Sunday, May 1, 2016

Birding Journal Observations - March / April 2016

Cooper's Hawk dining on a dove I saw it catch
A third wet winter in a row changed into an early spring by Mid-March, with rainfall tapering off quickly. However, nighttime temps remained cool until later in April, delaying spring migratory songbirds until about the middle of April. But the last few weeks of April 2016 have seen a bonanza of migratory bird activity, and it should continue into the month of May. At a recent meeting of Kershaw County landowners, I told them to keep their eyes peeled for avian visitors.

So far I would call the 2016 migration as being pretty normal based on my past eight years of blog links and observations. Which translates into that I have seen the birds I expected to see, but I haven't been surprised by any unusual or once-in-a-lifetime sightings. Long-range weather forecasting shows a return to warmer and drier climactic conditions and this may account for this year's normal pattern of migration. But Spring still is the best time to bird watch, with a variety of colorful feathers to view and animated calls to hear, which have absent for the landscape for 6 months or more.

Some of the first sightings for migratory species in 2016 include:
March 1 - yellow-rumped warbler
March 4 - pine siskin
March 16 - brown-headed nuthatch
March 21 - Northern parula warbler, ruby-throated hummingbird
April 5 - summer tanager, swallow-tailed kite
April 11 -  blue grosbeak
April 27 - Mississippi kite, yellow-billed cuckoo, yellow-throated warbler, blue-gray gnatcatcher and Indigo Bunting
April 29 - orchard oriole

Other birding observations from March / April 2016 include tufted titmouse, goldfinch, chipping sparrow, house finch, cardinal, Carolina chickadee, pine warbler, downy woodpecker, yellow-bellied sapsucker, red-bellied woodpecker, blue bird, white-breasted nuthatch, brown-headed cowbird, dove, brown thrasher, mockingbird, white-throated sparrow, cormorant, Carolina wren, red-tailed hawk, kestrel, barn swallow, wood duck, red-headed woodpecker, blue jay, pileated woodpecker, killdeer, Canada goose and grey catbird.

To view the most recent birding journal Observations click on January / February 2016

To view past Birding Journal Observations from March / April click 20152014 - 2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009

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