It was the cloudy gray morning of Saturday, February 18th, when Josiah stuck his head out the window during breakfast and uttered the exclamation: "I hear a Red-Wing-Blackbird!!!" At first we all scoffed, "No way! Red-Wings are never here this early; couldn't be." But upon opening the other window and sticking our own appendages pel-mel out of it, the distinct unmistakeable sound of "Oak-a-lee" smote our ears.
As quickly as I could, I threw on a coat, grabbed my camera, and thrusting my feet into rubber-boots, rushed outside to see if I could get a look at this over zealous and rather early herald of spring. But though I could not find him, I was able to catch his voice on video, and therefore have proof of our first sighting (or hearing) of the coming season.
That next Wednesday, I was out for a walk down the road with Baby. There I was minding my own business when a persistent sound broke in on my thoughts. It finally occurred to me that the "check check" noise belonged to the voice of a Red-Wing Blackbird. Thankfully I had my camera with me, and throwing it up was able to get a couple pictures of the handsome male bird. He looked perfectly at home among the swelling buds of the maple tree, with the blue sky as a backdrop, and it rather seemed as if Spring really was right around the corner.
So a couple of days later, during our latest snow storm, we were rather amused to find this disconsolate blackbird sitting under our bird feeder table, consulting with himself why on earth he had decided to come north now!!
Oh well little birdy, don't worry. Wait three or four weeks and the crocuses should be out, then you can bring Mrs. Blackbird to stay. I just hope you can survive the uncertain Michigan weather between now and then! :)