After this weekend’s big snowstorm that hit us, there is nothing like finding a burst of yellow to brighten our day. Obviously you can tell from my photos that I located my first Eastern Meadowlarks for 2008 (CHECK). Because of the fresh snow on the ground, these two birds were found along the road in areas that had been dug up by the snowplow. They were very skittish and any time a vehicle would pass. . . . they would spook and fly away. I just parked my vehicle on the side of the road and let the meadowlarks come to me (which they did).
I also located my first for 2008 Red-bellied Woodpecker (CHECK) near the Quaker Lake area. I didn’t have any opportunities to photograph this bird but did get a quick look with my binoculars. It was nice finding these two great birds and who knows what could arrive next???
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Stunning picture (second, against the blue sky). I grew up in southern Ontario, and always considered meadowlarks the true voice of spring — they lived in the hydrofield I crossed on the way to school. Miss them, but not the snow.
9 March 2008 at 7:56 pm
Oh, Lucky you! I particularly like the first photo.
I’m keeping “first sighting” records for the first time this year. I think it comes of the longer winter and more pronounced change in species between seasons in this colder climate.
9 March 2008 at 8:01 pm
I really need to get out birding! Photos turned out great!
9 March 2008 at 8:15 pm
Hello, I found your blog by searching around some birding sites. I have just recently become intrested in birding. I’m finding that my love for photography and birding are a great combination. I enjoyed your blog and your photos are wonderful!!
9 March 2008 at 8:31 pm
Beautiful! I saw scores of robins yesterday. Made me smile because I know spring is just around the corner…
9 March 2008 at 8:42 pm
@ Hugh – thanks and I love hearing the Meadowlarks on my wall clock at 6 each day! The snow isn’t anything to miss!~ BTW: Welcome to my blog!
@ Wren – thanks and I like it also! So glad to hear about you keeping your first list! Maybe at the end of the year reporting it to all us!
@ YN-J – Yes you do . . . hey you had Pine Grosbeaks reported this weekend near your house! Keep your eyes open at your feeder!
@ Jessica – I am also very happy you found this site! I greatly appreciate your kind words and you can be sure we will be talking a great deal about birds here! We all can learn together!
@ Rondi – very cool and spring is getting closer! Thanks!
9 March 2008 at 8:45 pm
Meadowlarks are so colorful, especially against the snow. Wonderful pictures!
9 March 2008 at 9:18 pm
Terrific photos! That bright sunny yellow color is sure great to see.
Isn’t this the second bird you’ve spotted while driving lately? Hey….Eyes on the road!
9 March 2008 at 9:18 pm
What a welcome yellow. Lovely photos as always. Thanks.
9 March 2008 at 10:00 pm
@ Linda – thanks and I just love their yellow!
@ Chicago – thanks and only second! Second today! LOL – Birders never keep their eye’s off the birdies! 🙂
@ Trixie – thanks and you are very kind!
9 March 2008 at 10:03 pm
I love the Meadowlark…we recently saw one visiting here but my pictures are not as good, I like the last picture. You also saw a Red-bellied woodpecker ..did ya get a picture??? We have a Red-bellied sap sucker here. As always a lovely blog to visit. thanks.
9 March 2008 at 10:04 pm
Wow! That meadowlark on the branch against the blue, blue sky is just outstanding! Do you have a tripod that mounts on your window? Or are these hand held? Your photos are so good!
9 March 2008 at 11:08 pm
@ Island – They are such great birds! Nope, no picture of the Red-bellied this time! I would love to see a Red-belllied Sapsucker! Thanks for your kind words!
@ barb – thanks and did you see the shot I took of it flying away http://www.flickr.com/photos/monarch/2321797227/ ??? I do have a window mount but I hand hold all my shots with the 400mm! That’s how I learned and I figure it works! I do toss many of them away and wish I had used a tripod! Thanks for your kind words!
9 March 2008 at 11:19 pm
Great photos. Beautiful yellow standing out against the blue sky.
10 March 2008 at 2:37 am
How awesome! I’ve never seen meadowlarks & I’m green with envy. 🙂
10 March 2008 at 3:05 am
Oh, I do love the song of the Meadowlark! Such beautiful birds!
10 March 2008 at 6:52 am
@ Marvin – thanks and those two colors work well together!
@ Lana – thanks and you should hear them!
@ Jayne – yes they are very beautiful birds! Thanks
10 March 2008 at 7:12 am
Meadowlarks and Robins…. hopefully another sign that spring is on the way! Beautiful shots Tom – I particularly like the one of the Meadowlark with the blue sky behind.
10 March 2008 at 9:23 am
I just looked at your meadowlark ‘take off’ shot — WOW! And I can’t believe you are hand holding a 400mm lens! Somehow I don’t think I could do that. Guess I’ll forget a window mount – I know I’d get too excited and just shoot from the hand also – ha!
10 March 2008 at 9:49 am
I’ve not seen meadowlarks on our land but only on birding trips where I’ve seen them in where else, meadows or old pastures.
I have noticed my driving has gotten worse since I became interested in birds–always looking out he window for hawks or on the side of the road.
10 March 2008 at 10:06 am
It’s hard to believe Spring is in the air! I love the Meadowlark in the tree against the blue sky shot-but there is something about the two looking at the snow that really speaks to me!
10 March 2008 at 1:20 pm
I have got the worlds largest soft spot for the Meadowlark. (One sang throughout my wedding – how’s that for “nothing in life is free?”) It was our western version of course and I have not seen once since. (many, many years ago) Thank you for sharing yours. I’ve never seen one!
10 March 2008 at 2:48 pm
Lovely shots. The second one is stunning.
I have my Pentax practically welded to my shoulder and take it everywhere!
10 March 2008 at 2:54 pm
Wow! The colours of the second picture are awesome! Beautiful shot of a beautiful bird 😉
10 March 2008 at 4:56 pm
10 March 2008 at 6:58 pm
What gorgeous birdies to see after all this snow, Tom! I saw a woodpecker today and thought of your very cool video from the other day.
10 March 2008 at 7:04 pm
@ Sherri – thanks and I sure hope so! Those colors work great together!
@ Barb – thanks and sometimes I surprise myself! LOL Do note that I do like my window mount and use it with my spotting scope and camcorder!
@ Joan – they are great and also not seen any in my yard! Be careful driving but how can we help ourselves! They are great roadside birds!
@ Marg – thanks and they really didn’t like the snow! Thanks
@ aullori – every morning and afternoon, I love hearing the meadowlark on my clock at 6! They have the best song! I have seen one western!
@ David – thanks and I try taking mine everywhere! But do have to work some!
@ Mel – thanks and I enjoyed it also! You are very kind!
@ Kaz – thanks
@ Pam – thanks and was it a pileated? Did you get a photo?
10 March 2008 at 8:36 pm
Those are awesome photos! I haven’t seen many meadowlarks and the ones I do see are always at a distance.-striking birds!
10 March 2008 at 9:36 pm
Wow they are beautiful. Hey maybe when we come for the ANP you can spot one for us. 🙂
10 March 2008 at 11:27 pm
Wow! I’m not sure if we have these guys down here in Virginia or not. They sure are BEAUTIFUL!
A question for you: Can you recommend a site that will show what birds migrate through Virginia….and when they do?
11 March 2008 at 7:06 am
Great to see the meadowlarks showing up – I bet that snow was a bit of a downer for them. You know, I’ve yet to see a meadowlark in the NE – I’ve only seen them in TEXAS (although I got to see Eastern and Western Meadowlarks there).
11 March 2008 at 9:34 am
Years ago my husband and I would ride our bicycles up to town on a little lane. It was home to so many Meadowlarks that we called it Meadowlark Lane.
The Meadowlarks long ago left that lane as contruction took their habitat. Now when I must hear the Meadowlark I drive out into the country side. They are beautiful birds.
Enjoyed your wonderful photos and the memories of Meadowlark Lane. Thank you.
11 March 2008 at 10:16 am
OMG ~~ simply stunning! You are the bird whisperer. 🙂
11 March 2008 at 12:39 pm
11 March 2008 at 2:21 pm
Absolutely beautiful shots! I love this time of year, when you find something new while driving – make the commute that much more enjoyable.
Kerri, not to step on mon@rch’s toes, but a very useful site to find out what birds are in VA (or anywhere), check out eBird. You can enter a location and see which species are found there throughout the year, and when they’re most likely to be seen.
A good starting guide to eBird is on the Birdfreak blog.
Looking forward to more spring-like photos, mon@rch!
11 March 2008 at 4:38 pm
@ Lvn – thanks and distance is how I am use to seeing them! Thanks
@ Toni – thanks and they might be gone by then but can try if you come out to our CLDC MAPS site!
@ Kerri – thanks for your kind words and they are for sure! My suggestion is visiting the Virginia Society of Ornithology website at http://www.virginiabirds.net/ and on the left you will find a link for listservs. If you join one of those listservs via email you will learn all about where to find the great migrants! Hope this helps!
@ Marty – thanks and was great seeing them! I am surprised you don’t see them over in your area during migration! Heck, another reason to come camping out this way!
@ Sherry – so many great memories of these great birds and those construction sites is part of the reason they have been disappearing! You need one of the new birdclocks . . . they are 6 o’clock!
@ Lisa – thanks and you made me laugh! Thanks
@ John – thanks!
@ Mike – thanks and no toes stepped on here! Spoken like a true Cornell lab employee! 🙂
11 March 2008 at 8:35 pm
Lovely photos – all I can say is that I am very glad we do not have both Western & Eastern Meadowlarks here, as your Easterns look identical to our Westerns!
12 March 2008 at 12:06 am
Hey Mon@rch, how come you have meadowlarks already? Do your summer birds come back to New York sooner than they do in Minnesota? (cuz we’re at almost the same latitude as you, right?) Do you know if their return is weather- or climate-related?
12 March 2008 at 1:53 pm
@ Adam – Not sure if you remember but last year I posted a Western that showed up in our area! I recorded its song! That’s the only way I know how to tell the difference!
@ Ruthie – I thought the same thing when I saw them out in the snow! Truth is that its a few weeks early and normally the last week in March when they show up! Last year was first week in April when they arrived!
12 March 2008 at 6:34 pm
Nice bursts of color against the snow and sky.
13 March 2008 at 7:30 pm