Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Symbolic Sight

I am back on Canadian soil after a three week trip to Thailand with Janean.  I have caught up on BCVIBIRDS and see that spring is approaching rapidly.  Tree and Violet-green Swallows are being seen hawking insects over local marshes, the herring have spawned up Island and gulls have concentrated along the shores to feast on roe, and Yellow-rumped Warblers are singing.

The timing of my Thailand trip was perfect: leave in the winter and come back to spring migration!  I was zipped out the Vantreight bulb fields late this afternoon and a particular event seemed be the perfect symbol for the transition from winter to spring.  The small reservoir along Wallace Dr.surrounded by the agricultural fields had an overwintering Yellow-rumped Warbler, which I saw a month or so ago.  It is quite possibly a "Myrtle" Warbler based on the whitish throat and sharper chip note, which is heard often as it darts out of the willows to snap up insects.  Today, I immediately heard this bird and then saw the rather drab-looking bird, which could be a female.  Then, I heard a more typical "Audubon's" Warbler call note from across the pond.  I walked around to the other side of the pond and found a dazzling male "Audubon's" in the blackberry brambles.  Around this small reservoir, I had a drab Yellow-rumped that had spent the winter and a newly arrived male.  We are in this transition.

Certain birds are cuing up spring, but look around and you'll see the local flora is also putting out signs and if you're willing to look extra close you will see the invertebrate fauna is also providing a suite of symbols, as well.  I have seen flies moving about, a few tiger beetles were out at Saanichton Spit, and I may have even heard a bee zip by today.  I look forward to getting out for an outing on the weekend to see what else is around!

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