Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Mountain Plovers Returned Today

A beautiful morning walk was made more grand by the songs of dozens of Western Meadowlarks and the ever present Horned Larks chattering away. As I listened to the morning chorus, a familiar and welcomed song rose from the field.- Mountain Plover? I stopped in my tracks and waited. There again it came...and another. I have been waiting for this day. I have seen in the last week the return of Red-Winged Blackbirds, Say's Phoebes, and Killdeer. Spring is really here, and it is exciting.

 As I continued my walk to school. I heard plovers again. This time I found three and watched them for ten minutes or more. The male would call to the female as he stood on the ground near her. He would tuck his body low to the ground and spread his wings out like a fan. He would dip and call and then wait. This repeated action was exciting to see on my first sighting for the year. As I waited and watched, I heard the call of a Burrowing Owl somewhere in the same field. I had a fabulous morning and can't wait for tomorrow's chorus.If no birds had been seen, then the moon setting was worth getting out early for and enjoying the spectacle.

What will be the new bird for tomorrow?

Monday, March 8, 2010

New Arrivals

It has been fun to see the change in bird life. Migration is on. The changing weather has been all over the charts - snow and ice, sunny and warm. In the middle of all of this, the birds have started to come in. I have seen the arrival of hundreds of Mountain Bluebirds and American Robins. The brilliant blues are in stark contrast with the foggy days. Many Western Meadowlarks have come into the area. Some have been here during the winter, but now are seen in mass singing throughout the day. My first sighting of Brewer's Blackbirds was yesterday.

Notable exits are the majority of the Rough-Legged Hawks and many of the Ferruginous Hawks. The last of the Snow Geese are moving north, leaving the Arkansas River area. I hope to soon be hearing the calls of other birds as they make their entrance - Sandhill Cranes, Mountain Plovers, Burrowing Owls. Then, the songs of birds will fill my early mornings. I can't wait for them.

Mountain Bluebirds in a Spring Christmas Tree

The dull overcast day, plain and uninspiring.
The sameness spread across fields of gray
with fog that hadn’t lifted.
Heavy frost coated everything.

Yet even in a dark closet,
one can find a treasure –
something unexpected
and wonderful.

The pine tree flocked with ice
delicately decorating each needle,
stood near the abandoned house,
alone and apart.

Twinkling in its branches,
hundreds of blue lights
moved in and out,
tinkling like bells.

Standing out against the
obscured backdrop,
they came and went.
A Victorian tree, simple and refined,
adorned with birds of vivid blue.