First Day of Spring

Although it’s officially the first day of spring and despite much of the last couple of months having above freezing temperatures, we received some snow and temperatures down into the 20s. Today sunny skies prevailed and as has been the case on several days over the past week or so, I noticed there were fresh … Read more

Spring Evening

A fairly full day didn’t see me spend much time outside. It was mostly cloudy or overcast throughout the day, and we even got a bit of light rain, our first in a week or so, but only just enough to make the ground wet. I stepped outside this evening and snapped a photo of the Verstovia with the clouds nearly gone from the peak. I also took pictures of two of the several sparrows that continue to hangout among the crab pots in the neighbor’s yard.

I suspect the Song Sparrow(s) that have been there recently are first year birds or females. I have heard one singing, but not the full-on songs from a prominent perch like I’ve been hearing elsewhere in the neighborhood and beyond. The singing has been a more continuous sort – maybe a whisper song? Though it’s quieter than the regular songs, it’s not exactly a whisper. I’m not sure how quiet whisper songs typically are, though. Maybe stage whispers count.

Speaking of Song Sparrows, I checked on my observations for the year and I’m up to 149. Well short of the pace for 1000 by year’s end, but the pace has picked up in the last couple of weeks with all the singing birds. No doubt things will slow down dramatically by late fall, so if I have a hope of getting to my target, I’ll need to get a lot of observations in over the next few months. I started a map with notes on the Song Sparrows I’ve been observing and have been updating it regularly.

Song Sparrow Map

On the 1000 species front, I probably have a similar number so far, but I’ve not been keeping careful count yet, and have many observations (with photos) I need to get recorded.

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Mostly Clear Skies

This entry is part 5 of 24 in the series 2012 Photojournal

For the first time in what seems like weeks, it skies were more clear than not. We didn’t do too much outside, but did take a short walk up the lower part of Gavan Trail. An Anna’s Hummingbird was visiting the feeder periodically – I hoped to get pictures, but didn’t manage to catch it … Read more

Snow and Clearing Skies

The clouds broke up over town this morning after snow overnight. By around noon, it was again completely overcast and the snow started shortly thereafter. Coincidentally, the kids and I headed over to SJ since someone had suggested frisbee for those college students back in town for the holiday. A couple of other people showed up, and Connor and I played catch with them for a while (Rowan joined at the end, but spent most of the time helping other kids with a snowman and doing a little sledding). I was impressed that Connor was able to keep his hands warm without gloves on – he told me they only got cold when he took a tumble as we were walking back toward home, and I had given him a long throw to chase after. It snowed pretty hard the whole time we were there, with a decent breeze blowing in from the west or northwest (it was a little hard to tell, as it didn’t seem very steady).

Around 2pm or a little after, the clouds started to break up again, and we were treated to some nice light as the sun was going down.

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Swan Lake

It turned out to be pleasant weather for Christmas. Winds were calm and the clouds broke up a bit in the afternoon. I took a short walk to Swan Lake to see what was around before going to eat dinner with family.

Was fairly quiet at the lake, though I was interested to a male Common Merganser cruising around – they mostly stick to salt water and rivers around here, in my experience. A lone Trumpeter Swan was resting near the peninsula, offering easy views, and a first year Glaucous Gull was bathing in the lake before coming to shore to preen.

Before I left, the sun broke out a bit on Verstovia – it was nice to see the bright snow and blue sky behind the broken clouds.

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