March 12, 2012
Well fellow friends and birders . . . it is that time of year again . . . SPRING MIGRATION! It has started rather early this year, due to a combination of mild-winter and earlier-than-usual warming trends. Already the Refuge has Tree swallows passing over and feeding on clouds of midge, as well as early flocks of shorebirds like godwits, stilts, avocets and yellowlegs. Our first Yellow-headed blackbirds have been heard "cronkling" from the wetlands, and marsh wren and song sparrow males are singing and building emphatically.
It won't be long until Cliff swallows are seen scooping mud and slathering it along our building or bridge undersides. Western and Clark's grebes have begun to be seen in small pods - meaning only a month or more until dancing may begin it's graceful tete-a-tete. Large flocks of American white pelicans are already teaming up in squadrons to cordon of fish for lunch, while returning Double-crested cormorants watch them for scraps or missed morsels.
As you can see - it is quite a hive of activity at the Refuge - and as the temperature rises, so does the number of birds and species to be seen, as well as the types of activities from signing, feeding, building, mating and more. So I highly recommend an easy drive around the Auto Tour Loop to see the wonders the wetlands hold with the return of Spring!