Monday, April 21, 2008

Owling, hawkwatching, and more

Went out east of town with Ken yesterday evening to do another owl route, plus bird around the countryside beforehand. We saw quite a bit, including the most Pintails I've ever seen in the Sault area - 49 in a single pond! Good numbers of ducks have arrived/are still here, and more migrants are arriving by the day - Brewer's Blackbird and Swamp Sparrow were both new. We ended up with 53 sp. for the evening, giving me a total of 78 sp. for yesterday! As for the owl route, the first 5 stations were very active, with 9 Barred, 1 Long-eared, and 1 Boreal Owl(s). The Boreal was a lifer for me, and my first new bird for SSM of the year. The next 5 stations proved to be completely dead, we were hoping for at least a Great Horned, but we found nothing but Woodcocks, frogs, and toads. The peepers and Wood Frogs have become very active, as well as Leopard Frogs and American Toads to a lesser extent.

I biked down around Bellevue Park this morning, as a threat to our school (some kid playing a prank that got them expelled...) gave us a day off. Not much to see, found a few more Tree Swallows, Gadwall, and Loons, but that's about it. I spent an hour and a half up on my shed roof hawkwatching, but lack of activity and heat sent me back inside. Did see 2 Sharpies, a Turkey Vulture, a Broad-wing, and a Northern Harrier which was new for my yard. The temp in the shade was 22ºC, with a 10 km/h SE wind and sun, you'd think there'd be more hawks moving. I took a thermometer up on the roof with me, turns out the air temp up there near the hot shingles was 47ºC! Later in the day I heard a Brown Creeper out in the yard, I'm sure I've had them before but it wasn't on my yard list for some reason, so another new one! I'm hoping to break 100 this year, so far I've added 11 species, and migration is just beginning!

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