Friday, March 08, 2024

Friday Ramble - Homecoming

Jubilant skeins of of geese fly in from the south, and they sing their return in noisy unison. The congregations headed further north are so high they are almost invisible among the clouds, their voices only faint honkings on the wind.

Mallard ducks were the first returnees, and they splash about in the open coves of local rivers and ponds, their shiny green heads visible from a distance. In our favorite lake, rafts of diving ducks like scaup and goldeneye bob like corks in the current, and there are a few mergansers about. Ditches and roadside puddles are full of happy quackers voicing their pleasure at being home again.

A solitary heron perches on the shore at the lake and wonders why on earth she has come home so early in the season. Trumpeter swans and loons have more sense, and they return later, waiting until there is enough open water for their outsize landing gear.

In the woods, there are larks and killdeer, beaky snipe and woodcock, grosbeaks, spring warblers and flycatchers. Above them, the graceful "v" shapes (dihedrals) of turkey vultures soar majestically over the countryside, rocking effortlessly back and forth in flight. From below, the light catches their silvery flight feathers and dark wing linings, and the great birds are as magnificent as any eagle.

A solitary goshawk perches in a bare tree on the hill, and a pair of harriers describe perfect, languid circles over the western field. All three are hungry, and they train their fierce yellow eyes on the field below, ardently scanning the ground for a good meal.

This morning, a male cardinal is singing his heart out in the ash tree in the garden, and an unidentified sparrow lifts its voice somewhere in the chilly darkness. Even the weather foretold for the next few days will be a friend. After an unseasonably warm winter and scant snowfall, we need rain, lots and lots of rain.


Dee said...


cheryl said...

Aren't the sounds of Spring wonderful. I have Robins, Blue Jays, Cardinals, Doves, Junco's, Chickadee's, Nuthatches and a wily Hawk in my town garden. said...

Such a beautiful kaleidoscope of returning Spring you have given us, Cate. EVery morning I look forward to being gifted with them. Thank you.