Spring is here and the first returning birds are back all along the Sleeping Bear Trail. Earliest arrivals are those following the snow line and thawing of the ground. Red-Winged Blackbirds and Robins greeted us the second week of March, right on time. Also matching the ‘normal’ schedule, Woodcock have been heard peenting in numerous locations along the trail, even in Leelanau at the north end. Sand Hill cranes have been reported from Benzie County northward. A sure place to see those big birds is in and around the Arcadia Marsh, one of the top sites along the Trail. Individual hawks have been observed on migration though the numbers are not large yet. A late March snow storm is forecast to dump heavy wet snow on the region. Hopefully it is short-lived and the birds that are here survive just fine.