Yesterday morning the first sound I heard was a yellow-throated vireo singing from the orchard to the west of our house.
The second thing I heard was Julie running into the room shouting "Get up! There's a yellow-throated vireo singing outside!"
The male YTVI was not alone. There was a red-eyed vireo out there too. And a white-eyed vireo! All of them were singing.
I was fascinated to see that the tent caterpillars were obvious all of a sudden. Perfect timing for this vital bird food source.
I hurried upstairs to get my binocs and then stepped out onto the deck. A blue-winged warbler sang from way out the meadow. I shouted the name of this new arrival in to Julie. She shouted back from the front yard with another species.
We walked the kids out to the bus, then spent about an hour on the deck listening and watching. It was sweet noting the new arrivals, after such a long wait for spring's arrival. We had a false spring with warm weather and bursting flowers. This was followed by 10 days of cold, snow flurries, and icy nights in the 20s. We were happy that few songbirds arrived early because they would have had a tough time of it
As the morning wore on and I began thinking of getting to work, the burry song of a scarlet tanager burst forth from The Point, along our north border. Then, as if we'd willed it, the male scarlet took his place at the top of an elm sapling and sang for a few minutes. What a sight for sore eyes his scarlet color was! We drank him in through the spotting scope until he moved farther into the woods.
The first male scarlet tanager of spring. The last scarlet tanager I saw here at the farm was on last year's Big Sit!
After several weeks of anticipation, with many missed early-arrival dates, spring itself arrived--in feathered form--in a big way!
All in all we had 11 new bird arrivals for Monday, April 23:
- Yellow-throated vireo
- Red-eyed vireo
- White-eyed vireo
- Hooded warbler
- Prairie warbler
- Yellow warbler
- Palm warbler
- Blue-winged warbler
- Scarlet tanager
- Wood thrush
- Louisiana waterthrush
The wood thrush and waterthrush (no relation) were heard last evening just before dusk, while we sat out in the lawn, talking to our neighbor, Dave Hawkins.
Photographic proof of a pass-through palm warbler. Too bad the camera focused on the dead willow leaves. Our broad-winged hawks got back a week ago. I have not yet heard their two note whistle, but surely will soon.
Labels: Spring Arrivals