Tuesday 12 April 2022

More Algonquin April Birding

Last Thursday, there was a little bit of rain in the forecast, but with the south winds, I figured I should head out birding at the Old Airfield in Algonquin Park anyways. Lucky for me, the rain subsided early in the day, and I ended up having my best day of birding of the year thus far.

Not a ton of new arrivals per se, but certainly a good number of species on the move. The day started off well with an Eastern Phoebe soon after the rain stopped, the first of the year. 

In late morning, an Eastern Meadowlark dropped in, which was great to see. I believe this is a different bird than the one from a couple of days prior. 

I saw two Sandhill Cranes fly over, which are pretty scarce migrants and breeders in the Park.

A short while later, a lone Double-crested Cormorant flew by, far away and high up. I think this ties the early record.

And just five minutes after that, I spied an immature Golden Eagle migrating in the distance. No (conclusive) photos of that one though! 

A nice male American Kestrel also visited in the early afternoon.

The headliner for the day were Common Redpolls. I counted an incredible 3740 individuals migrating southbound. Why they were headed that way, is beyond me. Here is a portion of a flock of 500+ that I saw.

Here is my eBird checklist.

In some other Algonquin birding odds and ends, Winter Wren was a new one for the year on April 8. April 9 brought two new birds: Northern Flicker and Blue-winged Teal. The teal are of particular excitement, as they are a very uncommon spring migrant and were a new species for my park list.

Yesterday yielded no new year birds, despite spending most of the day birding on good winds. Perhaps driving from London and getting back at 3am was not the best idea after all! That's just how it goes sometimes! This morning I found a little bit of movement had occurred, as I found Hermit Thrush, Green-winged Teal, Bufflehead, and Wilson's Snipe in the Old Airfield. 

I've been quite happy with what I've been seeing so far (it somewhat offsets my sour feelings about missing a Black-necked Stilt back home), and am quite excited to see what else is to come. The beauty of Algonquin Park birding...it doesn't take much to make us happy! 

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