Sunday, March 11, 2007
Some signs that spring is breaking out all over the Eastern Panhandle
The unmistable “conk-a-ree” territorial call of the Red-winged Blackbird (Pete Dunne’s Ember-winged Spring Herald) emanating from a small wetland in Jefferson County last Thursday (March 8th) just one day after a major storm caused temperatures to plunge well below freezing and dropped 5 inches of snow on the area. An American Robin heard calling when I opened the back door to let the dog out this morning was the first of the year for the yard, and small groups were seen in drives around the nearby countryside this afternoon.
While I’ve seen occasional Ring-billed Gulls in the vicinity of local mall parking lots—their preferred spring stopover habitat enroute from Atlantic Coast wintering grounds to Great Lakes breeding grounds—the 25-30 birds milling about the parking lot of a Rocs convenience store was definitely the largest concentration I’ve seen so far this spring.