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Signs of Spring March 21, 2010

Posted by Wapello Warbler in Louisa County, Nature.
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Trees Budding On the North Bend

New signs of spring are appearing every few days. One of them is the high water, but another is evident in this picture. The trees along the bank of the river have a russet cast at the top because their buds are swelling. Soon they’ll burst and the tree will appear to have light green fuzz.

The bird population has also changed. The chickadees and juncos are gone and many of the common summer birds have arrived. The robins showed up in force just over a week ago along with the red-winged blackbirds and grackles. Some exceptionally large flocks of ducks have been seen heading north and west over the area and I spotted a great blue heron near the top of Jameson hill headed toward Lake Odessa.

The sounds have changed as well. The cardinals are staking out their territories with musical shouts that would make Pavarotti jealous and some of the ditch toads and frogs were sounding off during last week’s warm sunny days.

The real birders are headed for the Port Louisa Refuge with its wetlands, grasslands, and lowland woods. It’s one of the best places to catch spring transients like waterfowl and warblers. For the complete list of birds that frequent the refuge (more than 290), click here.

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