Spring Edging In


I was pretty cozy in bed this morning but I got up early anyway. It was cold out (below freezing!) and I had woken early. I wavered. I waffled. But then I remembered that spring migration is underway. In Vermont. We’re talking a very short season. I got out of bed.

I watched the sky turn pink before the sun rose. I watched the sun rise. I listened to lots of birds singing: song sparrows, cardinals, red-winged blackbirds, phoebes, mourning doves, swamp sparrows, even  a ruby crowned kinglet. It was cold but it was a beautiful morning. How can I regret watching the sun rise on an early spring day?

I wasn’t the only one out there. Often at that hour I see no one else. OK really I almost never see anyone. And I say almost because I saw a bunch of people today. A car passed, a dog walker, a runner, a biker. I got one of each. That meant no chance of seeing ducks on the river. They are skittish. I walk as stealthily as I can as I approach the river, but if someone else has just passed, forget it. No ducks for me. I did see a wood duck pass over at one point, so at least there was that.

Every day now new birds are coming back north. I saw my first kingfisher of the season this afternoon. I also saw a flock of bohemian waxwings in Burlington this afternoon–they will soon make their own journey north, leaving these southern climes behind. I will try to get out there as often as I can these next couple of months. I would hate to miss something passing through.

Woodcocks are calling in the early evening. The sun goes down and wood peepers start wood peeping. Daffodils are starting to pop up. The buds on the trees are budding out. Sugaring season is winding up. Soon it will be green–too green to see through the woods. That makes the birding harder but it sure looks fine. I’ll get out of bed for that too.

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