Spring Bounces Back

Here in the Pacific Northwest U.S., seasons are the topic of many jokes. I’ve witnessed over 25 Northwest Springs. Warm sunny weather is so unreliable here that all I can say is “Spring is here…can Winter be far behind?” All cynicism aside, my neighbors and I have been loving the interludes of heavenly weather.

Window dog enjoys a springtime traffic stop.

Savoring a moment of Spring delights. (Click to enlarge)

A well-groomed pooch pauses for a photo.

Today’s blog starts with a couple of non-avian snapshots. This little window-dog and his driver were stopped at an intersection and I had just enough time to pick up my camera and snap a shot before the light turned green.





This second shot was taken while birding at Marymoor Park, which is not only a great birding spot but also maintains a huge off-leash area where dogs can romp in large fields or fetch tennis balls from the Sammamish River Slough. Can you well I’m a dog-lover?


Okay, on to the birds:   
This Song Sparrow has waited through a long winter and is telling the entire world he’s ready for breeding action. Song Sparrows have a territorial call that begins with three short bursts followed by a long footnote of a bugle call. Savannah Sparrows, on the other hand, have been absent since Autumn and are just returning to our area.

Song Sparrow singing.

A Song Sparrow works up a full head of steam.

Savannah Sparrow

Savannah Sparrow cleans up his image.




Red-winged Blackbird male displays his epaulets while doing a classic wing stretch.

In the marshes, Red-winged Blackbirds are also interested in staking out territory. Males display their brightly-colored epaulets and let out a brash call that to me sounds like “Hot burr-EEEEE-toe!”

The male Blackbird is so aggressive, he will chase off marauding Great Blue Herons many times his size, diving at the intruder’s rump as the heron flies off uttering its croaky distress call.

A Male Common Merganser at Marymoor Park in Redmond, Washington. Photo by Marc Hoffman, SongbirdPhoto.com
My friend Paul from Michigan was happy to see this male Common Merganserso close up, after seeing many that were far out on the waves of Lake Michigan. Taken from the trail at Marymoor Park, Redmond, Washington.

I’ll wrap it up with this little Black-capped Chickadee standing watch over budding Spring leaves:

Black-capped Chickadees live in the Pacific Northwest United States year-round. Photo by Marc Hoffman.



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