04-10-14 Field Note

Signs of spring abound. Rapid snowmelt left standing water; wetland areas may fill up for the first time since spring 2011. Migrating birds took advantage of the few melted out areas on south-facing hillsides to forage.

Posted on 4/10/2014 by Beau Larkin

Habitat Types: 


With nighttime low temperatures near freezing and rain in the forecast, the snowpack will disappear within the next week or so. I observed substantial ponding near wetlands where snow and ice dams still held the water back.
The pothole last held standing water in the spring of 2011 but it looks like it will rise to “full pool” again this year.
Although flying insects seemed scarce, a lone mountain bluebird exhibited flycatching behavior from its perch on an exclosure. Tree swallows also made a brief appearance but defeated my attempts to photograph them.
A flock of at least 20 raucous red-winged blackbirds dominated the soundscape around Entrance Pond. These bullies continue to monopolize the seed feeders, but appear less interested in suet or peanuts.
Red wings flashed when the flock made an impromptu tour around Entrance Pond.
Much like horned larks at MPG Ranch, dark-eyed juncos blended in with the soggy earth as they foraged in Entrance Meadow. Can you find the bird in each photo?
Perhaps 50 dark-eyed juncos foraged on the south-facing hillside of Entrance Meadow - the only bare ground in the area at the time.