Sunday, May 15, 2011

Here's my take on Spring 2011 in Newfoundland...

I want a "do-over!" Thinking that it really should be Spring, I went for a jaunt to the beach with my granddaughter. She was dressed in layer upon layer in an attempt to stay warm. Mittens at the beach is not my idea of spring.

The calendar says so but is it really Spring. While mostly striking out with spring birds, I have looked around for signs to remind me that "yes" it is spring. One such sign is the Spencer Girl on Military Road holding a fresh bouquet of daffodils.
The swans have been released back out to the ponds around town. Female swans are sitting their nests and the males are protecting and foraging.
The snipe are filling the skies on the outskirts of town creating their eerie winnowing sound as they fly overhead.
A pair of Song Sparrows showed up at Long Pond. I only saw them on one occasion. Where did they go?
One very special sign of Spring is the sound of bird song echoing through the trees and over the waters. The American Robin, Purple Finch and the American Goldfinch are the most prevalent song birds of the moment. I even came upon a Red-breasted Nuthatch singing away. There are scatterings of the Yellow-rumped Warbler around beginning to join in the chorus. Any day now, there should be a wave of newcomers flying in.

In the meantime there is a great deal of enjoyment to be derived by the song and beautiful "yellowing" of the American Goldfinch as they transition into the new season.
I have had a number of American Goldfinch visit my feeder this spring. They were enjoying the black-oil sunflower seeds. When I ran out and replaced the feed with a blended seed, they disappeared. They have a preference and nature is offering them an option. I have purchased more sunflower seeds and will take care of that little problem promptly.

It is interesting that niger seed is often thought of as the feed of choice for the American Goldfinch, but I offer both in my backyard buffet and they go to the sunflower seeds 95% of the time.
This great little male AG was photographed at Kent's Pond during one of those rare moments of sunshine early in the week.  There is hope that there may be some sun this week, but the time has come that I must lime and fertilize my lawn so no birding for me unless I work quickly!

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