The Lodge on Amherst Island

What Birds can be seen on the island in March? 

I always look at Janet's Jottings in the Amherst Island Beacon...

How do I know that Spring is coming? We don't have a Weather Groundhog like Wiarton Willie, or even a groundhog of any kind on Amherst Island as an indicator.  I could say that I consulted Bruce Findlay about the weather but I think he too is hiding out in someplace warm as are many of our Island Snowbirds.  That one day of zero on March 4th after a February of sub-zero temperatures made us all think a little about spring.  Why do I say that Spring is Coming?  I have to admit that a Little Bird told me.  Well now I may be eccentric and have been known to hoot once in a while but DO I TALK TO BIRDS? Not really but I listen and observe. Those noisy Starlings that so many have come to detest are telling us in subtle ways that Spring is just around the corner.  Their beaks that have been dull and dark since Fall are beginning to turn the cheery yellow of sunshine and of buttercups and their outer feathers are growing in with iridescent hues of blues and purple. Over the silent silo of Wayne Fleming's barn can be seen a pair of Ravens circling and soaring in an age-old dance of love.  Their huge wings stretched out to ride the vagrant thermals warmed by the strengthening rays of the sun.  Their soft, guttural of them has been carrying sticks to their nesting site even on those sub-zero days. The Horned Larks have returned from points south and already pairing in the fields west of the Stella Forty-Foot.  They leave the side of the road as your car approaches and immediately fly low and disappear into the melted patches.  They are hanging out along the Third Concession near the Henderson Farm and fly to melted areas along the road and in Diane's laneway. Killdeer returned to Amherst Island on March 4th.  Bonnie Livingstone and Sally Bowen heard them on their bird survey and Judy Bierma and I say at the East end by Mark Ritchie and Sherry Allen's farm.  Soon their noisy cries will be heard as the snow recedes in the pastures. As the sun's rays feel warn on your face and thoughts of green growing things are triggered within us by Terry McGinn's reports of starting hos gardening plants we plan and think of Spring but the tiny Nuthatches jumped into breeding mode and began handing each other sunflower seeds and doing  a whirly, dervish kind of dance in the old tree by the feeder.  Had to be love!  Isn't that when we behave weirdly? Shortly after this March Beacon is sent out the Red-winged Blackbirds will have returned and the whole Island will know it is Spring with the loud Okarees from every pasture and cattail and the peace and quiet of a winter's siesta is no more!

Janet Scott.

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