Tuesday, March 10, 2015

'Spring' Rambles and the End is in Sight

Looks like this brutal winter is finally behind us. Above zero temps for the most part during the days are here to stay...I hope.
I was looking at past notes from this date, and it is interesting how different each year is.  Of course birds are a bit later than normal this year.  I finally heard a couple of Killdeer today at Port Lambton, and it was this date last year I heard the first ones.  Quite often though, they appear in the last week of February along with other birds.

Two years ago (2013) we had lots of waterfowl in late February, including Greater White-fronted Geese.  Eleven were at Sombra for a few days.  Four years ago (2011), 12 were at Ridgetown, etc. etc. And, 2 Blue-winged Teal were at McLean's near Rondeau-record early for the location.

Some of those White-fronts

2007 was an early spring for some birds.  On March 10 there were several Fox Sparrows at Rondeau. I then went over to McGeachy Pond dike and found an Eastern Phoebe.  Better yet, I found a Le Conte's Sparrow--record early needless to say!  That was a good spring for early Ammodramus sparrows as in the next week a Le Conte's was at Pelee and on the 17th, Adam Pinch found a Henslow's Sparrow.  I lucked out on that sighting, since I went to Pelee that day.  As I approached the Tip tram loop, Adam was in a hurry on his bike. "You are not going to believe what I just saw"  he said.  Off we went and refound his Henlsow's Sparrow in some snow just up West Beach trail.  A record-early.

2008 was a harsh winter as well.  Many dead ducks were on the St. Clair River at this date.  There happened to be a very large number of wintering ducks on the river, so with the few open spots, food became scarce.

March 10, 2001, I found a Mourning Dove on a nest at McKeough CA. That was the start of the atlas data-gathering period.  Doubt there is one yet this year!

March 10, 2002, about 4000 Ring-billed Gulls were on St. Clair River.


If you want to jump ahead in days, March 16, 1997 I got a Sage Thrasher on my bedroom list (as Paul Pratt put it!).
Sorry, did not have good camera in those days...

This bird was quite mobile.  We chased it all over the neighbourhood!

Should be an interesting spring.


  1. Wake me up when the interesting Neotropical migrants start showing up ... April 19th ???