Yes, we are getting some evidence that the earth is swinging into the part of its orbit past vernal equinox. Some examples:
Polyamorous (?) Hooded Mergansers in a ménage à trois …
a pair of Mallards staking out their territory for a nest:
Common (American) Merganser showing off:
Pair of Buffle Heads, probably passing through. Their life history indicates that we are on the border between their summer breeding and migration spaces. I have not (yet?) seen a family here. Now that I know where they nest, I’ll be on the lookout for them.
A summer resident, the Pied Billed Grebe is a “submarine” bird. I have never seen a family of them locally:
The Double crested Cormorants have been around for a week, just in time to feast on the local smelts which are starting to run up the Magnetawan and Still Rivers:
This fellow doesn’t seem happy to have his photo taken. “I’ll sue! I’ll sue!”, he is saying.
Phragmites are spreading their seeds along the roadsides.
Evening smoke is setting in the fields:
The Sandhill Cranes are back, turning over the grass clumps in the fields searching for grubs and the other beasties that are then rudely awakened and eaten…
This (lone) Hermit Thrush is up from wintering down south, probably looking for a mate to raise a family…..
Moss spore pods are opening …
Pussy willows buds are bursting on several local varieties of Salix.
The pinkish female “flowers” at the ends of the fingers of this Eastern White Cedar are evident now:
Miniature spring flowers are blooming in the mossy rubble on the edge of Doug and Doreen’s lawn. Perhaps a variety of Bittercress?
Up very very close:
Moss spore pods are swelling at Doug and Doreen’s also:
Now, one of my favorite spring flowers:
Up very very close: ( Surprising what this is, eh? )
And finally, a sure sign. I found these in my garden:
Mary Holland describes another favorite that is blooming in New England nowadays. I will be heading up to Key River to see them in a couple of weeks.
In the meantime I have reviewed my Ontario Spring Warbler Guide and will be watching for them every day … especially the Yellow Rumped Warblers who hang out in the big willows near Mr Lachance’s old farm.