|One of Brad Snelling's amazing Yellow-bellied Sapsucker photos. Copyright 2020 by Brad Snelling|
I’d expected my neighborhood to be relatively quiet with the shutdown, but there are just as many traffic sounds as usual, I heard my first lawn mower last week, and someone’s been running a chain saw a lot lately; meanwhile, people’s furnaces continue to fire up, giving an incessant hum to the background of my raw recordings. But my male robin has been singing a lot throughout the day as his mate scouts out nesting sites. He’s defending his territory and reminding his mate that he’s a fine and sturdy singer. So despite the noises, on Saturday I did make a pretty good recording.
By Saturday, I had half a dozen Yellow-rumps, along with a couple of Ruby-crowned Kinglets, a Hermit Thrush and a couple of Brown Creepers.
I’ll set out hummingbird and oriole feeders on May 1—we don’t usually have either show up before Mother’s Day, but you never know, and ones that jump the gun really do need extra calories. And Russ set out my birdbath with the little running waterfall yesterday, so birds should start turning up there, too. Catbirds and Rose-breasted Grosbeaks should appear in the next several days along with a few more warblers. With the first burst of warm weather, we’ll start seeing White-crowned and Harris’s Sparrows, Brown Thrashers, and the first vireos. All this is filling my heart with gladness.
As always seems to happen in my aspen tree, checking out its branches on Thursday revealed my first Yellow-bellied Sapsucker of the year, sipping sap in the upper branches. Saturday I took some very poor backlit, distant photos, but that very same day, my good friend Brad Snelling, from the College of St. Scholastica, managed to take some of the finest sapsucker photos I’ve ever seen. Brad was nice enough to let me share a couple of his photos on my blog—make sure you check it out.