Saturday, April 18, 2009

Update 4/18

As predicted, there was a decent influx of temperate-zone migrants this morning in the area of Magee Marsh / Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge. Most noticeable were Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, Yellow-rumped Warblers, and greatly increased numbers of Hermit Thrushes and Ruby-crowned Kinglets. In addition to the Yellow-rumps, there were at least a couple of Pine Warblers (including a very obliging singing male near the entrance to theMagee boardwalk), a Northern Parula (on the boardwalk), and a Northern Waterthrush (along the north edge of the woods at Magee). I was particularly surprised to see this bird; as early as April 18th, I would say that Louisiana Waterthrush would be more likely here than Northern. There were also a few Purple Finches actively moving through this morning, as well as Northern Flickers and small flocks of Cedar Waxwings.

Along the auto tour at Ottawa NWR there was an impressively wide variety of duck species for so late in the spring, the first Common Moorhens that I've seen locally this spring, and a male Northern Harrier performing territorial/courtship displays, suggesting that the species might nest here this year. Flyover shorebirds included both yellowlegs, 50 American Golden-Plovers, Dunlins, Pectoral Sandpipers, and Wilson's Snipe. All of these species were also seen on the ground at the northwest end of the auto tour (east end of Veler Road) but they were quite distant, even in the telescope. A good hawk flight developed by late morning, with decent numbers of Broad-winged, Cooper's, and others passing over the refuge toward the west-northwest.

The current weather forecast calls for showers tomorrow (Sunday the 19th). For anyone who wasn't able to get out today, if you can get out tomorrow between showers, it should still be good for the songbirds and waterbirds (although probably not for hawks).

No comments:

Nature Blog Network