Monday, March 23, 2020

Harbingers of Spring and Happiness

     Tim and I spent a full week working from home and thankfully we have plenty to do but still, my legs needed stretching and I feared the local parks. I heard about crowds making the park appear like a day in July versus March and that 6ft was not always easy to maintain.
     So I am only opting for remote locations or cemeteries to walk and maybe see a bird or two. Yesterday I hit Green-Wood Cemetery. There were far more people in there than usual but nothing out of control. Thankfully, their strict rules on what you can/can't do there in the cemetery keep the crowds away.
     While I was really hoping to lock eyes with a timberdoodle, instead I found other birds that made me smile just as much. It stinks that this spring may be a big miss in birding during migration, but for now, I'll just embrace what I can.
Spring brings robins down from the trees. They spent the winter foraging on winter berries on trees and in bushes, right here in NY. They shift their diet back to insects and worms as the ground warms and this food becomes available again. SO robins re not a sign of spring - but their diet change is a sign of spring.

A little ray of sunshine? Yes.. but no -- it's a Pine Warbler! The warbler that tells you: ALL THE OTHER WARBLERS WILL BE HERE SOON! 
This one tree was full of 6 or more pine warblers, and they were all so brilliant and bright.

Also, serious bonus bird- the bringer of happiness, an Eastern Bluebird! I have only seen them at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn so this was a very welcome surprise!

These birds are closely related to robins, they are in the Thrush family!

This bird, appears to be female, the males are more bright in their hues.

She is beautiful none the less.

Also, tulip trees with the past remains of their flowers make for really great scenery.

The pine warblers were not socially distant, they would get really close as they foraged along the branches.

Hoe perfect are these little golden floofs?!

I have a feeling I'm being observed just as much as I'm observing them!

But I am far less interesting than potential food.
Despite being more chilly than I'd enjoy, the insects were still flying and the birds were busy hunting them.

Was delighted to see one of the whistle pigs enjoying some snacks.

For the whole winter there was one Eastern Phoebe, the there were two for some time. Then today they were everywhere, those two survivors are now among a crowd and impossible to pick out.

I don't care if there were hundreds of them around, I like them and their funny wheezy song.

A very floofy song sparrow, there were also quite a number of these birds out too. It gives a nice chance to see the large amount of variation in their hue. Some very bold, some more softer and faded. Song sparrows can vary quite a bit in their appearance.

One of the many resident mockingbirds, and yes, they are 100% judging us all.
I fear that I may not be able to do a whole lot of birding, just looking out for my health and the health of others. I hope spring bring some good visitors to our yard. We had a singing wood thrush for a number of days frequenting the yards behind and adjacent to ours, so I'll just hope for moments like that to occur.

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