So what do you call February 29th? If it makes a ‘leap year’ than this must be the ‘leap’ day!
What ever it is called, it certainly started out with beautiful clear blue skies and sunshine, that tempted me out for an early ‘dog less’ walk.
Spotted this Great Blue Heron perched at the very top of this broken off top of a large native broad-leaf Maple tree.
This is the first heron I’ve seen in a couple of weeks and for some reason herons tend to congregate in this tree every spring. Every spring I hope they might be thinking of creating a new ‘heronry’ in this tree – but they never do.
and it must be spring because this male Red-shafted Northern Flicker was busy doing his territorial drumming on this street lamp this morning. Unfortunately my camera battery died right after I took this and by the time I got the old one out and the new one in, he’d had enough of drumming and flew off. In the next month we can expect an influx of Flickers as they migrate through our area – watch for yellow shafted and hybrids among them.
by afternoon the clouds had moved in and the mountain tops were disappearing, in fact showers were starting by the time we were heading home.
This area was full of that flock of male Red-wing Blackbirds that have been wintering with us….
many were down bathing while others were busy with their incessant calling… Even through the din I could hear a Hairy Woodpecker drumming.
here is an individual Red-wing. I was wanting to capture the brilliant ‘red’ that is getting brighter and brighter as breeding season approaches. Didn’t quite get the picture I wanted this time.
The bushes along the trail were busier than they have been for some time. Here a Fox Sparrow…viewed from the rear..
and a front view of another that shows the inverted ‘check’ marks on the breast, also the bi-coloured bill that are identifying features of this chunky sparrow. There were also Junco, House Finch, Black-cap Chickadee, Steller’s Jay, Golden crowned Kinglets and a pair of Flicker….oh, and Towhee as well.
the last few days with the cooler weather, Varied Thrush have been much in evidence…even if you don’t actually see them you can certainly hear their haunting ‘trill’, especially in the morning….
and as we move towards the month of March, the American Robins are now here to stay. Not quite in the numbers they will be in a week or two, but enough to hear their welcoming call in the morning and their evening song at dusk.
And since I have other commitments tomorrow, the first of March, I’ll briefly mention what we have to look forward to in the coming month. Turn your ears skyward the first nice sunny day we get as Tree Swallows should be showing up – they’ve been seen as early as the 1st of the month in the past. By mid-month Rufous Hummingbirds should be back and if we are going to see Mountain Bluebirds, the time to look for them is about mid-month, Western Meadowlark have occasionally been spotted about the same time.