March 12, 2006 [LINK]

Spring arrives; amphibian rescue

Downy woodpecker M The temperatures climbed into the seventies yesterday and today, accelerating the pace of bird migration that is now underway. Yesterday I saw a male Bluebird out back, which is unusual around here, as well as a female Purple finch, and a dozen or so Cedar waxwings flying over head. Early this morning I walked behind the Staunton-Augusta Rescue Squad in hopes of spotting arriving migrants, but the only first-of-season bird was a Field sparrow. Today's list:

After I returned, I saw this Downy woodpecker at our suet feeder, which was almost empty thanks to the Starlings, so I put in a new chunk of suet. I also saw what I thought was a large worm (three inches or so) that was helplessly stranded on the asphalt, but it turned out to be a very young salamander that was very dry and barely alive. I brought it home and kept it moist until it finally revived and crawled away into the mud. "Born free..."