Sunday, April 10, 2011

Spring is Finally Here

Well, I think spring is finally here. At the moment there's actually a thunderstorm passing overhead, it's pouring rain, and whatever snow is left is quickly being washed away. The air is now so humid that fog is washing in, cloaking the trees in a ghostly blanket of greyish-white. The temperature is supposed to soar to 20 degrees by 4 o'clock.

Turkey vultures as we usually see them.

Meanwhile, the early birds have been active. Turkey vultures are almost always visible soaring overhead, and with warmer tempertures will come the thermals that let them rise to be just a black dot in the sky. The other day though, they were swooping low over the yard, and landing to dine off some unfortunate road-kill.

Swooping in to the roadkill.

Since the temperatures rose, the robins are everywhere, running across the ground searching for worms, and the mourning doves are starting their nest under the eaves. The male red-wings are still in a small flock, but will soon disperse to claim their nesting territory too. Goldfinch are turning bright yellow, and there is still a small flock of redpolls, a sparrow-like bird with a red patch on top of its head, staying nearby. They will leave for the boreal forest soon.

Goldfinch and redpoll on the feeder.

Spring run-off has been slow this year, bursting down the streams during the warm speall in mid-March, but then freezing in place again as temperatures dropped. Only now, nearly a month later, will we see another burst of spring flow in the creeks and river.

Male redwings in the top of a poplar.

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