Saturday, March 15, 2008

Spring is on Her way!

Tuesday, I saw a white-breasted nuthatch at our suet feeder. It was -- predictably, celebratorily -- upside-down.

I love white-breasted nuthatches. :)

They supposedly do not migrate, but I've seen very few this winter at our feeders, and I've missed them.

Then yesterday, I saw the bird which is the true harbinger of spring in southeastern Michigan: the red-winged blackbird!

I was unloading the car after running errands, and heard a bird-sound I hadn't heard in months: it sounded a lot like the "clack" sound red-winged blackbirds make, one of two of their calls with which I'm familiar. (The other call sounds like the bird is caroling, "I'm heee-re!") (Or, "Mate with mee-eee!")

When I looked around, I saw three or so medium-sized black birds in the tree above me and at the neighbor's feeders. They looked a lot more like grackles at first glance, but they sounded wrong for grackles. And then I saw thin strips of pale yellow at the shoulders. A few moments later, the two at the feeder mantled, and I saw both the yellow and the red. Not as bright as it will be later in the year, but definitely there!

We're about three blocks from the river, and don't usually get red-wingeds this far away from the water. But I guess food is a good draw this time of year and at the end of a long migration!

The temperature hit about 55 F here yesterday. My driveway is no longer an ice rink or a pond, but getting fairly muddy; the top few inches of the ground are starting to thaw. It may be dipping into the 20s F at night, and we may well get more snow -- 5 more inches, I'm told, and we'll break our record -- but Spring is definitely on Her way.

Blessed be!

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