of Faribault reported an osprey flying overhead, north of Faribault, which he said was by far his earliest date for this species.
There is hope! Hang in there. 

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