Nature Notes by Bonnie Dundas
After a long winter, we finally come to May. April brought us some sunshine and a lot of rain, with the first glimmerings of green and early flowers. We saw a lot of yellow: colt’s foot, daffodils, forsythia, cornelian cherry, catkins on willows, marsh marigolds, trout lilies, goldfinches, glowing yellow lores on white-throated sparrows, and newly-arrived honey bees. The first butterflies are appearing. Turtles are sunning on logs in the pond. Magnolias are blooming. Spring peepers and American toads sing on warm, rainy days. Summer birds are starting to arrive and the dawn chorus sounds like an orchestra tuning up for the big concert. It seems as if every day a new bird arrives: Canada geese, great blue herons, hooded mergansers, wood ducks, turkey vultures, phoebes, chipping sparrows, yellow-bellied sapsuckers, eastern towhees, ruby-throated kinglets, and best of all, a pair of evening grosbeaks that made a short stop-over to wherever they were going. I look forward to each day to see what is new and exciting on our little piece of Vermont heaven!
This is a good time to clean out your birdhouses, birdbaths and birdfeeders. Hummingbirds and orioles will be back any day. You can put up your nectar and fruit feeders now.
What is your favorite summer bird? Beautiful Rose-breasted Grosbeaks? Wrens with their cheerful chatter? Breathtaking indigo buntings? Members of the thrush family with their sweet songs? Towhees with their ‘drink your tea’ song? One of the many sparrows that can be so hard to tell apart but are so unique when you get to know them? Or one of the lovely, fluttery warblers that never stop moving? A walk around the Mile-Around Woods in North Bennington with your family has many opportunities for nature sightings and photographs. Wildflowers and birds abound there.
Ellen in Shaftsbury called to share the arrival of an unexpected pair of Hooded Mergansers on her pond. Barb in Bennington called to report her resident Barred owl is still at her house, while Spring Peepers and flickers are announcing spring has arrived. Let me know what signs of spring you are experiencing. 802-447-7433 or [email protected]