Lots of opportunities to bird watch around here lately. We biked down to a small slough situated on both sides of our grid road and watched a pair of Horned Grebe's and a pair of Common Goldeneye's along with lots of Red Winged Blackbirds. The Grebe and Goldeneye are new to the slough this year. While we were hanging out at the slough we spotted a couple of groups of Trumpeter Swan's flying over. Earlier today we saw a Blue Heron fly over our yard. Every year it takes the same flight path over our yard, to wherever it is going, in the morning and then back at night. We also saw a large grouping of the Sandhill Cranes again, but we will probably not see them too much longer as they head a little farther north for the summer and then we see them again in the fall on their way south. They do not hang around too long in the fall in our area like they do in the Spring.
While our grandchildren were out for a couple of days last week we came across a duck nesting close to our house in a bushy area. It had built it's nest on the ground right beside a path we take down into our valley. When we walked by, she flew out and we counted about six eggs that we could see from the path. Unfortunately a few days later we wanted to see if she was still sitting on the eggs and she was no where around and there were broken shells on the ground. Another critter had a nice meal. We were looking forward to watching them grow up in the valley slough.
Now onto the Tree Swallows. They are back in large numbers. We think all the baby birds came back along with their parents. We counted about 17 pairs so far. Of course not enough bird houses again this year, so off Pat went to build five more houses tonight. They fight with the Bluebirds and Sparrows if there aren't enough boxes for them all. We sure hope the mosquito problem will be managed by the Swallows this year. We have also noticed the Robin population is growing. Today we were watching a Robin building a nest on top of our back car tire. By the time we noticed what it was doing, it had quite a lot of nesting material on top of the tire. So we had to move the car to get it to find another spot to build it's nest. After we had the car moved we watched the Robin come back with another mouthful of nesting material, and it was wandering around in the area the car was previously parked in, not sure what went on with it's nest. Then later on this morning we had a visitor and he parked his vehicle in the same spot as we had the car parked in previously. By the time he was ready to leave, which only was about a half hour, the Robin had started building it's nest on the back tire of his vehicle. Priceless.