Friday, March 07, 2008

Bio Bits

I've got a post about phenology simmering, but no time to do it justice. Instead I'll share with you some related observations from the last week:

  • Monday was unseasonably warm, and I dragged SodaBoy on a forced march to Stormwater Park after work. It was a bit of a mud wallow, but I did see my first red-winged blackbird of the season. Actually, I heard it long before I saw it, although that's probably not uncommon.

  • I went for a walk around downtown yesterday at lunch. I found a dead bat on the sidewalk, which gave me quite a pause in light of the white nose syndrome that is plaguing area bats. I squatted down and visually inspected the bat, but saw no evident fungus. However, I couldn't help but wonder what the bat was doing out this time of year, when it should still be hibernating.

  • Then, in the mid-afternoon, I glanced out the window to see not one, but two bald eagles riding the thermals. When I worked in Minnesota, I saw bald eagles every day, but I work in a northeastern rustbelt city now, right downtown. It was thrilling. At first I tried to explain it away, they must just be black-backed gulls, but a quick peek through the spotting scope proved otherwise. Eagles! Downtown!

  • Why do we have a spotting scope lying around the office? For the peregrine falcons, of course. Their nest box on the tall government building is also in the viewshed from my desk. The pair has returned to the area, and I am now seeing them again daily.
I may have scraped the windshield nearly every day this week, and we may have a winter storm warning in effect as I type this, but spring is in the air. It's coming. Just ask the red-winged blackbird and the peregrine falcon.


Nadine said...

My daffies are poking up through the ground, but they have been for awhile now even when buried by snow.

I like to start my car a few minutes early so I don't have to scrape.

coffeypot said...

Move South!

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Sounds great! YAY! So glad yr seeing those. EAGLES! WOW!