Date: 2/9/19 2:18 pm From: David Suddjian <dsuddjian...> Subject: [cobirds] Say's Phoebe at Littleton, Arapahoe
A Say's Phoebe showed up at St. Mary Church in Littleton at mid-day. Whether this is a returning bird, or one that has been around the local region this winter, who knows. None have been seen right near St. Mary this winter, but one or more along the South Platte corridor are not too far off from St. Mary. But I was interested to watch this one visit some of the favored building roof spots of the pair that has nested at the church in most recent years since I've been watching beginning 2014. It gave an energetic series of about 10 calls at one point, before moving on.
Whatever the action and intent of the bird, "first of season" records for this location have varied widely over the years. The "arrivals" I have noted at this location have been: 1/31/14, 3/1/15, 2/13/16, 3/23/17, 2/18/18 and now 2/9/19. So a cluster in mid-February. Most often the first sightings were followed by a gap of several weeks before any others were detected. This may suggest a wintering wanderer, but might there be occasional early northbound migrants? eBird's frequency graphs for ARA, JEF and DOU counties show the seasonal upward swing in frequency of occurrence and numbers as beginning in the 2nd week of March.