They're here. A glance out the window this morning revealed several of what I at first thought were starlings, but something wasn't quite right: these birds' bodies were too elongated, and the walk was different. A moment's thought (I being on only my first cup of coffee) clarified the situation: the grackles are back from wherever they spend the winter, and a flock/horde/cackle of them had returned to Chipmunk Ridge, where they were pecking around in the mulch and among the dried grasses. Luckily for them and the neighborhood robins, yesterday I broke out the string trimmer and had at the meadow and savannah gardens, leaving plenty of nesting material scattered about.
Spring has officially sprung.