Sunday, May 25, 2008

Catching up

I agree with Chris's post, May is too hectic for birding, homework, and doing blogs! If you haven't seen his blog you can check it out in my Links section.

Anyway, last Sunday (May 18), I did my Big Day (Baillie Birdathon) around the Sault, seeing 135 species, and setting a new record for Algoma District. It was a pretty crappy day for weather, with cold winds and rain most of the day. Despite that, I managed a few good birds including 3 Trumpeter Swans, 2 male Ruddy Ducks, the White-eyed Vireo, and a Le Conte's Sparrow. If you include WPBO on May 17, my 2-day list was 148, and a Northern Waterthrush on May 19 brought my weekend list to 149. Year birds: Trumpeter Swan, Virginia Rail, Sora, Whip-poor-will, Chimney Swift, Tennessee Warbler, and Wilson's Warbler.

Monday, May 19 I biked to the Locks in the morning, wasn't all that productive except for the aforementioned waterthrush. That night, I went to watch the swifts with John and a guy from the Netherlands who is volunteering at OFRI. I took a video, and counted them up the next day...2302 swifts! Compared to the 500 or so last year, that's quite a few!

Thursday, May 22 - took my friend to see the swifts, there were still about 1000 birds there...possibly new arrivals?

Saturday, May 24 - Well, the weather finally decided to be decent for a day, so I biked down to the Locks in the early morning. Found Red-eyed Vireo and Yellow-bellied Flycatcher for the year list, plus some warblers and a Bonaparte's Gull. I added 11 species to my Bigby list as well. In the later morning, we had a yard sale, and I saw and heard a Least Sandpiper flying over the house, yard bird #93!

Sunday, May 25 - Orchard Oriole and tons of warblers at the point on the 24th! Kirk and I headed out there for today, to see what else was around. We somehow managed to miss a Eurasian Tree Sparrow that was there sometime while we were wandering the woods...that's what we get for not taking radios! Anyway, there were a few warblers around, and I added Blackpoll to the year list. We also had a pair of Black-bellied Plovers at the Tahquamenon Rivermouth, another year bird. There were quite a few birds leftover from yesterday, and maybe some new migrants, but we managed to find 5(!) Indigo Buntings in one little area...not a bird I get to see that often. We also found a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher in with the Leasts, #197 for my point list. I finally caught up with Cedar Waxwing, a species that I should've seen back in January. There are a lot of winter finches migrating through, with Evening Grosbeaks, Pine Siskins, Purple Finches, and American Goldfinches, all species that were surprisingly absent through the winter. Guess they all went down to Texas! Anyway, the highlight of the day was an adult Lark Sparrow that I managed to find while sitting at the feeder talking to Kirk and Ken Mety Jr! It was a little skittish, but I managed a few decent shots, which will be up here along with many others probably tomorrow afternoon. It was in fresh breeding plumage, and was by far the brightest individual of this species I've ever seen. Also, as a bonus, it was new for all my area lists! (#198 for WPBO, #264 for SSM, and #255 for MI)

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