Monday, 11 March 2013

Spring migration is a GO

Had a chance to get out and see some early spring migrants on the weekend in my (current) local case you're trying to keep up with where I currently call home, right now it is near Belleville (yes, I know the "about me" section still says Bancroft...).

On Saturday Erica and I checked out Bleasdell Boulder Conservation Area (one of our many local CA's).  It was a short walk through some cedar forest and then into more decidous trees, including some nice Shagbark Hickories.  The boulder itselft was pretty big, in fact it is apparently Ontario's largest glacial erratic.  Not too many birds around there but the sun was so nice it felt good to be outside.

Of course, we took the long way there (don't tell Erica!) along the Trent River and we were rewarded with a nice pair of Eastern Bluebirds and an adult Bald Eagle.  Despite the nice weather the wind still hadn't switched to the south, so no blackbirds were back yet (that we found).

Sunday was a different story, and I got up early (well, earlier then Ken at least) to see what had arrived overnight.  I decided to tour around Prince Edward County, a place I am still getting to know.  My first stop was in Rossmore, just after crossing the Bay of Quinte on the Bay Bridge. As I was crossing I was surprised to see a large patch of open water on the east side of the bridge so I pulled over to scope the waterfowl.  I was pleasantly surprised to see my first Wood Ducks and to hear a few Killdeer flying over.  See my full checklist.

give it a week or two and we'll amazingly be tired of seeing this!

The rest of the morning was spent travelling out the Waupoos Peninsula then over to Wellington.  The south shore of the Waupoos Peninsula had lots of open water and lots of ducks, but nothing unusual.  Wellington harbour was good as usual for ducks with a nice selection. See my full checklist.  Red-winged Blackbirds were common all over and American Robins and Common Grackles were also pretty widespread.  I also had a couple of singing Song Sparrows to really make it feel like spring might be here. All-in-all I picked up 41 species in the morning without working up a sweat...

Today was also good for newly arrived birds. I checked out Little Lake at lunch with a couple co-workers and had a nice selection of ducks, including my first Northern Pintail of the year.  No sign of Devin's Wood Ducks though. I was amazed to see how similar some of our counts were today to what I had 1 year ago on March 12 at the same location.

Anyways, it is always an exciting time of year for sure...even if we get more winter weather the blackbirds and ducks will keep on coming.  If you are like me, you'll like keeping an eye on some of these resources related to bird migration:

eBird maps - great for watching as species get closer and closer!
Birdcast - weekly migration forecasts!
Windmap - never leave home without it!
Nexrad - good for checking at night to see big bird movements
(and of course all the great blogs on the right of your screen)

No comments:

Post a Comment