Stalled Spring

This March has been one of the coolest and wettest on record in the Portland area. Aside from keeping me indoors far more than I would like, the weather has created a bit of a stall in spring’s progress.


The winter residents, like this skulking Varied Thrush, have started to thin out. There are still a lot of waterfowl around, but gull numbers are greatly reduced.


A long walk on the beach north of Gearhart produced a few Sanderlings, but the northbound shorebirds haven’t arrived yet.


Activity at the bird feeder has slowed down as the winter flocks are breaking up and the local birds start pairing up. Here is one of the resident Black-capped Chickadees.


A Norway Rat has been taking advantage of the seeds the birds drop.


Despite the dreary weather, there are signs of the coming breeding season. This Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon’s race) is showing off his fresh breeding plumage.

When we experience long bouts of bad weather, and spending the month of March in Arizona sounds very appealing, we still need to get out into the field. Spring may be slow in coming, but there are still birds out there. Slow birding gives you the chance to study the common local species more carefully, and you never know what might turn up.

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Posted on March 25, 2011, in seasonal movements and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Great post… Love the rat photo. Never seen one quite like that guy. Rainy and cold for sure, but at least we had a nice afternoon!

  2. Um. Maybe you need a Seed Hoop.

    By the way, I did see a Varied Thrush last weekend. Seems late, but I guess the cold wet weather was keeping him around.

  3. Great pics! Especially the Yellow-Rumped. We have had Varied Thrushes in our yard all winter long. This is the first time that has happened. Usually we only see them when there is snow on the valley floor, but this year they have been daily visitors. We saw 2 just yesterday. Thanks for the post!

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