As the days get into the 40’s and the snow slowly melts, it’s great for Vermont’s maple syrup producers but also a spring tonic for birds and birders. Suddenly, there’s a lot more avian vocal activity in our woods and it is heartening. Yesterday morning on an early walk, I noticed all the different calls and songs coming from the ubiquitous Black-capped Chickadees who have toughed it out all winter and ready to celebrate.
Then, further up in our woods, I heard the distinctive call of a Red-shouldered Hawk off in the trees. I listened for five or ten minutes but when I tried to get a little closer, either the dog or I may have spooked it. Mary thinks she saw it later in the day. We’ve had a family or two of RSHA’s in the area for the last few years and it’s nice to have them back.
I heard some tentative singing from what sounded like a Golden-crowned Kinglet mixed in with chickadee calls. I had my iPhone and played a recording briefly, and that kinglet just let it fly. It sang for five or ten minutes but other than a brief glimpse, I never did get a good look. I moved on as it merrily kept cranking out it’s territorial song.
It was only a week or so ago when I was searching for Red-winged Blackbirds and excited to see my first of the year. Now, they are everywhere. At Berlin Pond yesterday, dozens sang from trees and cattail stalks in a wonderful chorus of Konk-kor-ree’s. I even saw a dozen or more fly over this morning on their way further north. They are truly a sound of spring.
This morning, out again early with the dog, I heard, over the tin horn tooting of a Red-breasted Nuthatch, some Canada Geese. Sure enough, a small skein of honkers noisily flew over on their way north. It’s a little unusual — we are not on a normal flight path for them so it was fun to watch them, and hear them, drown out the other birds as they motored north. Now, to hear some Eastern Bluebirds, White-throated Sparrows, and the first warblers.