We walked through a local conservation area on Sunday afternoon. It was short-sleeve warm yet the lake was still frozen over. This is the time of year to see nesting Bluebirds and Tree Swallows, yet things were very quiet, perhaps because the weather was very unsettled. My husband has a good eye for bird movement and he noticed this Eastern Phoebe taking short flights from an old apple tree in pursuit of emerging flying insects.
A short distance away, Savannah Sparrows were flitting about in a ditch and an Eastern Meadowlark sang from a distant tree. A loud Northern Flicker flew by and a few Tree Swallows circled overhead along with a kettle of Turkey Vultures.
The water along the edge of the lake was open and a few Common Mergansers with a Trumpeter Swan swam beside Canada Geese and Mallards. But I wanted to see Eastern Bluebirds, a species that is generally elusive in our area.
This tree is completely surrounded by suckers growing up from the boggy soil. The habitat is ideal for many small birds and I caught sight of one Bluebird in the area. It flew off as I tried to get closer but we found it again along the roadway. What a lovely bird!
My 2011 spring count is off to a slower start than last year, but the birds will soon arrive faster than I can count them.
FOY Species April 9-10, 2011
Savannah Sparrow, Eastern Bluebird, Eastern Phoebe, Eastern Meadowlark, Tree Swallow, Northern Flicker, Osprey