I stopped by the pond for a quick check on the egg situation on this grey morning before going to campus and look who I saw up in a tree in the middle of the island.
Its our old pall from last summer, the green heron (Butorides virescens), back from wintering along the Gulf of Mexico. Talk about your classic “snowbird”, eh? There were actually two of them, but I didn’t see the second one until they decided to go fishing.
Luckily, I knew to look for them because I had been tipped of by Gina and Jim, who posted a nice couple of pictures on Instagram last evening. Otherwise I might have missed them altogether.
Also at the pond was this little ruby-crowned kinglet, delightfully whistling while he foraged for bugs from branch to branch, all the while teasing me with glimpses of his little ruby crown.
Lastly, I caught a glimpse of another newcomer to the pond, a female or immature Eastern Towhee (Pipilo erythrophthalmus), back from wintering approximately south of the Mason-Dixon Line and whom we haven’t seen since last May.
Meanwhile, the wood ducks, mallards, and geese were about, and the two expectant moms were still on their nests so no goslings yet. I also checked the close two robins on the river, and have nothing new to report from there yet either.