Saturday, April 26, 2008

Owls and Thunderstorms

Despite massive downpours yesterday evening, I went across the border to do an Owl Prowl with the Sault Naturalists. Only 4 people showed up (including me and Ken), but it stopped raining around 6, and didn't start again until 10:30, luckily for us. Some new migrants were pushed up by the system, plus more of the migrants that have already appeared. Short-eared Owls were surprisingly nonexistent, they're usually back by now, although the vole/mouse crash of the winter that meant there were no Rough-legs or Snowy Owls here may mean they won't breed here this year. Who knows? Anyway, we ended up with 47 species for the evening, 5 of which were new for the year list, being American Bittern, Le Conte's Sparrow, Pectoral Sandpiper, Barn Swallow, and Northern Saw-whet Owl. We also found 3 Barred Owls and a Long-eared on the outing. Right after the Saw-whet called, the sky opened up, with massive thunder and lightning bolts, and torrential rain. Needless to say, we headed home after that, and the rain followed us all the way back. I managed to pick up laryngitis, and was sick all day yesterday, and again today, so it is unlikely I will get much birding done in the next few days. It's supposed to be cold with strong winds all week anyway, not the greatest weather for birding.

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