Monday, May 06, 2013

New arrivals--all kinds

Tiger swallowtail on lilac bloom

The first goose babies have arrived! The Canada goose pair closest to my cabin just fledged a clutch of six babies. I saw them the first morning they appeared and saw them take what may well have been their first swim. Two days later all are still doing well. One might be a bit smaller than the others, but even that one seems healthy enough at least for now.
I also saw the first tiger swallowtail of the new year, here perched atop a lilac bloom. I took this photo with my phone at my father’s farm. I thought it might be a tad early for the first tiger swallowtails to be appearing, but I checked NABA, the North American Butterfly Association website, which does keep track of such things. There are no sightings recorded from my immediate area, but as best I can tell from other sightings in the surrounding states, May 5 is about right for here. The lilac blooms? Perhaps a tad early. I think of them as a Mother’s Day bloom and we’re not quite there yet.

6 new goose babies about to take their first swim

I saw three yellow-rumped warblers flitting through the trees around the cabin on Saturday. Yellow-rumped warblers are pretty little things, but they are by far the most common warbler that passes through. More than one birder I know finds yet another sighting of them kind of disappointing. “Anything but another yellow-rumped” is a comment I’ve heard more than once. Roundtop is not a great warbler spot, so I’m not quite so jaded. For a while I was thinking I wouldn’t have any warblers to report this year, so even a yellow-rumped warbler is something of a relief. Still, now that I’ve seen them, I will be happy to see any other warbler than is not a yellow-rumped.
The rest of my summer birds are mostly here and singing. The wood thrush have arrived in numbers, as have the ovenbirds. The only voice missing from the usual chorus is the eastern pewee, always the last to join the crowd.
The weather was gorgeous here this week, though I feel as though I didn't make the most of it as I should have. I was about to leave for a walk when a chicken mini-crisis occurred. At the time, I thought it was a full-scale major crisis and that one of my girls had been snatched in broad daylight by something, probably a fox as I couldn't think of anything else that would snatch her without a trace and be gone in seconds.  Doodle the rooster made frantic warning sounds. The other girls rushed to the juniper bush and hid, gathering together in a pile making themselves as flat as they could.  They were scared and wouldn't come out, not even for me to put them back into their pen.  Doodle wouldn't quiet down for the longest time.  I was convinced I'd lost another chicken. And then after an hour, she strolled out from under another bush. She was hiding too, but by herself and across the way from the others. So what scared them so badly?  I have no idea.  All are safe and all of them are inside today.


Cathy said...

Love that picture of butterfly! Glad to hear you didn't lose a chicken. Speaking of animals, how are your dogs doing? It's been awhile since you talk about them.

Trees are really starting to come out here. Have picture but I'll post them tomorrow afternoon.

Granny Sue said...

We're trying to attract more songbirds and migratory ones too, but right now we're battling those durned cowbirds. Do you have them? Larry made the mistake of putting out corn for the blue jays and that seemed to bring in cowbirds. Yuck.

I did have one exciting sighting this week--a rose-breasted grosbeak! I'll post photos on my blog soon. I have never seen one here in the 40 years I've lived here. I was so excited! No warblers sighted yet, even though we usually do see a few every year. Baltimore orioles, yellow warblers, and a few others have come here in the past but none this year. Maybe they're late?

Carolyn H said...

Cathy: Thanks! Baby Dog is fine. Dog is pretty frail.

Carolyn H said...

Granny Sue: I have cowbirds, but not tons of them, fortunately. I probably a couple each year.

You've had rose-breasted grosbeak already? That seems a tad early, as it will only be this week that might get to see one, if I get to see one here. Gorgeous birds! I've had yellow-rumped warblers already. No orioles yet. I'm hoping for a few this week. They nest here, so I'm sure to see them eventually.