Monday, April 15, 2013

Busy spring doings

blue jay with nest material (nest in crook of tree above)
Spring showed up all over the place at Roundtop this weekend. Bloodroot bloomed (and the blooms are already dropping). The first of many spring beauties have appeared. The first ruby-crowned kinglets are flitting through the forest. And one of the local blue jays is building a nest just past the end of the cabin. I hope to be able to watch that progress and eventually see the little blue jays. The nest is pretty far up, though, and the nest doesn’t look as though it will be very easy to see into once the babies are born, but I will try.
Ruby-crowned kinglet

The ruby-crowned kinglets were flitting through the very highest of the trees, so my photos don’t show close views. I also took a lot of photos when I looked at them later that turned out to have no ruby-crowned kinglet in them. The birds flitted away between the time I saw them and the time the shutter clicked. That’s how fast they are. In the second photo of the kinglets, the little guy looks to be singing his heart out, beak pointed at the sky, his head thrust back, giving it all he’s worth.

The blue jay holds a twig in her beak and the nest is up in the crook of the tree above her. It’s the scroungy looking pile of twigs in the crook. I hope the bird will make that nest look a little more secure by the time the nest is done. Right now it doesn’t look as though it will hold an egg inside it. Of course, it is a work in progress, so there’s still time to fix it.

Singing ruby-crowned kinglet

Buds on the oaks and beech trees that make up most of my forest are starting to look bigger, though they are still weeks away from leafing out. For once, the first in several years, the timing of spring is at least close to normal. Likely the colder March had a lot to do with that. As a result I’m anticipating a decent spring for warblers here on Roundtop, hopeful that they won’t fly past the mountain without stopping first. So far, I don’t know if I’m right or not, but it’s certainly time to start looking for them.


Scott said...

I've never found a Blue Jay nest, Carolyn, so I hope you'll keep track of this one if you can continue to observe it. I suspected that they were "casual" builders, and you've confirmed my feelings.

By the way, we spotted a Barred Owl here in the dense conifers near our office for two days last week. This is only the second time that anyone has recorded a Barred Owl here in 43 years, and the location was the same the last time we saw the species (about 5 years ago). The conifer plantation is high and dry--nowhere near the floodplain and wetland habitat preferred by Barred Owls.

Cathy said...

The maple trees are starting to bud out now and they other tree buds are finally showing some signs of life. Just need the grass to get a little more greener. So tired of brown

Carolyn H said...

Scott: I will try and watch this nest and will be able to at least until the leaves come out. I don't know if the nest will still be visible once that happens or not. I'll let you know if that nest looks any better after more work is accomplished on it.

Carolyn H said...

Scott: Barred owls are uncommon on Roundtop, too. I hear them often down at pichot State Park, but here on the mountain--too dry I think.

Carolyn H said...

Cathy: here the grass has progressed from a vaguely greenish brown to a brownish green. At least green is the more dominant color today.