Winter hit spring hard last week, with the sun disappearing for more than four days and a nearly constant downpour of snow, sleet, and rain. This kind of weather is difficult for the new arrivals in the bird world. During one of these days just across the road from our house I saw two Robins, one Varied Thrush, and about thirty Bohemian Waxwings hopping around on the ground in a search for food. The waxwings were fluffed up, but the Robins and Varied Thrush were taking the weather the hardest. The Varied Thrush hardly flew at all while I watched; it just hopped and searched for last-year’s old berries in the bare patches under the trees. None of the thrush looked too happy.
This year is so weird; spring in general seems to be behind. We have way more snow than we normally do at this time of year and the birds are behind. These lasting snowstorms can be devastating to migrant birds, but thankfully this one happened early enough in the season that not many susceptible migrants were around. Last year while I was volunteering at Albert Creek in mid May we had a freak snowstorm – it resulted in birds on the ground everywhere, dead and alive. You can read that blog post here. Hopefully spring gathers its strength soon!