Maybe It’s Spring

Our recent two-day heat spell almost convinced me that the worst of Winter is over and Spring is near. Since duck hunting season is finally over and I haven’t been to Belfair for a while, I decided to start there. Of course, the promised sun never made its appearance, but the number of songbirds at the beginning of the walk seemed to confirm that Spring has nearly sprung.

I spent nearly fifteen minutes trying to capture shots of little brown birds flitting from branch to branch, all the time loudly advertising their presence. This Bewick’s Wren seemed to be the boldest of them, and I was able to get several good shots.

 Bewick’s Wren

I was a little surprised to get two good shots of a Bewick’s Wren on the same memory card since I’ve managed very few good shots of them in the six years I’ve been birding. That made me wonder if they are Spring migrants around here and if that would explain why I’ve managed to get my best shots early in the year. A little internetting revealed they are actually year-long residents here in the Pacific Northwest, so there has to be another explanation of why I’ve gotten my best shots in late Winter/early Spring. Perhaps the males are more territorial this time of year, even when it comes to photographers. If so, I’m sorry I didn’t pretend to be more intimidated.

I also managed to get a shot of the equally elusive Ruby-Crowned Kinglet,

Ruby-Crowned Kinglet

even though I only managed to get a single shot of this one. My next shot was of a beautiful, bare branch.

There were also large flocks of another favorite, the elegant Northern Pintail.

male Northern Pintail

A little more internetting revealed that these are the earliest of the Spring-migrating ducks, so at least someone else thinks it’s looking a little like Spring.

Unfortunately, there’s still very little new plant growth to indicate that it might be Spring, though there was a little green showing in some of the reeds on the edge of the creek.

Great Blue Heron

At the very least, the shot gave me reason to reflect on the possibility that Spring is near.

Perhaps the prettiest green of the day was found on these Green-Winged Teal,

Green-Winged Teal pair

another Spring migrant.

In the end, of course, the Illusion of Spring is probably more important for my mental health than the actual advent of Spring.