When I went outside this morning, the sun was out and the yard was full of birdsong. I heard blue jays, robins, juncos, starlings, finches, pheasants, a drumming grouse and some geese overhead. I also spotted a thrush in the bushes. And best of all, the phoebe who nests in the open garage each year is back! So glad they all survived the storm.
Of course, I'm not 100% sure the phoebe is the same bird -- maybe a descendant? -- but we have had phoebes nesting in the rafters of that building for years. We've also had them nesting under the eaves of the chicken coop -- a good choice of location, since there are always lots of flies around there. In 2009 I was lucky enough to get this picture of the coop family, which I made into a postcard:
I called it "Phoebe Fledglings Ready to Fly" -- and they certainly were. The next day they were gone. (You can buy a copy of this postcard online in my eBay store, The Happy Rooster.)
Now it's warming up into the 70s this weekend (it's 61 as I wrote this) and the snow is melting off fast. A walk around the yard showed me bulbs starting to pop up and buds swelling. I better get out the hummingbird feeders, because those little jewels will be arriving soon, too. Since the flowers are very late this year, they will be hungry!