More Signs Of Spring

chescobob(z6b SEPA)March 9, 2009

After over 3 decades in the city, I've been out in the country in SW Chester County for 5 years now. Here are some signs I saw this morning.

The Canada Geese are flying high and in large numbers over the house. They are moving north for the Spring.

The chickadees have been flying in 2s and 4s here. I replaced one of their houses over the weekend that a woodpecker mauled. As soon as I was finished, a chickadee checked it out. After it was done checking it out, it flew at eye level to a tree near me and gave me a few chirps. I suppose that's chickadee for "good job." The chickadees were checking all 3 boxes this morning.

The vultures were enjoying the March winds and playing in the thermals.

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stimpy926

I was at Longwood yesterday morning for a bird walk. We too saw many formations of canadian geese, and snow geese, sometimes mixed formations. We saw red wing blackbirds, many song sparrows, a couple bluebirds, and hawks, which silenced everything for a while.

The lawn along Conservatory Road is filled with tommies blooming.

I have many more Galanthus up now, and more Crocus chrysanthus, Eranthis is very prominent now. Helleborus nigers are open. The daffodil foliage spiked 3 or 4 inches over the weekend. I have some very early variety daffodils in bloom right now. My Cornus Mas is just about ready to bloom.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2009 at 1:33PM
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chescobob(z6b SEPA)

I was going to take my Mother to Longwood yesterday but the wind picked up and I decided to wait for a better day. She will be 90 within 2 months. If it gets warm soon, I'll remember to look on Conservatory Road.

I forgot to add that the mockingbirds are showing interest in each other now. Also, they are seeking food in the grass. I've been very lucky with mockingbird chicks the last 2 years.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2009 at 5:25PM
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stimpy926

Would you believe I recently found 2 vulture eggs (not at Longwood!), 1 in the process of hatching, which I didn't see through my lens at the time - look at right one on bottom.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2009 at 8:00PM
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suzannie41(PA-Zn 6)

Paula, what a beautiful photo!!

Bob, I cannot wait to get out in the garden again. The ground is still a bit muddy from the recent snow melting, but I do see signs of Spring - hyacinths pushing through the soil is a welcome sight. Hubby is making a bluebird nesting box, since we've seen bluebirds in the area.

Sue

    Bookmark   March 11, 2009 at 6:59AM
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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

Wow Paula! Cool shot. I'm curious to know just where one finds vulture eggs.... not in your yard I suspect. Are they wild?

For two days we were in April, now it's back to March weather, but before the cold came back the snowdrops had time to come up, the eranthis opened and the pussywillow and witch hazel both started to put on a show. The hellebores are still a bit behind.

What a difference with the birds. I hear them singing every morning and even saw my first robin yesterday.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 9:11PM
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stimpy926

We found them in an abandoned commercial building down the road from us. A few of us went exploring. Mama waited in the tree outside the broken window until we were done visiting. The room had the foulest odor I've ever encountered. I held my breath to enter and get close to take the picture.

They typically lay 2 eggs, do not build nests, and lay them on rock outcroppings , caves, in sheds...hence here in this building.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 7:40PM
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chescobob(z6b SEPA)

Paula:

Wow, black vultures.

In the woods out back, there are a number of rock outcroppings. I can tell when something is up because both the black and turkey vultures will land on the ground in the woods where the outcroppings are.

The vultures are meeting regularly in the woods towards the end of the day and I counted 58 sitting together today.

suzannie41:

I've tried for 3 years now to get bluebirds. They look, they sit on the boxes, but they don't stay. I'm still hoping.

The ground here is very dry. We didn't have much snow this Winter and not much rain either.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 8:19PM
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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

heh heh, I love it that the phone is on the windowsill along with the vulture. I wonder what the former office workers would think if they saw how things are going.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 8:52PM
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stimpy926

Bob, wow, 58 of them?! Have you gotten closer to the rocks to check out the activity?

kato, the building would make a great Haunted House at Halloween,, I joked about it with the others, but there are none in our area, and I think it would work. I'd have to get clearance from the vultures though ;-)

    Bookmark   March 14, 2009 at 10:20PM
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chescobob(z6b SEPA)

Paula:

The vultures are out in the woods every evening now. On Sunday, I saw a black vulture fly down to the ground where one of the outcroppings is. So, one of them must be nesting--if that is what a vulture does in the rocks.

I went down near an outcropping two years ago to see if a vulture was nesting there. I did see vulture droppings on some of the rocks so they were there. However, I decided not to go further because I was told that vultures defend themselves by barfing on what is threatening them. I didn't want to be a vulture barf-bag so I stayed at a distance.

However, I did observe the mating ritual of turkey vultures out back in the yard.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2009 at 10:16PM
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Pipersville_Carol(z6 Bucks PA)

Amazing egg shot!

And you should sell that vulture/office phone photo to CNN. They can use it to illustrate their next story about the economy.

I was in New Hope last summer, at a restaurant patio on the river. On the roof of the theatre next door, a small flock of vultures sat silently with their wings extended, drying in the sunshine. It was fascinating to be so close to them. Their wingspan is HUGE.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2009 at 1:43PM
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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

a single robin arrived last week, followed 2 days later by an invasion of 75-100 robins (which is alot for my small yard!). I guess a flock stopped in for a pitstop. Things are now at the normal summer levels of 4-5 birds.

Another less welcome sign of spring was a flock of cowbirds at the feeder. I guess I have to stop putting out the cracked corn and the doves will have to fend for themselves.

oh... and one more sign of spring is the spotty look the goldfinches have taken on. They are starting to get a few yellow feathers coming in here and there and I guess will soon have their bright summer color back. This is the first year I've seen this change since in the former more enclosed and wooded garden they were a rare visitor.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 8:47PM
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