Saturday, April 4, 2009

Slow Start to Spring

Well, Spring is here, more or less, but the pickings are still pretty slim. We saw our first new species for our spring checklist, and also a new species for both my husband and I.

We went up to the Holland Marshes, last Thursday, in the hope of seeing some Snow Geese stragglers. Well, there wasn't much to see, as the vernal ponds were drying up. In the last place we decided to look, we were greeted with a lovely surprise.

At the end of one country road there was a swamp on one side, and the road ended in another swamp. On the opposite side of the road was an old barn, with a window propped open in the upper storey.

Two little birds swooped over to check us out. They were our first Eastern Phoebes of the season. They found us very curious, and stuck around long enough for us to take some pictures.

When we turned back to go to the car, there were a pair of ducks swimming right beside the road. (The other ducks we saw were largely Pintails, but they were too far away for good viewing.)

At first, I thought we were looking at some widgeons, but then I realized that we were looking at Blue-winged Teals; a first for us. We managed to get a couple of shots before a nearby Kildeer screamed with alarm, and set the pair flying.

Today we went to Lasalle Park in Burlington, in hope of seeing some Tundra Swans, or yes, Snow Geese. It was a long shot, and we were disappointed again, but there were some Trumpeter Swans still hanging around, as well as some American Coots, and Widgeons.

Along the trail we were fortunate enough to see a Golden-crowned Kinglet, and a Winter Wren which was darting in and out of the leaf litter.

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