A glorious Spring is upon us here along the river. Several shades of green await the songbirds as they are returning to wild roses and cornflowers in bloom. The thistle will be ready to seed just in time to feed their young.
This Spring I have counted 34 species of birds along the river. It truly has been an exciting time. A few Cedar Waxwings returned this week, with many more to follow soon.
A lone Great Egret flew in and stayed for two days. He was hanging out near the Great Blue Heron rookery. He continued on his way after the storm had passed. An American White Pelican flew by the morning after the storm, he too was just passing through.
It has been fun to watch all of the Cliff Swallows this month. I stand and watch them flying and catching bugs and then return to their nests within the rocks of the cliffs. They disappear into the rocks only to return to the air a few moments later for more bug retrieval, a sure sign that their young are hatching.
The Great Blue Heron rookery now has 14 chicks. I just love when they are days old and their little heads bob around like bobble headed dolls, it is so cute. One morning as I was watching the nests a Red-winged Blackbird flew into view. He sat on the limb of a tree in the foreground with his bright red and yellow wing bars glistening in the bright morning sun. It was a beautiful contrast to all of the blue and gray of the Herons.
I am now watching two separate covey of California Quail across the river from me. I eagerly await their chicks. The Ring-necked Pheasant chicks should also be making an appearance soon.
Sunday morning greeted me with 51 American White Pelicans sitting on the rocks in the river. The next morning I was greeted by 107 of them. Some were still sleeping while others stood grooming themselves in the early morning light.
I have discovered two Western Kingbird nests. I actually caught the female bringing some nesting material to her nest the other day. In the Ash tree just to the west of her nest sits a male Yellow Warbler singing every morning. The Willows are filled with a flock of them now. I just love walking by there in the mornings.
I am watching two American Robin nests. I don’t see any eggs yet but it should be very soon. Both nests sit below the levee so I can peer into the nests with my binoculars and not disturb anything. If the parent is in the nest when I peer in I am always met eye to eye and I quickly make my exit.
With much patience and lots of observation, I have discovered the nest of a pair of Red-tailed Hawks. I have also discovered where the male has his “prey perch.” This is where he takes his food to sit and eat. The female also goes to the perch when she is not busy in the nest.
My favorite observation this month has been a male Song Sparrow who every morning at 6:30, flies over to the same perch atop a shrub and sings his little heart out. It brings a smile to my heart each and every morning.
If you would like to read about what is happening with the deer, beaver, otter, and more you can catch up by visiting my blog at https://anicraw.wordpress.com