Early Arrivals, Old Friends, and Surprises

An American Goldfinch at sunrise, March 22, 2015, "Early Arrivals, Old Friends, and Surprises."

An American Goldfinch at sunrise, March 22, 2015.

I heard a Killdeer singing through the open windows one of the days in the second week of March. It was the first time this year. When I closed the windows in the evening, three robins were milling about in the grass. I was happy for these signs of spring.

The next week, on March 17th, I went to the park to leave bird seed by the marsh for the sparrows. I was wondering if the American Tree Sparrows were still here. They spend the summer in the far north. I saw a few of them that day and later in the week. Meadowlarks were running through the grasses looking for food. I was surprised by a female Eastern Bluebird who paused for a moment on a parking lot sign.

On Friday, March 20th, I went to the park before sunrise hoping to see one of the Muskrats swimming in the pond. I passed an American Robin singing from a small tree near the marsh. The pond surface was empty. As I walked up the stairs to my apartment, I heard the song of a Northern Cardinal. I went back down the stairs to look for him in the tree line. He was flying from tree to tree only stopping long enough to sing a few lines.

The next day, I returned to the pond before sunrise. Redhead ducks were swimming and diving in the middle of the pond. There were three males and five females. They were migrating through the area. I left them as the sun rose. A Red-winged Blackbird was singing and showing his feathers near the marsh as I walked by on my way home. After the Red-winged Blackbird flew away, a Western Meadowlark started singing from a nearby tree. A Chipmunk scampered along the rocks. It was the first time I had seen the Chipmunk since the fall.

On Sunday morning, March 22nd, I visited the pond again. There was still no sign of the Muskrats. I saw a male Goldfinch whose feathers were turning their summer yellow. There was one American Tree Sparrow in the marsh.

The next Tuesday, I went by the park after running. A little duck was swimming and diving in the pond. It was a female Bufflehead duck. Like the Redhead ducks, she was visiting the pond on her way north.

Sunshine brought me back to the park on March 26th. A pair of Mallard ducks had the pond to themselves. Tucked in the reeds of the marsh, a Song Sparrow was singing.

March 17, 2015

An American Tree Sparrow in the dried grasses by the marsh, March 17, 2015, "Early Arrivals, Old Friends, and Surprises."

An American Tree Sparrow in the dried grasses by the marsh, March 17, 2015.

An American Tree Sparrow in the dried grasses at the edge of the marsh, March 17, 2015, "Early Arrivals, Old Friends, and Surprises."

An American Tree Sparrow in the dried grasses by the marsh, March 17, 2015.

A Song Sparrow searching for bird seed in the dried grasses at the edge of the marsh, March 17, 2015, "Early Arrivals, Old Friends, and Surprises."

A Song Sparrow searching for bird seed in the dried grasses at the edge of the marsh, March 17, 2015.

An Eastern Meadowlark in the dried grasses, March 17, 2015, "Early Arrivals, Old Friends, and Surprises."

A Meadowlark in the dried grasses, March 17, 2015.

An Eastern Meadowlark in the dried grasses, March 17, 2015, "Early Arrivals, Old Friends, and Surprises."

A Meadowlark in the dried grasses, March 17, 2015.

An Eastern Bluebird perched on a parking lot sign, March 17, 2015, "Early Arrivals, Old Friends, and Surprises."

An Eastern Bluebird pausing for a moment on a parking lot sign, March 17, 2015.

March 20, 2015

An American Robin singing at dawn, March 20, 2015, "Early Arrivals, Old Friends, and Surprises."

An American Robin singing at dawn, March 20, 2015.

A video of an American Robin singing at dawn, March 20, 2015.

A Killdeer feeding at the edge of the pond, March 20, 2015, "Early Arrivals, Old Friends, and Surprises."

A Killdeer feeding at the edge of the pond, March 20, 2015.

A Northern Cardinal early in the morning, March 20, 2015, "Early Arrivals, Old Friends, and Surprises."

A Northern Cardinal early in the morning, March 20, 2015.

March 21, 2015

A flock of Redhead ducks feeding and swimming in the shallow end of the pond at dawn, March 21, 2015, "Early Arrivals, Old Friends, and Surprises."

A flock of Redhead ducks feeding and swimming in the shallow end of the pond at dawn, March 21, 2015.

A flock of Redhead ducks feeding and swimming in the shallow end of the pond at dawn, March 21, 2015, "Early Arrivals, Old Friends, and Surprises."

A flock of Redhead ducks feeding and swimming in the shallow end of the pond at dawn, March 21, 2015.

A flock of Redhead ducks feeding and swimming in the shallow end of the pond at dawn, March 21, 2015, "Early Arrivals, Old Friends, and Surprises."

A flock of Redhead ducks feeding and swimming in the shallow end of the pond at dawn, March 21, 2015.

A flock of Redhead ducks feeding and swimming in the shallow end of the pond at dawn, March 21, 2015, "Early Arrivals, Old Friends, and Surprises."

A flock of Redhead ducks feeding and swimming in the shallow end of the pond at dawn, March 21, 2015.

Three videos of the Redhead ducks diving, swimming, and feeding, March 21, 2015. The Mallard ducks make an appearance in the second video.

A Red-winged Blackbird singing and showing his feathers early in the morning, March 21, 2015, "Early Arrivals, Old Friends, and Surprises."

A Red-winged Blackbird singing and showing his feathers early in the morning, March 21, 2015.

A Red-winged Blackbird singing and showing his feathers early in the morning, March 21, 2015, "Early Arrivals, Old Friends, and Surprises."

A Red-winged Blackbird singing and showing his feathers early in the morning, March 21, 2015.

A Red-winged Blackbird flying from his perch on the top of a small tree near the marsh, March 21, 2015, "Early Arrivals, Old Friends, and Surprises."

A Red-winged Blackbird flying from his perch on the top of a small tree near the marsh, March 21, 2015.

A video of a Red-winged Blackbird singing and showing his feathers, March 21, 2015.

An Eastern Meadowlark facing the early morning sun, March 21, 2015, "Early Arrivals, Old Friends, and Surprises."

A Western Meadowlark facing the early morning sun, March 21, 2015.

An Eastern Meadowlark singing early in the morning, March 21, 2015, "Early Arrivals, Old Friends, and Surprises."

A Western Meadowlark singing early in the morning, March 21, 2015.

A video of a western meadowlark singing early in the morning from a tree near the marsh, March 21, 2015.

A Chipmunk on the rocks near the trees, March 21, 2015, "Early Arrivals, Old Friends, and Surprises."

A Chipmunk on the rocks near the trees, March 21, 2015.

March 22, 2015

An American Robin singing at sunrise, March 22, 2015, "Early Arrivals, Old Friends, and Surprises."

An American Robin singing at sunrise, March 22, 2015.

An American Goldfinch at sunrise, March 22, 2015, "Early Arrivals, Old Friends, and Surprises."

An American Goldfinch at sunrise, March 22, 2015.

An American Goldfinch at sunrise, March 22, 2015, "Early Arrivals, Old Friends, and Surprises."

An American Goldfinch at sunrise, March 22, 2015.

An American Goldfinch at sunrise, March 22, 2015, "Early Arrivals, Old Friends, and Surprises."

An American Goldfinch at sunrise, March 22, 2015.

An American Tree Sparrow in the marsh early in the morning, March 22, 2015, "Early Arrivals, Old Friends, and Surprises."

An American Tree Sparrow in the marsh early in the morning, March 22, 2015.

March 24, 2015

A female Bufflehead duck swimming in the pond before a storm, March 24, 2014, "Early Arrivals, Old Friends, and Surprises." The Bufflehead duck visited the pond on her way north.

A female Bufflehead duck swimming in the pond before a storm, March 24, 2014. The Bufflehead duck visited the pond on her way north.

March 26, 2015

A pair of Mallard ducks swimming in the pond at sunrise, March 26, 2015, "Early Arrivals, Old Friends, and Surprises."

A pair of Mallard ducks swimming in the pond at sunrise, March 26, 2015.

A video of a Song Sparrow singing a duet with a Western Meadowlark, March 26, 2015. The Song Sparrow was sheltering in the marsh. The Eastern Meadowlark was perched on a nearby tree.

Take care and thanks for reading.

Sarah

About Sarah

nature, outdoor, and health enthusiast, book reader, and runner
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2 Responses to Early Arrivals, Old Friends, and Surprises

  1. Shady_Grady says:

    You’ve been quite busy. I like the pictures of the ducks at dawn and the robin.

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Shady ๐Ÿ™‚
      Thanks for visiting. ๐Ÿ™‚ The park looks unassuming from the sidewalk, but it is bustling with activity during the warmer months. In the winter, the birds keep a low profile. They mostly chirp to one another and stay in the trees. The second week in March, we had late April weather. Since then, the birds have been more active and the plants have started to grow. The Redhead ducks were a surprise. I wish I would have stayed later that day until the light was brighter. It was a cold morning, though. After 20 minutes of standing as still as I could, I had to move around to warm up. It was a lot of fun watching them dive. They looked like a synchronized diving team. ๐Ÿ™‚

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