Thursday, April 19, 2012

Common Grackle Just Appeared

After working indoors for three months and trying to take care of the business that I left unattended over the last three weeks, it is a wonderful relief to get out in the record-breaking warmth to look around for returning birds. I was not disappointed.
 I have seen a Common Grackle at a distance a couple of times near Strawberry Marsh Road over the winter. However, there was never an opportunity to get a really good look.
Yesterday, I was driving down Blackhead Road when I spotted two blackbirds sitting in a tree top. There was no mistaking them with their long, sleek lines, it was two Common Grackle. With luck on my side, they flew across the road and headed straight for a yard with regular feed. I quickly stopped and began inching my way up the driveway. I'm always a little hesitant about that, but there was a car in the driveway and I would happily ask the home owner if I could take a few pictures.
As it turned out, no one came out but the grackles sat in a tree for a while and then flew to the ground to pick at the corn feed. They were watchful but apparently very hungry, too. I moved as closely as I dared not to flush them and began snapping pictures.  These birds move so differently from others with numerous angular poses.

Suddenly, I thought I caught sight of a small raptor among the trees and all of the little birds, including juncos, Pine Siskins and the grackles, lifted off and disappeared into the woods. I decided not to wait for their return as I was quite satisfied to have even seen them at all.

Each day now will be a wonder. Migrating birds are beginning to appear all around us and I hope to see one of every species. It seems that birds are returning a little early this year and that suits me just fine.

Note:  I have now updated my eBird list with all of my Newfoundland birds.  Down the line, I will add birds that I have seen in Arkansas. Now, all I have to do is enter my bird sightings as they occur.  I want to thank Jared Clarke for following this process and helping me to ensure the information is accurate.

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