Saturday, April 8, 2023

Nature Journal Entry: 4/8/2023

9:50 am, Marshlands Conservancy, mostly sunny, 40f, winds 7mph from North 

They started off with a dozen turkeys half of them being Toms (breeding-aged males) in full breeding regalia. Now that spring is really on the move they are preparing for the summer.

Another new herald of warmer months to come is this year’s first garter snake, out sunning itself on a broken log. The only reason I found it is because as I walked by it panicked and started moving in the leaves otherwise I would’ve missed it entirely. 

Bluebirds have returned! At the far end of the field, there’s a bluebird box, all by itself, and this morning a male bluebird was sitting right in the opening.

More mammals are starting to wake up for the season. Walking down the trail to the causeway out to the island, I noticed that the leaf litter was full of little scratchings and scrapings. I stood still for a little while, looking in the direction of one of these scratches, and suddenly to my surprise, the nose and eyes of a vole popped out, looked at me, and darted away just as fast. Voles, a small rodent bigger than a mouse with a much shorter tail, form an important food source for predators this early in the season including foxes, coyotes, red-tailed hawks, and others. 

Update: I can confirm that the new osprey nest is in fact in use. Just saw one adult fly over with some nesting material and the head of the other sticking up from over the edge of the nest.