Bird brained stories!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The last winter bird?

The record snowfall is already receding, swelling to flood stage many of the valley rivers and streams common to coulee country. We enjoyed some spring-like weather earlier in the week, though it's returned to the 30s the past few days.

Still, signs of spring in the form of migrating birds appear every day. The Robins and Kildeers are back. Raptors are streaming north along the river, Turkey Vultures are returning to clear our roadsides of all the roadkill. I saw a Song Sparrow the other day at the Kickapoo Valley Reserve Visitors Center and heard one singing yesterday.The Peregrines were sailing over downtown LaCrosse last weekend, checking out the nest box on the US Bank building. Sandhills are returning, as are some of the Whooping Cranes. And early morning, I am again wakened by the chorus of singing birds outside my window. It's coming!

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Lone Horned Lark

I captured this Horned Lark on a day when the snow was just starting to melt. I often see them on this road as I travel to work, but this particular day, I wasn't working, so I was free to stop. I was pleased to confirm the presence along with about 50 Horned Larks of some Lapland Longspurs. I knew they had to be out there, but now could legitimately add them to my life list. As I reviewed this photo the other day, I thought to myself that this might well be my last "winter" bird, as they head back north.

Not quite. Walking the dog yesterday afternoon, I enjoyed hearing that tinkling call, then watching one fly over to the next vacant field. Maybe that will be the last winter bird, but I don't mourn. If it is, it means that the excitement of spring migration isn't far off.

Postscript-I noticed that this day's posting is exactly my two year anniversary of starting this blog. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts in the comments these past two years!


  • Good to see you again, Gwyn (c:

    By Blogger Amy, at 4:57 PM  

  • Hi Gwen,

    Congratulations on the Star Tribune notice! You go, girl!

    Hope you are feeling better and over your crud soon.

    By Blogger birdchick, at 1:51 PM  

  • I went down to help put a peregrine nestbox on the bluff in Lansing, IA on Tuesday. I've never seen so many bald eagles in my life - especially on 26 between the Highway 61 turnoff until New Albion, IA. You are very lucky to live in the Coulee region - it is one of my favorite places!


    By Anonymous Amy, at 9:22 PM  

  • Awesome picture. I forget what snow looks like sometimes as well as how magical those first signs of spring can be.

    By Anonymous James, at 6:52 PM  

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