Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Spring Arrivals

Thought I'd post a brief note on recent sightings from our little half acre in the swamp. First, the firsts:

Our first returning Broad-winged Hawks were seen on 3/29. First Northern Parula was heard buzzing in the treetops on the morning of 3/30. First Yellow-throated Warbler (my favorite parulid!) graced the pines along our fence on 4/6, and this afternoon (4/7) our first Summer Tanager of the season was repeating it's "chee-eer-up" call from somewhere in the canopy, then flew down to a low perch beside our carport, as if to say "hey I'm back, remember me?"

This afternoon I also saw a flock of Anhingas soaring off to the east, and a little kettle of Broad-winged Hawks, among which there was a smaller raptor which appeared to be a kite, probably a Swallow-tailed. It was only a tiny speck in the distance, so any attempt at identification is mere speckulation. A couple of Purple Martins were circling up high, but never came anywhere near our so-called martin house, which is hopelessly infested with filthy eurotrash (European Starlings and House Sparrows - also known as K-Martins and Burger Kinglets). I'm considering a more vigorous campaign against the sparrows, maybe even resorting to violence.

Lots of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are coming to our feeders. Seed feeders don't see as much action now that the weather is warming up, but we still get passing cold fronts (lows in the 30s this morning!). We haven't had any rain since the South Texas State Fair ended. Until this year the fair had always been in the fall, but it was decided to move it to spring to avoid the peak of hurricane season (which had caused cancellations in 2005 and 2008). So for the first time the fair was in spring, and the opening night was cancelled due to intense thunderstorms. Now that's ironic.


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