Sunday 21 March 2021

Mid-March Birding

I have gotten out here and there for the last couple of weeks. Not too many photos, but some notable sightings.

I got out to Fanshawe CA for the first time in over a month a couple weeks ago. The lake was finally opening up after being frozen, and ducks were starting to show up. On the 10th, I had my first of year (FOY) Gadwall, as well as my first Snow Goose for Fanshawe. On the 11th, I had my first of season (FOS) Wood Duck, Ruddy Ducks, and Green-winged Teal, as well as my FOY Lesser Scaup. I had a couple small flocks of Tundra Swans, nothing compared to the over 800 I counted migrating through the neighborhood earlier that week. 

On the 12th I got out to Fanshawe again, and it was one of my best days yet this year, with 45 species recorded recorded in the four hours I was there. Pied-billed Grebe was a FOS, and I also had a Peregrine Falcon in pursuit of pintails. The highlights were undoubtedly a Tufted Titmouse (pretty uncommon to rare in this area of the county) and a migrating Golden Eagle. Believe it or not, this was actually the first Golden Eagle I have ever seen in active migration! Before I had only ever seen wintering individuals.  

I got out locally with not too many highlights over the next week. I did see a couple Common Ravens while driving up near Lucan though. 

This past weekend I got out in search of FOYs. I checked out Fanshawe yesterday morning, but only succeeded in finding one FOY, a Horned Grebe. Waterfowl numbers are down, maybe as a result of the higher water.

I checked out a couple ponds after, as well as the airport (in search of meadowlark), but only was able to find one other year bird, a couple Northern Shovelers. 

I wanted Lapland Longspur, so I opted to drive some backroads around Lucan in the afternoon. No dice. After getting a little lost, I ended up at Wildwood Lake, where I was disappointed to find that there were basically no birds. Certainly not worth the 30 minute detour lol.

That evening, I finally got my first American Woodcock of the year, although it only called twice then shut up! 

Today I wanted to find Sandhill Cranes, but ultimately failed. At least I found a Cooper's Hawk nest, which was pretty cool. 

Lots of signs of spring out this weekend. Chipmunks and groundhogs are out and about, lots of turtles, some Spring Peepers, a garter snake, and several butterflies. Shouldn't be too long before the spring wildflowers start to pop up. Nice weekend to be outside.

Things are looking up!

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