Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Early Spring Birds

There are about a dozen returning birds I expect to see (or hear) during March.  They`re all birds that are comfortable in the continuing cold weather, and they seem to be the first tangible signs of spring.  So far it`s well into April and I`ve only encountered about half of them, and only photographed one, a Robin.  But other birds that have been here all winter, like the Goldfinch, are also changing their behaviour (or appearance), and are much more active.

So here is my only photo of an `early spring bird`, one of a pair of Robins exploring the grass for bugs in our yard.  The other birds I`ve seen or heard though include;
Turkey Vulture, 
European Starling, 
Grackle,
Song Sparrow,
Bluebird,
Killdeer.

However, the Goldfinch who have been wearing their dull olive colours all winter, have started turning into their summer plumage, here still a bit mottled, but the male ending up bright yellow and black.

They`re at the feeder all day long these days, emptying it out as fast as they can go.

Sharing space with the Goldfinch are the Common Redpolls, who are still with us.  They`re not returning migrants, but have come south to this area for the winter, and will soon head north to the boreal forest to nest.  Not sure whether this photo is a discard, or a really interesting capture!

So here`s one without the distraction.  I`ve joined ebird this year, and I`m going to make a determined effort to keep track of all the birds I see and perhaps even capture a few more decent photos.
Linking to:

19 comments:

  1. I really like the motion in that second last shot.

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  2. Great set of shots - we just don't get as many garden birds as some places in the world.

    You seem to have been trying to link to a WBW post from 2012 - which may explain why it's closed!

    The link on your pages does take you to the current WBW - so, you should be able to link up there!

    cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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    1. Yes, sorry about the comment. Just called it up and didn't check date carefully.

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  3. Wonderful birds - love the one with the blurry bird coming in.

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  4. Love the little Goldfinches! So pretty!

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  5. They all know where the good place is for tucker, happy to see spring plumage.

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  6. I didn't realise that you had a bird called a Grackle. Here in England, particularly in the south-west, "grackle" is the common name for the Starling. Presumably early settlers in N America attached the name to the new bird, which they saw as slightly similar, in the same way that they used the word "robin" to denote a bird with an orangey breast which, sort of, reminded them of a bird from home. Then that idiot decided to release the European Starling into the wild. Incidentally "grackle", or "grockle", is the word used in Devon and Cornwall as a disparaging term for the tourists, who come in summer, make a lot of noise and mess, and then depart!

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  7. All the signs of spring are there. Too bad it's a COLD one.

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  8. Lovely photos ! I am glad your spring birds are finally there , we being father south then you have had the spring birds for a few weeks now and the Robins in droves this year here which I love , they are my favorite song bird ! Temps are in the low teens here and no snow left now , rain yesterday and for today and maybe our first spring thunderstorm .Thanks for sharing , Have a good day !

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  9. I love the pretty goldfinch, and I've never seen a redpoll; they must not come around the western slope of the Pacific Northwest. But yes, the birds are singing their little hearts out these days. I haven't seen one, but I've heard the white-crowned sparrow everywhere. :-)

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  10. So lovely and great bird photos!

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  11. wonderful bird photos. our finches are getting more yellow too.

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  12. Nice shots of the birds. That Robin looks nice and plump. Must have found good eating in your yard. : )

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  13. I remember looking for that first robin to appear when I lived in Illinois, even as an adult! The last bird picture is really interesting with the little red tuft on his head.

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  14. Well, I haven't seen a bluebird yet! Robins are here in East Gwillimbury all year round but in winter hide in wooded areas close to where they can find berries. They come out of hiding when the berries run out or there's a strong possibility of finding worms.

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    1. Keep an eye peeled for Eastern Bluebird. They have been back at the sites where we usually find them for about two weeks.

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  15. I've always liked the little redpolls!

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  16. Looks like a birder's post. I suspect that your redpolls are in fact returning migrants. At this time of year birds that have over-wintered farther south are returning northwards and break their journey here and there to fatten up. Birds that have spent the winter here have generally moved on by now. Someone recently commented on a Maryland site that the redpolls have gone from there. It is probably birds from that more southerly area that we are starting to see here. Pretty soon they will all have moved on.

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  17. We occasionally get redpolls here. The others are all back except I haven't seen a bluebird yet.

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