Spring songs – birds spotted in April

The first week of April sent John Tschopp out with his camera, to the serenade of frog song.

The Mountain Bluebirds are competing with the Tree Swallows for the perfect nest box. Not far away was an American Kestrel in his wedding suit. A hint from a neighbor gave me a chance for some pictures of a pair of Sandhill Cranes.

I always appreciate John’s notes and photos, for the chance to meet a few more locals and transients.

Just yesterday, he enthused:

Spring in our valley is such an exciting time for a birder: which way should I look? In the back of our property, the rails have arrived. Locally we have two kinds of rails, Virginia Rails and Soras. They both like the same habitat and both are very camera shy. Their distinct calling is unmistakable. Over a few days I tried to get some pictures of these secretive birds. The one with the yellow beak is the Sora. The long slim beak is the Virginia Rail.
 A friend at the north end of the valley called about birds in his farm field. This morning I checked them out and found 18 White fronted Geese and 5 Snow Geese. They are on their way to the far North and have a rest stop in the Pemberton Valley.
 On the way home a newly arrived Western Kingbird posed for the camera. In the same neighborhood a lowly European Starling took the sun. It doesn’t look all that shabby, when the light hits it the right way.
The birds do not seem to have a flu problem.
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Mountain bluebird. Spring 2020. Photo by John Tschopp

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Mountain bluebird. Spring 2020. Photo by John Tschopp

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American kestrel. Spring 2020. Photo by John Tschopp

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Sandhill crane. Spring 2020. Photo by John Tschopp

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Sandhill crane. Spring 2020. Photo by John Tschopp

Pair this with Linda Welsh’s photo of resident tree swallows and we’re on a birding roll.

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Tree swallows. Pemberton Meadows, spring 2020. Photo by Linda Welsh

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Sora Rail, spring 2020. Photo by John Tschopp

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Virginia Rail. Spring 2020. Photo by John Tschopp

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Western Kingbird. Photo by John Tschopp

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European Starling. Photo by John Tschopp

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