Signs of Spring

Newly Fledged Owlet

Yesterday, was the first warm day in almost a week and also the first warm day in what looks like a glorious week full of nice weather. Consequently, we and the rest of Saint Louis decided to go to the park. First on our to do list was an owl prowl or should I say an owlet prowl, because an owlet had just fledged. It was sitting in a tree next to the one that housed its nest. It was kind of hard to see, because it is nowhere near as big as an adult Great Horned owl, plus as you can see from the photo, it is somewhat obscured by vegetation. Not to worry though, because there were plenty of other birders around, to point out its where abouts for us. We also saw Charles, the dad, but missing were the female and the rumored other owlet. This is Charles’ third mate and I’ve lost track of what name that she has been given. Last year there were two owlets, but only one survived. Various birders have told us that there is a second owlet, but no one who I have spoken with has actually seen the other bird. I check the nest and it looked vacant. Last year, when the owlets were first fledging, the female would roost above them in a higher branch, but yesterday, she was nowhere to be seen.

Spring Frog

Leaving the owls behind, we continued our stroll through the Deer Lake portion of the park. Before the 1904 fair and before Forest Park was known as Forest Park, it was called, Skinker’s Swamp. There is a reference to it in the movie, Meet Me in St. Louie. Deer Lake is a portion of the park that still embodies this former name. This last winter the park service’s people did a control burn of most of the vegetation in this area, so yesterday, it was wider open than usual. In one of the swampier sections there, we spied the pictured frog and dozens of its brethren. They were all croaking to beat the band. I made a short recording of their singing, below. This week will be there prime mating time, in-between last week, when it was too cold and next week, when the herons and egrets arrive. Finally, Anne saw a muskrat, but it disappeared too quickly for me to see.

Forest Park Frogs

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