Easter Break started today, and after some great birds seen yesterday at school (Harrier) and at home while doing gymnastics in the front yard (3 Osprey, Kestrel, Merlin, Coop, etc.), I couldn't not go outside today. After seeing my FOS (for the yard) Golden-crowned Kinglets doing their usual bouncing around, I first visited the Red-shouldered Hawks Zeus and Hera, the latter of which has started incubating while her mate stays nearby. A migrating immature bird who was unlucky enough to find itself in the heart of their territory almost incurred their wrath. After checking for any interesting sparrows and having no luck, as the Fox Sparrows seemed to have moved on, it started to rain, so I went home, but once it stopped I found myself once again in the yard. Chipping Sparrows appeared to return overnight, and at least three males were singing, a sound much welcomed. There were phoebes around, and the kinglets once again made an appearance, with around eight birds foraging around me at a couple points. They stayed around for a couple hours. The hawks were once again up and moving; by the time it was noon, I had 3 kestrels, 3 Coops, 2 Sharp-shinneds, 3 Red-tails, 3 Red-shoulders, an Osprey, a harrier, and more vultures than I can count. The best surprise of the day was a very early Blue-gray Gnatcatcher that appeared in the yard aorund eleven, called a bit, and flew off not long after that without letting me get a photo. While they start appearing regularly about a week or so from now in places around here, usually it's around two until I see them in the forest around here, so this bird was quite surprising. Here's to more spring migrants as April comes our way!
Last week, I was able to visit Soldiers Delight, and I was rewarded with male Pine Warblers, the testosterone coursing through their veins. There were at least two on territory, and probably more by now. Along with that, there was a Bald Eagle, a flock of 70 or so Tundra Swans, Gray Catbird (very nice to see), Wild Turkey, and an unexpected Peregrine Falcon. Hoping to visit a couple more times this season, especially when the Prairie Warblers return.
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