Phenology is a funny thing (a funny word too, which is neither here nor there.) Every wildlife watcher, no matter how specialized, becomes attuned over time to the ebb and flow of each local plant and animal’s life cycle. With enough observation and experience, we notice slight variations and how those aberrations sometimes ripple throughout ecosystems. Some phenological oddities, however, are blatant enough to catch everyone’s attention. For example, here in western New York, our warm winter and dry spring dramatically impacted many of our fruit crops. Berries burst early and corn came in early. But apples and those who love them definitely suffered most substantially. This weekend, I took my kids apple picking to see first hand how scanty and sour (and expensive) the local fruit is. Has wacky weather exerted any profound impacts in your part of the world?
My Best Bird of the Weekend was probably a perched American Kestrel, a paltry predator I never tire of seeing. Corey’s BBOTW was a Green Heron at Five Rivers Environmental Education Center outside of Albany, NY both because it was reminiscent of the bird that got him into birding and because he got to share it with his mother, who has had a tough week as his father recovers from quadruple bypass surgery. Birding is a healer.
Have you gotten your fix of Green Herons and their groovy necks lately?
How about you? What was your best bird of the weekend? Tell us in the comments section about the rarest, loveliest, or most fascinating bird you observed. If you’ve blogged about your weekend experience, you should include a link in your comment.