Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Long winter, warm spring

So the long and snowy winter has finally departed and the headlong rush of northward migrants is filling the bushes, pools and lists.

Locally we had a ton of Snow Geese, hard to estimate how many but most of the wet fields around St-Clet were clothed in white. The short lived flood melt pools there were also well populated with Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal and Black Ducks. Now we have open water everywhere and the sawbills are in, the aythyas back and the winter ducks are massing to move off.

The pits have been worth visiting recently and the Brown Thrashers, White-throated and Vesper Sparrows are all competing for the ear and other bits of passing mates. One session of migration watching produced a Wild Turkey, initally heard about 1km away, it picked its way steadily over the pits floor then dashed over the rough access track into the woods. Red-shouldered Hawks are in territory, Northern Goshawks are also around though less visible than in previous years.

The Bigby is picking up pace, most additions are from the garden but we have a circuit opened up that takes in some of the forest areas locally. Last Sunday a couple of Pine Warblers were back and an early Yellow-rumped Warbler showed nicely.

Species 100 for the year was Winter Wren, I expect 101 to be very close behind.

Below a few random shots.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, the photo is not great, I used the digital camcorder.
Tree Swallow at Dundee, nice to watch these and a couple of Sandhill Cranes there too.

Song Sparrow in the garden, we don't get very many.

Some Snow Geese shots

Click on these for the full effect, 15km of roads held similar numbers.

Male Purple Finch at the feeder. I don't like feeder shots but he refused to sit anywhere but...

Three Fox Sparrows in the garden making for an entertaining dawn chorus.

One of the local Hermit Thrushes, they like to be alone!

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