Starting to get on Spring’s good side…

With any luck, we are finally done with snow and heavy overnight frost. Today I got away without wearing my poofy coat for the first time this season, and I mostly left my gloves in my pocket.

Another noticeable change is that the chiffchaff are back and singing up a storm. This morning it was sometimes difficult to hear other birds over the chorus of chiffchaffs busily announcing their arrival, but it’s always great to see that kind of enthusiasm.


The black-headed gulls have finally grown their black head-feathers back out.


Here’s one of the feisty little squawk-boxes suggesting to a buzzard that it soar over someone else’s pond.


Here’s a better look at that buzzard’s pretty underside.


Speaking of gulls, here’s another new one for us, a common gull (Larus canus) this time. It has grey wings and back, like a herring gull, but is almost as small as a black-headed gull, has a reddish ring on its bill almost like a ring-billed gull, and has dark eyes.


Speaking of new birds, here is yet another wading bird that I’ve never seen before, the striking pied avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta), back perhaps from wintering along the northern coast of Africa. There were three of them, and even though they flitted around a bit, they kept about a couple hundred yards away, so I’m thrilled that the pictures came out as clear as they did.


Meanwhile the Egyptian goose goslings, which we first saw just last month, have already more than doubled in size, and are even starting to get their adult plumage in.


Finally, flowers are blooming everywhere, mostly crocuses and daffodils so far, but these actually look wild, and I believe they are the same marsh marigolds (Caltha palustris) we see in Estabrook Park, but not until April. It appears that the Dutch call them spindotterbloem, which Google translates to spider marigold.


Published by Andrew Dressel

Theoretical and Applied Bicycle Mechanic, and now, apparently, Amateur Naturalist. In any case, my day job is teaching mechanics at UWM.

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