Here They Come…

April and May are so exciting here in Ohio! Every walk brings the possibility of finding new flowers and trees blooming, and new birds arriving.  And now that I have so many new places to explore after my move, it’s even more exciting than usual.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet yard bird - better shot

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

I’ve been spending a lot of time walking in the beautiful Toledo Metroparks, getting to know the various trails and learning the bird habitats so I’ll be prepared when the birds start arriving en masse. We’ve seen some of the early species starting to show up, but the frenzy of “so many birds I don’t know where to look first” hasn’t begun yet.

Every spring, the various species come through in waves, with the timing of their arrivals somewhat impacted by wind and precipitation systems. What we hope for are winds from the south, because that gives the birds a bit of help on their journey up here. Northerly winds can delay them in getting here, or keep them here longer while they wait for more favorable conditions to continue northward.  To know when to expect the birds, I rely on the weekly BirdCast migration forecasts from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Those forecasts help me plan my birding schedule and locations to try to maximize the new species I can find each time I go out. (Yes, despite saying that I’d lost all motivation for the sporting aspect of birding, somehow I got myself into a competition with a friend to see who can get the most species in our county this year. He knows I can’t beat him, but it’ll be fun anyway.)

GCKI cropped

Golden-crowned Kinglet

I’m feeling so happy with my decision to move to Toledo. After enduring such struggles for the past couple of years, I’ve finally turned a corner. My attitude is more one of openness to new people and experiences. I absolutely love my house, my yard, and this wonderful city. It’s small enough that I can get across town in 20 minutes, but big enough to have great restaurants, the Toledo Museum of Art, the gorgeous Toledo Botanical Garden, and of course, those metroparks I can’t stop raving about. (And the museum, the botanical garden and all of the metroparks have free admission…can you believe that?) The population of the city is racially and ethnically diverse, much like the metro Detroit area I’ve been accustomed to. You can find almost any kind of food you want here — Lebanese, Greek, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, and Hungarian (Tony Packo’s, anyone?), just to name a few.

Brown Creeper

Brown Creeper

And my efforts to meet new friends are starting to pay off too. I’ve been pushing myself out of my comfort zone constantly, joining everything from book groups to hiking groups. Sometimes it’s scary to walk into a group of people where you don’t know a single person, but I’ve been doing it. I admit to chickening out a couple of times, but most of the time I’m able to do it.  That’s the hardest part, because once I get myself to an event, I always have a great time and everyone is friendly and fun.

I try to be grateful every day that I was strong enough to make yet another huge change in my life. I’m emotionally stronger and happier than I’ve been in a long time. I guess if there’s any benefit to going through hard times, it’s that they make you more appreciative of the good times. They have a motto here that’s posted on signs around town, and I’ve adopted it as my own:

You will do better in Toledo sign.jpg

Why yes, I do believe I will. 🙂

Okay, enough of that sappy stuff. Let’s show you some more birds:

American Coot eating

American Coot – it’s hard to get a good photo of a black bird with red eyes, but I got lucky this time.

Pied-billed Grebes at Metzger 4-10-17

Pied-billed Grebes – such cuties!

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker - Magee Marsh 4-10-17

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker – this bird is usually hard for me to find, but this one flew right in front of me as I was searching for an owl

Red-breasted Mergansers - Metzger Marsh

Red-breasted Mergansers – I just love their long head feathers

Okay, stay tuned for some beautiful warblers coming very soon!

This entry was posted in Birds, Happiness and Gratitude, Migration, Ohio, Toledo. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Here They Come…

  1. Kim gorgeous birds, thank you for sharing your beautiful captures.

  2. Patricia Clair says:

    Another nicely written blog Kim. Always enjoy your comments and glad you are pushing yourself and making new friends in your new home! Julie told me she had a hummingbird at her feeder but we have not had any!

  3. Littlesundog says:

    Thank you for posting the link to the Birdcast migration forecast. I really need to check that often… I see so many species in the pecan orchard and on our west end that I hadn’t noticed in our own woodlands. I assume many are just passing through. Right now we’re seeing lots of nest building! Spring is such an exciting time. I think we have a turkey hen with a nest in our woodlands too! I’ve spotted her every day in the same area. Time will tell if she manages a brood.
    I’m so glad you are settling in and enjoying your new digs. If the birds can do it, YOU can do it too!! 😀

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