Monday, March 26, 2007

Spring is Moving In

Last night I heard the first spring peepers here at Roundtop, though I’ve been hearing them down in the valley for a few days longer. This morning I heard, but have not yet seen, the first eastern phoebe of the spring. Two days of rain over the weekend has eliminated 12” of snow cover. The only snow that remains is a few piles or a bit of it that was protected from the rain—the underside of logs, the sheltered under-edge of a rock.

It is very muddy, of course, and with snow cover only gone by 48 hours, no spring growth is yet visible. So it is brown and wet here in the forest, though the air is already tinged with the warmer air of spring. I no longer hurry to close both the front and storm doors when I go out. I have even opened a few windows a bit and am surprised, as I am every year, by how much sound that lets into the cabin.

The birds are starting to sign in earnest now. The cardinals sing almost non-stop. Enough robins are here that their dawn chorus is fairly loud. This northern mockingbird was displaying his repertoire, which included the song of a whip-poor-will. I have never heard a whip-poor-will here on Roundtop, and though I have heard them nearby none of the songs were recent. Apparently, this mockingbird has been somewhere where he heard them.

Geese are still moving through, mostly Canada geese now. They fly mostly after dark. I hear them long before I see them, and when I do see them they are high and tiny against a dusky sky.
Today, the morning wind is from the south, so I am planning to do a little spring hawkwatching. Spring hawkwatching in this area is always chancy and rarely superb, but that never deters me. The rewards of a few broadwings or an eagle are always worth it.

1 comment:

pablo said...

I'm freshly amazed each spring and fall with the sound of geese honking in the air. They sound so close, and yet when I see the flying wedge, they are actually so far away.