Date: 4/4/17 5:25 am From: RALPH ELDRIDGE <lightrae1...> Subject: [Maine-birds] MACHIAS SEAL ISLAND REPORT
Monday proved to be quite birdy with a definite increase in the already numerous SAVANNAH, SONG & FOX SPARROWS. A single CHIPPING SPARROW was our Spring 1st and JUNCOS took a big leap with several dozen evident.
There was another wave of ROBINS and our 1st GREEN WING TEAL. The Robins are beginning to find some large Earth Worms.
CANADA GEESE & BRANT moved late in the afternoon with flocks of up to 55 for each species. I figure there were 500+ Geese and 300+ Brant. (8 Geese seen travelling the opposite direction this morning.)
PURPLE SANDPIPERS are very low, presumably most have started their migration.
HARLEQUIN DUCKS remain high with 66 counted late yesterday. I spent some time with some of them as they foraged near the landing ramp. It was fun to watch their fast-water foraging behaviour rather than the usual diving which we see in the salt water environment.
The Alcids continue to increase in number. RAZORBILLS & MURRES are ashore in the main colony areas and they are staying longer each day. There are still no birds in the other colony areas such as the northeast shore. The first PUFFIN hasn't appeared yet, either.
This morning the Song Sparrows seem to have increased while Juncos, Fox Sparrows & Robins seem to have dropped to near zero. Presumably that's because of overnight migration.
Small groups and single GREAT BLUE HERONS started passing on Sunday. I haven't seen any on the island but that's no surprise. They seldom stop here because we just don't have any habitat for them.
The 1st KESTREL, a female, hunted the island briefly yesterday. I didn't see any kills but did see several attacks. The sparrows definitely took notice after days with no predators around.