I wandered into my sit spot last Monday evening, before sun down- slightly overcast, well above freezing. Upon entering the park, significantly warmer air pockets dotted the trail- why, I don't have the foggiest idea. This seems important, but I will leave the cause of such intense heat-bubbles of what a question to gnaw away at later.
Observations from the Wolf Pine @ Fox Park:
Firstly, the birds. I did not wait long before I heard a few White Breasted Nuthatches tooting. Soon after, I heard some call and response with some Cardinals, a first this year for me. The pileated activity has not wavered, but I wonder if the bugs are more prevalent now with the hot air floating around. I think I am seeming more medium sized woodpecker holes, particularly those from the Red Bellied Woodpecker. Downy/Hairy activity hasn't changed much, still the odd one of those here and there.
Most interesting is the Brown Creeper activity. These birds went totally under the radar until now. They do not migrate- but all of a sudden, they are singing , swooping, and creeping like mad! I wonder if their two-tone whistle is a mating call, like the Chickadee's (thanks for the info, Kurt!) The tell-tale, "only goes up the tree, never down" nuthatch-shaped bird is extremely well camouflaged. I wonder if that is more helpful in the winter, when they are going incognito? I mean, they are kind of obvious when they are burbling around the forest,
As for plant life, some kind of shrub that has reddish tendril tips is getting ready for show time. the previously hard and dry bud tips are now moist and are easily squished. This looks like fair game for little bugs and subsequently gleaners.... I can't wait to see the forest unfold around me as we get deeper into spring.
Also: A fellow student recently told me quite possibly the most important pine tree-related info I have ever heard. Ready?
"White pine trees have bunches of 5 needles because the word "white" has 5 letters. So, logically, the red pine has bunches of 3 needles, because there are ONLY 3 LETTERS IN THE WORD "RED"."
...Crazy. Food for thought.