Monday, April 30, 2012

Birding Journal Observations / March - April 2012

Blue grosbeak on April 11
Carolina chickadee on peanut feeder
As usual, the spring migration of neotropical songbirds has been exhilarating, and other migrants have also been spotted. Early March saw very warm conditions and heavy pollen in the air, as the mild winter of 2012 came to an end and the spring green-up appeared. I had a fox sparrow sighting on March 5, and on March 19 I had the first Parula warbler sighting and a pair of goldfinches. March 29 marked the appearance of the first ruby-throated hummingbird, followed by the first yellow-throated warbler and first blue grosbeak on April 11. A perfect trifecta was achieved on April 26 when I glimpsed the first Indigo bunting, first Swallow-tailed kite and first Mississippi kite. The migratory songbirds will surely keep mustering though May, and an observation I will make is that the birds did not come as early as the warm weather might have indicated - which is perhaps indicative of the great distance they came from where they may have been experiencing normal climactic conditions. Another great sighting in April (not by me) was made by the Santee Birding Festival when they noted a Scissor-tailed flycatcher at the Santee NWR! My other sightings include brown-headed cowbird, mockingbird, cardinal, tufted titmouse, chipping sparrow, carolina wren, downy woodpecker, yellow-bellied sapsucker, bluebird, white-breasted nuthatch, Cooper's hawk, dove, towhee, red-headed woodpecker, hairy woodpecker, cedar waxwing, wood duck, Canada goose, blue jay, pileated woodpecker and Northern flicker.

To view past birding journal observations click here.

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