Photo: Kristin Shoemaker via Flickr
It used to be that the robin was the first sign of spring here in the Fells, but these days some hang around all winter. The true sign of spring are now the waves of grackles, red-wing blackbirds and turkey vultures. This past week I have seen all three in different parts of the Fells.
Other bird sightings include:
- a pair of ravens last week at Bellevue pond area,
- many brown creepers on the long pond trail,
- a sharp-shinned hawk in the zoo parking lot.
Several species have been seen starting to nest. Morning doves have been flying around with twigs. Chickadees have been calling non stop and I recently observed a pair of chickadees pulling bits of plastic off of a bag and bringing it into a hole in a tree.
Mammal sighting have been better lately, only because I’ve been out on the trails more. Three deer were seen on the Crystal Spring Trail this past week, two does were also seen on the Skyline Trail in the Sheepfold area. The chipmunk and skunks are back out. I’ve seen 2 coyotes in the past week, one walking across the ice on Spot Pond, the other just behind Quarter Mile Pond. Several mink have been sighted recently, 2 have been seen on the Crystal Spring Trail.
As we start to warm a bit more, the salamanders will begin their annual migration to the various vernal pool throughout the Fells. I’ll be checking out some pools off the Rock Circuit Trail this season. They prefer nights in the 40’s with rain.
Some of the local rivers have good numbers of ducks, these will move into the Fells waterways as soon as the ice begins to clear out. Watch for the return of the ruddy ducks, common mergansers, great blue herons and bald eagles on Spot Pond in the next few weeks.