I was exploring an area of Dueling Creek I hadn’t explored before – tough to get to, very rough and muddy and brambly – and also keeping an eye out for birds. Although it started out cold, the sun was warming things up and I soon became too hot for my coat. I stopped to take it off, and several birds caught my eye by a little tributary of the creek. There were 5 Song Sparrows pecking about in the leaf litter, but there was also a small gray bird perched on a branch. Through my binoculars I could see clearly it was an Eastern Phoebe, and then I had the pleasure of watching it “hawking” insects for a good while. Hawking is a feeding behavior where the bird (mostly in the flycatcher family) sits still on an exposed perch, periodically zipping off to grab a flying insect it spotted. Then the bird returns to the same, or a nearby perch, and waits to spot the next insect.Read more: First Spring Migrating Bird
When the snow was near its heaviest on February 22, I took a trek down to the banks of Dueling Creek where we would be doing the cleanup in April – how pristine it looks! All the trash is covered, and you can see the wide natural floodplain of the creek. Just out of frame of this shot to my left is a huge Sycamore tree. This area has so much going for it – I can’t wait to get in there and get some of the trash out in April!
It may be snowing but it’s the first day of spring. The birds are seeking shelter, and I hope to see our resident Ospreys back any day now!