I am loving the crisp mornings we’ve had the last few days. The tree swallows are here in abundance now; pied-billed grebes are popping up in all the ponds and marshes; the wood ducks are in the owl box; herons are dancing around everywhere. The moon is full and glorious.
Fall migration is wonderful! The cormorants were coming in all morning and there are thousands of gulls here. I watched hundreds of swallows swooping over the grass and water. I think they will be leaving soon. A very nice morning!
I haven’t been to the Wakarusa Wetlands in about a month. At this time of year, that means a lot of change. I got out there a little late this morning to stay long (just too hot), but I did manage to see some young ones–a bunny, tree swallow, robin, and a yellow-crowned night heron! Click on pictures to enlarge.
One of my favorite “spring has arrived” times is when the tree sparrows come back. I love their aerial displays and magnificent color, not to mention how much they reduce the mosquito population. This morning I watched them buzzing around a bluebird box (they also often use nest boxes). I knew the box was occupied since I was at this spot last week and saw the bluebird couple bringing in nesting material. This morning, I watched the bluebird couple on a nearby fence more or less ignoring the tree sparrows until they actually landed on the box. One bluebird flew over and proceeded to tell them about themselves. Bluebirds are pretty tough little birds. Click on pictures to enlarge.
And stay out!
I went looking for warblers this morning and was rewarded with a Prothonotary. What cuties they are. There were several of them working the trees. I also saw quite a few of the little gnat catchers and a host of young barn and tree swallows. The weather was amazing. What a nice morning to sneak out. Click on pictures to enlarge.
Yesterday, I had a wonderful morning walking the Wakarusa Wetlands and was happy to see an egret had arrived. I decided with all this beautiful weather, this week, I work nights. I went back this morning and as I was coming down the path, seven egrets and five great blue herons came sailing in. It was magical! I was also privileged to see a host of little blue herons, green herons, blue and green-winged teal, grebes, and even a white-faced ibis. Click on pictures to enlarge.
This warm weather is incredible–and a bit scary. Who knows what is in store for us this spring. There is a lot of activity at both the Wakarusa Wetlands and Clinton Lake. Eastern Phoebes and tree swallows are here, a bit early. I looked everywhere for ospreys today, but no luck. I did see quite a few turtles and heard many frogs. Gulls were coming over in abundance and the geese are guarding potential nesting sites.
Click on pictures to enlarge.
The sunrises at the Wakarusa Wetlands have been spectacular.
I am still seeing quite a few young tree swallows and was lucky enough the other day to see a young flycatcher (note the absence of the scissor-tail). Click on pictures to enlarge.
Look at how white their bellies are! They look so cuddly. Click on pictures to enlarge.