Monday, March 29, 2010

Bright spots in the gloom

Weather and birds are funny and don’t always do what you might expect. After a balmy week, the temperature on Saturday morning was a chilly 20 degrees and the day was overcast and gloomy. Sunday proved to be a bit warmer but was still as gloomy, so my expectations for a Sunday morning birding run were not high. But the time of year is right, despite questionable weather, and I added 7 species to my 2010 list—blue-winged teal, great egret, double-crested cormorant, pied-billed grebe, tree swallows, rough-winged swallows and the first butterbutts of the season.

Butterbutts are a birder’s slang term for yellow-rumped warblers, which are usually the first warbler to appear in the spring. In this area of the hemisphere, they are the Myrtle race or subspecies of yellow-rumpeds. For some time, the two were thought to be a separate species, but not all that many years ago they were lumped in with the western birds and are, for the moment at least, considered a single species.

Mud and rain are still the dominant barriers to deep woods forays and better photographs around my cabin. I did manage to get my car into and out of a muddy two-lane access road on Sunday morning, but I was a bit lucky on the getting out part.

This morning the fog was so dense that I couldn’t see where I was walking, with or without my headlamp. Dog uncharacteristically hung back, too. I don’t think he could see any better. We are both hoping for improving weather, though we aren’t likely to see any before late on Tuesday.


LauraHinNJ said...

I'm missing the sun too, Carolyn!

Pablo said...

keep the faith! Summer will come on the mountain!

Carolyn H said...

Laura: i hope your rain from this latest storm wasn't too bad. I was worried about my basement but got sideswiped by the storm and missed the worst of it.

Carolyn H.

Carolyn H said...

Pablo: I can do without summer, but i'm ready for a little sun!

Carolyn h