While spring has technically sprung, mountains of snow belie the season.
The first waves of migrating geese have passed overhead the past few days. It is such a relief to see geese on the wing heading north. It feels like the burden of a long, grueling, snow-filled and cold winter has finally been lifted. I was able to get outdoors a few times this winter and enjoy winter’s peace on a few nice days and try to find a few fish that were eager to eat what I was offering. However, it seems I never quite get outdoors enough.
With waves of Canada geese, I’ve spotted a few greater white-fronted geese and even a few Ross’ geese, and snow geese. American robins have been popping up in neighbors’ yards the past couple days. Horned larks are lining the backcountry roads. Northern harriers are conducting their usual fly-ups along wetlands and field edges. Great-horned owls are near or have hatched some young already. Eagles are showing up more and more and are likely setting up their nesting territories, if they haven’t already. I’ve seen loads of dark-eyed juncos in my family’s farm yards, with several European starlings and a few red-winged blackbirds. Soon, the ducks will gather on prairie potholes, western meadowlarks will sing their melodies on fenceposts, and grouse will be booming on their leks.
In the coming weeks, the number of bird species on the Great Plains will increase exponentially. Hang on for the ride and get outdoors when you can in search of birds you’ve never seen before.