Monday, February 28, 2011

Ground Truthing

Yesterday I posted a couple of screen shots from National Weather Service radar showing what appeared to be migratory movement in both Florida and Texas. I love how the kind folks who read this blog are willing to send along their observations which help us understand what is going on in far away places.

Steve Hawkins from San Antonio, Texas wrote to say that migrating geese had been observed on the 26th of Feb. in two locations around San Antonio. He knows they are migratory because geese are only reported from his county during migration.

Jeff Bouton in Port Charlotte, Florida sent a summary of some of the signs of spring in his region. Purple Martins have returned to colonies as of late January. Great Crested Flycatchers have become more vocal as they move onto territories. Chuck-Wills-Widow have started to sing just this week and Jeff also heard singing Northern Parula and Pine Warblers for the first time this spring.

Even locally there has been a noticeable change in the backyard. Northern Cardinals are becoming very vocal in spite of the cold weather and the Downy Woodpeckers are drumming away as they stake out territories for the spring. In the countryside there is an increase in the occurrence of species like Horned Larks and the American Goldfinches are just beginning to show the yellow of their Alternate (breeding) plumage.

The bird activity will only get better as time goes on. It is what keeps some of us going when it's snowing and cold in the backyard.

Keep looking up!

1 comment:

Steve said...

One bird that I have seen a lot of in the past few days here in Northern Virginia are American Robins. Normally I would see one or two, but lately I have seen flocks of 10 - 20. Seems like they are on the move up north.