There’s NO ignoring it, little slight things are happening dropping hints the season is in change…………….
I suppose though, after being here 13 years, I am more tuned to the little things that are telling me winter’s about over than I was when we arrived in ’96.
*Robins are in the yard.
*Male Robins are calling at dusk already setting up territory.
*A band-tailed pigeon was at the feeder Tuesday.
*The first Mourning Dove came in the same day.
*More Anna’s Hummingbirds are showing up at feeders.
*A flock of bushtits covered the suet log last weekend….first time since fall.
*The Black Capped Chickadee family(s?) are still intact and flying in as a group to dine.
*The Nuthatches are showing up more and more too. I know they’re here all winter, but seems there’s more of them now:
*The towhees are here year round as well, but they are now pairing off. We watched a beautiful pair of these birds flirting in the bushes, flying off in tandem, returning to play just on the deck:
*The first House Finch flew into the deck feeder…… a male scouting for a place to begin singing?
*All the woodpeckers are returning to the suet: Northern Flickers, Downy & Hairy Woodpeckers. We still see or at least hear the big Pileated when we walk near his bird feeing stump….an old cedar still standing about 70 ft tall.
*Saw the first Red Breasted Sapsucker flying around the yard trees looking for little bugs.
*Northern Flickers….seems we have more than 2 visit daily now…..getting ready to set up house?
*Seems that more Stellar’s Jays are showing up uninvited wanting to gobble up enough for storing somewhere.
*I saw my first Yellow-Rumped Warbler of the year
*The Great Horned Owls have already concluded mate calling at night and are no doubt waiting for hatchlings soon, or already feeding young
*We both saw a Bald Eagle land on a big branch and enjoy his meal.
*The Lawn doesn’t look happy, but it no longer looks dead.
*Canadian Geese are just barely beginning to show up flying over the hilltop on their way to Sauvie Island……..for a short rest before moving on north.
*Sandhill Cranes! On a dog walk, I heard the unmistakable calls of a flock of these magnificent birds flying north over the hilltop! We MUST go to Sauvie Island this w/e and see all the buzz of spring there and not miss the Tundra Swans & Snow Geese before they leave again for the arctic.
*House sparrows are beginning calling spring songs.
*Oregon Birders On Line...the daily digest is reporting sightings of Rufous Hummingbirds from Astoria down to Waldport over the weekend. They’re on the way.
*Select early deciduous bushes and trees show buds reaching out on stems.
*Pussy willow branches are getting that “look”. Reminder, Mark: The Big Curly Trees have branches split in the ice storm, and MUST be CUT OFF. WHO wants a huge arrangement of fresh curly willow you can sprout in the house? They look terrific.
*The varied Thrushes seem bent on feeding. They’ll be leaving for the north in a couple weeks.
*The thick insulated underwear, heaviest sweatshirts are sitting idle more and more.
*Night temperatures are moderating just a bit.
*Moles! Damn Moles! They’re coming up, digging new tunnels, pushing up peaks of dirt that becomes mud.
*The Columbia River is no longer so muddy. MAC has begun getting his swims again!
*Cooking moods are moving away from heavy casserole dishes to lighter bean soups, and sandwiches are in the loop.
A few of the birds mentioned winter here, a few are year round, but some are being seen for the first time since last fall. They are the fore-runners of the northern migration that will pass through OUR little place, or maybe some of the few that stay with our little corner for a few months every year. The beautiful songbirds, now that the House Finch has arrived will slowly filter in. By April 1, the trees around this little house will be LOUD in song morning and evening for 4 months. A BIG cheerful noise.
And another fun note, our NEW favorite dog at this year’s Westminster show was the GLEN of IMAAL Irish Terrier. Doesn’t look like we’ll get one though since they start around $1500…….. but hey sure are cute:
***Disclaimer: On THIS post, I took NONE of the pictures. I grabbed them off the web since weather conditions haven’t been permitting the best camera poses.