Despite the sporadic weather conditions, the plants and animals are still behaving in spring fashion. More migrants are arriving from their wintering grounds and the soft cooing of turtle-doves fill the air. Buds are appearing on the trees and I imagine that soon enough, the trees will be green again.
Although the first butterflies began to appear last week, the diversity and numbers have really increased during the latter half of the week.
In addition to butterflies, other insects have also begun to emerge. Some, I feel, will become more of a nuisance as spring turns into summer.
The warm weather coupled with the water in the wetlands beginning to thaw, has brought out a whole new class of animals as well this week - Frogs!! The first sleepy and cold Rana amurensis was located at the beginning of the week at the edge of the wetlands....
The list of migrants that have arrived thus far, joining those hardy species that stay all year long like this long -tailed rosefinch, is growing everyday. I have included a list of all the migrants seen to date at the park for 2009:
Oriental White Stork
Greater Spotted Eagle
Rufous Turtle Dove
Chinese Great Gray Shrike
Pallas’s Reed Bunting
I also guess it is worth mentioning that the warm weather has woken up another little denizen of the forest...the siberian chipmunk.
In closing, I would like to wish everyone a happy Easter! Yes you read correctly - Happy Easter! Easter was celebrated today (April 19, 2009) in Far-Eastern Russia; a week later than Easter in the United States.