Monday, April 27, 2009


When I arrived at Prairie Pond Woods on Thursday morning, I walked the Refresher Course and heard or saw the usual, over-wintering suspects, plus some recent, mid-April visitors...Tree Swallow (in pic), Brown Thrasher, Ruby Crowned Kinglet and Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher. I even noticed an Eastern Bluebird pair darting in and out of an old nesting box (Evidently, we put the new ones up too late or they just don't like the decor).

Then, during the night, late summer arrived on a very warm front up from the south. We went from 60's to 80's overnight. But what also arrived Friday morning, no doubt helped by that warm wind at their backs, were about 9 species of neo-tropical birds! I made note of Blue-winged, Prairie, Hooded and Black & Whitle warblers, and spotted several Ovenbirds in the woods, along with the ever-lovely Scarlet Tanager and Indigo Bunting. Then I topped it all off hearing the unique songs of the Wood Thrush, White-eyed Vireo and Yellow-breasted Chat! As I was leaving on Sun, I'm pretty sure I heard a Common Yellow-throat, too.

It made me happy that these migrants had a good tail wind on at least part of their return from South or Central America to my own little plot of land just a few miles, "as the warbler flies," from the Ohio River. I'm filled with awe that they arrive just when the caterpillars and other insects emerge from various egg casings and other winter confinements.

We should all be filled with gratitude for the way they help balance the bug population!
The week before, just after dawn and an overnight rain, I took a walk in the woods. Scattered all over the forest floor were thousands of white spider webs showing up against the rain-darkened leaf litter.

The picture just doesn't do it justice because they were in every direction and far as I could see. Now that's a smorgasbord just waiting for Ovenbirds, Towhees and the Wood Trush!

Next Post: All the Wildflowers seen, smelled, touched and enjoyed!!!