It was a shock waking up today at 6:40 to see the sun already up in the sky and streaming through the windows. I headed to Turner's Pond to see what I could see, hoping for clear water. The pond was about 20% iced over, with plenty of room for the Mallards and more to mill about. 2 Canada Geese, 1 Wood Duck, 39 Mallards, 6 Common Mergansers, and 1 Great Cormorant made up the birds on the pond. The Wood Duck, my first of the year, only stayed around for a few minutes. The cormorant was unexpected, as Great Cormorants tend to stick to the ocean and large rivers near the ocean. This one was probably blown in before or with the storm.
In total I tallied 29 species, nothing out of this world. Most, if not all, of the winter residents were busy making themselves known. Common Grackles and Red-winged Blackbirds were recent arrivals, both very loudly announcing the fact. My Song Sparrow count was higher than many of my winter counts, not because there were actually more of them but most likely simply because they were making noise and not silently skulking in the underbrush. The rush of gulls taking to the air alerted me to the soaring of the resident Red-tailed Hawk pair.
The final confirmation that Spring is on the way, if one is even needed, was a Dark-eyed Junco singing its little heart out in someone's backyard. The song was similar to that of a Song Sparrow, but more nervous sounding, with a few completely unexplainably strange noises mixed in.
Turner's Pond, Milton, MA (3/9/13) Canon EOS 7D, 400mm f5.6