Sunday, April 17, 2016
April's Birds & Blooms
As warblers go, there was a bit of a migration lull over the weekend. There weren't many new arrivals despite southeast winds. Other than Yellow-rumps there was one Nashville Warbler (a record early), a few Palm Warblers, one Louisiana Waterthrush, and three Pine Warblers. It's still early. Most of the Golden-crowned Kinglets have moved on and the corridor was devoid of any spotted thrushes. However, what is increasing as spring progresses is an abundance of birdsong to sift through. I love the challenge.
I'm grateful for my hearing and ability to identify most birds by ear. As I close in on 50 years of age, my vision certainly isn't what it once was. Fortunately, my hearing closes up most of the slack. Of course, I might walk right past a bird that isn't vocalizing. That's how Dottie picked up the Louisiana Waterthrush ― she was systematically scanning the creek bank and happened upon it. She did the same thing with the Nashville Warbler, though I found it at the same location the previous day.
The mornings have been cool as this Song Sparrow shows, but the afternoon temperatures have reached the sixties and seventies. Now that it hasn't been freezing overnight there are plenty of insects for the birds to eat at first light. As such, many songbirds are no longer foraging on the ground and have returned to the treetops.
The seasonal transition that April renders is one of the best things about living in Wisconsin. Life awakens and Nature splashes her paintbrush in a myriad ways. We observe the slow progression distancing us from monochromatic winter. Spring seems almost to struggle at first, but then explodes before April ends. Summer isn't far away ― the effects of April's ephemeral nature will still be with us, but the transformation is utterly captivating to witness.
Pheasant Branch, Dane, Wisconsin, US
Apr 16, 2016 6:00 AM - 9:30 AM
All images © 2016 Mike McDowell