Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Spring Migration

Eastern Phoebe
It's that time of year when we can hardly wait to shed our winter coats and bask in the sunshine.
I also love the smell of the earth as she gets washed in Spring rains, the scent of new growth popping up and the buds beginning to swell on the trees. There is a renewed energy in the air as we get outdoors to absorb the sights, smells and sounds of Spring.

And on birding blogs I'm sure you are reading about birds returning to their Summer grounds and some have already begun to incubate their eggs like our Great Horned Owl on the park. Presque Isle is considered one of the major stop overs for many birds migrating North before crossing the Great Lakes. Last Friday after work I treated myself to some trail walking and had a lifer for me. I was on B trail when I came across some Eastern Phoebes. Then Saturday morning began our bird class with Jerry McWilliams. Michele and I consider Jerry our guru of birds. Jerry is also conducting Hawk Watches at the TREC in the parking lot from about 10:00 to 3:00. Stop by and check out the Hawk migration with Jerry. We will have more on the big Hawk Watch coming up in April.

Eastern Phoebe
For the next 8 weeks I will present our list of birds we see each week in class or otherwise. There is a link to a map of the park in our top navigation bar. This is a pdf file you can download and print if you wish. The list will indicate where the birds were sited and now you can find the area on the map.
Note: The waterfowl migrating through will be leaving soon so if you live nearby get out soon before they are gone.
Here is our class list:
Canada Goose—several at various sites
Gadwall—a pair in Niagara Pond
American Wigeon—a pair in Horseshoe Pond
American Black Duck—a pair flying out of Niagara Pond
Mallard—a few pairs at various sites
Northern Shoveler—at least a couple of males in Niagara Pond
Green-winged Teal—brief looks at a male in Niagara Pond
Canvasback—several in Thompson Bay
Redhead—several in Thompson Bay
Ring-necked Duck—many in Niagara Pond
Greater Scaup—several off Niagara boat launch and in Thompson Bay
Lesser Scaup—most common duck on the park, most were in Thompson Bay and Niagara Pond
Bufflehead—a few at various sites
Common Goldeneye—several off Niagara boat launch
Hooded Merganser—a few in Thompson Bay and Horseshoe Pond
Red-breasted Merganser--a few off Niagara boat launch
Wild Turkey—one at beach 11
Horned Grebe—one in Marina Bay
Great Blue Heron—one or two off beach 11 and in Niagara Pond
Bald Eagle—one adult over Misery Bay and later Michele, Julie and I saw one fly over Sommerheim across from Vista 1
American Coot—many off the second parking lot and in Misery Bay
Killdeer—a few at various sites
Bonaparte’s Gull—25 or so over Misery Bay and about 15 over the road near the eagles nest
Ring-billed Gull—several flying overhead
Herring Gull—several flying overhead
Mourning Dove—a couple over Pine Tree Trail
Great Horned Owl—one on the nest near Duck Pond Trail
Downy Woodpecker—a few doing the territorial drumming
Hairy Woodpecker—one at Thompson Circle
Northern Flicker—at least three at various sites
Eastern Phoebe—a couple on B-trail and Pine Tree Trail
Blue Jay—a few along Pine Tree Trail
Wood Duck—two flying over Thompson Bay


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