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The End of Spring

May 21, 2012

It all happened so quickly, like spring does every year.  The opportunities for enjoying the bounty of the migration season were few for me this year.  And just as well, it was a more or less slow spring around here anyway.  Like last year, the birds seemed to have jumped right over us on their way north, which is just as well, my May has been a whirlwind of birthday parties, orientations, and assorted falderal which has left me with little time to reap that precious little bounty.  So by the time I have a day to spare, this past weekend, the migrants are gone.  What is left in their place is a forest filled with residents, more subdued now in the midst of their quiet nesting season, but still flashy if harder to find.

I went to Mason Farm because that’s where I always go when I just need to get out.  I intended to to do some solo birding but I found myself in a little group of four as I ran into Mike Tove, chair of the NC Records Committee, and we fell in together in that way that birders often do, chatting and birding in tandem along with a couple other fellows who happened to be nearby.  Birding in groups conveys some advantages, but I’m not sure that those advantages were best employed on this morning what with the conversations that ensued in lieu of hard core birding, but it was a pleasant morning nonetheless.

Best bird of a day completely devoid of migrants had to be the brief opportunity to study a Yellow-billed Cuckoo perched out on the open for once. Not a bird you see well nearly often enough.

Summer Tanagers were out in force, and we had a look at a nearly completed nest attended to by a pair of the birds.  It’s right next to the trail so likely something I’ll be able to follow for some time.

The Blue Grosbeak field, so named because it’s where I always find well, you know, hosted its namesake species today. A nice male set against a Carolina blue sky.

I suppose it’s easy to bemoan my own missed spring opportunities, but aside from the opportunity to see a handful of birds in their spring finery, I’ve always preferred fall migration anyway.  For one it lasts longer, from the first shorebird arrivals around the fourth of July to the last push of winter sparrows sometimes around Thanksgiving.  The birds offer much more variety and challenge and the opportunity for vagrants is significantly higher.  And best yet, it’s only about six weeks till it starts.

See ya, Spring.  Welcome, Fall.

One Comment
  1. May 22, 2012 10:57 am

    Nice shots Nate. Looks like you’re getting the hang of that new camera!

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