Friday, March 20, 2015

Critters Stirring; Migrants Returning

For two weeks I've noticed our local critters who stay with us all winter, stirring more actively, and now the first migrating birds have returned.  A good way to celebrate the arrival of spring!

One of the first critters I noticed was our friendly little Red Squirrel returning to our deck to seek spilled sunflower seeds beneath the feeder.  He's certainly a bold creature, though he has to content himself with the spilled goodies, as our feeders are 'squirrel proof' (and I think they actually are).

We last saw this little fellow in late December, so I expect he's been hibernating in a cavity deep beneath the old fencerow throughout the cold part of the winter, but he's up and about now.

We see and hear a few crows throughout the winter, but not like the past two weeks.  Their calls seem to be constantly in your ears from near or far these days, and we frequently see one or two perched in trees calling.  They're just a lot more active than they have been, presumably getting ready to nest.

We still have the Chickadees around, about the only birds that come to our feeder steadily over the winter.  They will disperse into nesting pairs soon, and we won't see them as much until early fall.

And early in the week the first returning migrants showed up.  The first were Starlings, but this photo is of a Red-Wing Blackbird.  It's distinctive call really marks early spring here.  And this is all too typical of my stunning wildlife photos!  I'm determined to improve my bird photography this summer, and recently signed up of 'Ebird' so I could read about recent sightings, and enter my own contributions.

Besides the Red-Wing, today we saw our first Robins, and first Turkey Vulture.  Spring is definitely here, even though our world is still mostly white.  Visited a new waterfall today as well - pictures of that tomorrow.

Tomorrow I'll link to:

26 comments:

  1. Wonderful birds - such a cheery spot in the winter. Love the little squirrel.

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  2. Wonderful. I'm waaaay behind with commenting, but I spotted your picture and had to look more closely. Our native red squirrels have been largely driven out by invading greys, but are hanging on in the far north. Really excellent shots - lovely!

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  3. Lovely photos ! We get all kinds of birds through out the year at my feeders and I love it lol ! I am birder and a bit of a nut when it come to birds lol !Oh good you finally have the spring birds up your way , we have had the Robins for 2 weeks now and the other birds have arrived each day , Grackles , Starlings . Redwing blackbirds ' Canadian Geese , Song Sparrows ,Killdeer and our Chipmunk was out today gathering food from under our feeders , our Squirrels have been here all winter as have our Crows but yes they are all a lot more active now that's for sure lol. I just love watching and hearing them all . Looks like you still have more snow then we do down here . Thanks for sharing , Have a good day !

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  4. I've been seeing all the birds you've mentioned around here lately too.
    The only birds I've this winter are crows.
    Like the twisty branch of the tree with the red winged black bird.
    Happy Spring. : )

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  5. What a cute little squirrel! Love your photos of him.

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  6. Even though we still have snow here in NJ, I've notice some differences, too. Definitely many more crows in the last week, and I saw my first starling since last spring. The robins have been around, as well. Our squirrels also have to eat what's left on the ground. They seem ok with that arrangement!

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  7. Your squirrel is definitely a cutie. I didn't know they hibernate. Around here it's warm enough for them to be around all winter long. :-)

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  8. The chickadee is so cute. And that little squirrel looks so happy to have found a nut he buried last fall. I think it's fascinating how they can find them.

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  9. I saw a robin last week. While many migrate, some do not, but I don't believe this one has been around. I'm pretty vigilant!
    Our red squirrels, too, have been estivating, but not for long. They are such a pain!

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  10. Terrific shots! For me, it's the first sighting of chipmunks that really tells when spring will be here.

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  11. I saw a Turkey Vulture on Thursday and Robins this morning so spring is here. Haven't see or heard a Blackbird yet.

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  12. I have yet to see the first robin, although I've been expecting it all week.

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  13. Happy spring! It is nice to know the spring birds will be returning soon! I love your cute squirrel! Thanks for linking up, happy weekend!

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  14. Spring will come! Nice to see the animals around your place. That Red Squirrel is just about the cutest critter of all. They do not hibernate (ground squirrels do but not tree squirrels), but feast all winter on pine cone caches they've stored up. Perhaps his cache was running low, so he came into town to shop for new supplies. Actually, ground squirrels like chipmunks don't truly hibernate, either, although they do sleep for much of the winter, waking from time to time to visit their underground toilet chamber and their underground pantries to have a snack before going back to sleep. I saw one running across the snow in northern NY last week, a true sign of spring.

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  15. Beautiful critters! Little squirrel looks like a cute cartoon.

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  16. Cracking series of images. Have a lovely weekend

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  17. Red Squirrels are always great to see and I even welcome them at my feeders. They don't seem nearly as voracious as the marauding Grey Squirrels who can clean out a feeder in no time flat. Red Squirrels always seem to come singly too where the others are sometimes in groups of five and six.

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  18. omgoodness, the squirrel is just too cute for words!!! i really enjoyed the thawing water, beautiful images you captured!!!!

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  19. Great shots of the squirrel. The birds are nice and here they are busy building nests so I have a lot of opportunity to observe and hope to get more nesting shots.

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  20. As Jacqui points out above, I was wrong about the Red Squirrel hibernating. They may slow down a bit and sleep more, but they don't hibernate. Never-the-less, we hadn't seen it for several weeks til about two weeks ago. We think he lives in the old stone fencerow, 'cause that's where we see him most of the year.

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  21. Hi Furry....
    Love your photos!
    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

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  22. Here in Minnesota those Red Squirrels can be very destructive, so they are not encouraged to stay around. They ravage birds nests for eggs and baby birds. Good to see you are getting a variety of birds migrating back, I love to watch for new birds everyday. Our Chickadees stay here year round. :)

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  23. Wow, I got way behind on your posts lately. I have enjoyed seeing your hikes and waterfalls and murals. We've had red squirrels here all winter long. They didn't hibernate even with all the snow we had. I noticed 3 starlings in the maple tree this morning and am watching for the first flocks of blackbirds to arrive heralding spring. I have the feeling it will be another week or so though.

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