On Saturday I took my three year old birding for a couple hours. Only thing better than birding is birding with the kids. You don't see as many birds, but its great to get out with the kids. First we went to Quakertown Swamp and walked the railroad tracks above the swamp. Not a lot of birds around, but there is a colony of Great Blue Herons that nest there, and several herons were in the swamp and others were standing on their nests in the bare trees.
Then we headed over to Lake Towhee. Lots of birds there, including the first Tree Swallows I've seen back from wintering in warmer climes. Among the 100 or so Common Mergansers was a nice male Hooded Merganser--stunning with its black and white hood. Not the most uncommon bird, so not one that gets a lot of comments, but absolutely beautiful. It was a bit too far out to show my son, so he's got something to look forward to when he gets a bit older and can really use binoculars and the spotting scope.
Last stop was a quick look at Lake Nockamixon. Only different bird there was a very distant Common Loon--another bird to show the kids when they get bigger.
Spring is in the air, even if it is still a bit nippy and there aren't any leaves on the trees. Birds are moving back to their breeding areas and moving out of wintering haunts. Lots of wrens and other birds singing.
Neil Hayward Gunning for ABA Big Year Record
6 hours ago