Migration V.5

Monday, April 11 found warmer temperatures than the weekend previous.  It also found west winds, as opposed to the forecasted north winds that were supposed to be here at dawn.  With this little reprieve before the winds actually shifted, a weak migration occurred, totaling just 17 birds shy of 1,000 counted today.  More promising however, were the divers 67 species logged. It was the most diverse count of the season.

Little to report however, as no single bird really dominated the count.  Worth mentioning in the footnotes were a Red-throated Loon diving in the waters a mere feet from the shoreline, 18 Great Egrets in migration, 32 Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers undulating by, 2 Merlin, 17 early Barn Swallows, and the counts first Brown Thrasher and Swamp Sparrow of the season.  On the “we don’t want to see” side, were the most abundant bird today… 255 Brown-headed Cowbirds.  😦

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Cooper’s Hawk on nest, 4/11/16.

Among other raptors, 8 Northern Harriers flew past today.  Several going by fairly close to the tower and available for some short video clips, seen below.  Farther in the park we also had the first Lousiana Waterthrush of the season.  This species, while nesting in the park, is a rare bird to see going by the tower, as it’s Northern cousin.  A video of it singing is also in the video below.  Also farther in the park are a pair of local Cooper’s Hawks who birders Kristin Stratton and Kim Ehn found building a nest.  If you want to see it, visit the state park camp store parking lot and simply look about 100 feet south and across the street.  The nest is easy to spot right now since the leaves have not come out yet.  By early May it may be a little harder. Also intesting is the fact that the female is still in usual immature plumage with yellow eye, while the male is sporting the usual adult plumage.

Today’s list is here.  The video referenced should be below.

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