Saturday, 25 February 2017

Spring Migration is a Go!

With the recent warm weather we've been having, it's no surprise that there has been a recent influx of migrants returning and resident species starting their mating rituals.

American Robins have started their "cheery-up" song

My first Red-winged Blackbird of the year was seen on the 18th down at the local park. I didn't see any for a of couple days, but then on the 21st, there was a group of 10 that flew by. In the following days, I found about 8 or so singing males.

While this species isn't unexpected at this time of year, the numbers in which they are being reported is quite unusual. Here is the eBird map for the month of February (red is within the last 30 days).

Grackles are also starting to come back, and on the 24th I saw at least 19 at Virginia Park.

They usually aren't around in large numbers until mid-March. Again, here's the eBird map for February.

Killdeer are also starting to appear.

There are numerous records of Killdeer in February, but as with the Red-winged Blackbirds, the numbers in which they are being found are exceptional.

American Woodcocks are also returning. In fact, they've already started displaying.

Turkey Vultures are migrating in small numbers, and I'm sure we'll start seeing them regularly in the next couple of weeks.

Perhaps one of the best early records so far this year was a Greater Yellowlegs near Long Point in Norfolk county.

In fact, it's a PROVINCIAL record early by about a week.

So far, 2017 looks like it's going to be one hectic year!

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