Normally, come mid-February, I'm searching for signs of spring, scanning the wooded hillsides for that red haze that comes upon the maples as they awaken from their winter slumber. Every year, I am on the lookout for the return of the red-wing blackbirds. Despite not being in any rush this year, by mid-March, I was scanning the roadsides where I've seen them perch past springs. This year, however, the first one I saw was in our own backyard! :)
The pictures aren't so great, but I finally got some shots of him a day or two after I first spotted him.
These were taken March 16, 2014: