Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Spring surveys: Week 1

The first week of campus spring surveys has been completed. It's felt like early March out there, and the diversity and numbers of birds have reflected the weather.

A total of 51 species were recorded. The only FOS (first of season) bird recorded was Yellow-rumped Warbler, with 7 recorded on 14 April. Other highlights included four Ring-necked Ducks on Fairlane Lake on 13 April, a flyover Peregrine Falcon on 14 April, and a lingering Red-breasted Nuthatch all week.

There are a handful of Pine Siskins around, and most are hanging around the pine trees by the estate. I've seen them chasing each other around and engaging in courtship flight, so they may be nesting there.

Brown Creepers can be fairly common, if unobtrusive, spring migrants here, but two have been seen consistently for several weeks near the Rouge River on the north end of campus. We do have nesting records here, so perhaps these are also breeders.

There have been a few Hermit Thrushes and a couple of Winter Wrens, but now they are starting to sing, which is quite a treat. The warm weather is supposed to begin tomorrow, so I expect many more first arrivals in the coming days. I'll be out of town this weekend, but the surveys will be well-handled by Jim Fowler and Jerry Sadowski.

Good birding!

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