Friday, April 4, 2008

Spring - finally!

Yes, although there is still over 3 feet of snow on the ground in some places, it's spring here in the Soo. Daily temps are going up to 10ºC, and the nights are barely going below 0. Sun almost every day, and south winds are causing the snow to melt, and there is bare ground in some places. Ken McIlwrick and I went out east of town last night to find any and all migrants that were blown in on the south winds and warm temps. Robins have arrived, and Great Blue Herons are back on the rookery (I have yet to see them though).

The back roads east of town that are usually good for geese and ducks are muddy or flooded, even though the fields are still snow-covered, and Pumpkin Point (a great spot for ducks and swans) is still 95% frozen. We still managed some new birds in the river and flying above the snow - Ring-necked Ducks, Turkey Vultures, Barred Owls calling, American Woodcocks displaying, and Sandhill Cranes setting up territory, as well as Rough-legged Hawks migrating north. Canada Geese are grouping up, hopefully they will stay a while and attract some rarer stuff!

Here's our list for the evening. Bolded ones were new for the SSM yearlist. I'll add some photos into this and my latest posts in the next little while.

Canada Goose - 200+
Ring-necked Duck - 3
Common Goldeneye
Hooded Merganser
Common Merganser
Wild Turkey - 5 tame, walked right up to the van
Turkey Vulture - 30
Bald Eagle - 6
Rough-legged Hawk - 5 (4 dark morph, 1 light)
Sandhill Crane - 7
American Woodcock - 5
Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Barred Owl - 2
Blue Jay
American Crow
Common Raven
Black-capped Chickadee
White-breasted Nuthatch - 1
American Robin - 1
European Starling
Red-winged Blackbird - 1
Common Grackle - 4
Number of Species: 26

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