It seems like I am never able to get to bed early because of both my nature blog and flickr. Writing was not one of my best subjects in school and it can take me a while to write something up. I take all my pictures in the RAW format, so editing the pictures can take some time. Then there are so many wonderful photostreams and nature blogs that I visit every night. Not including trying to keep up with emails, ect.. I always find myself going to bed much later than I should and have a hard time waking up each morning. Not this morning!! I went to bed early after watching the 11pm news that the morning was going to be beautiful (cold but beautiful) and just knew I needed to do some sunrise birding.
Before heading outside, I always like to look at the local radar images to see how many birds were moving. This morning showed most of the large numbers of migrants funneling through central United States (Click HERE to learn how to read these radar maps). The map on the left shows Western New York (click on the map to see the movement) with a few birds on the move. Since I have some fellow banding kids from Michigan that visit my blog, I uploaded a map from Michigan to show everyone what is happening in their neck of the woods. You might notice they have many more birds moving north that we did in Western New York. This was mostly due to the calm winds they had and we had strong northern winds. Watch the clip and how after the sun sets the birds will begin to disappear from the radar (they are landing). Make sure you look closer at the birds over the lake!! Yes, they are turning around to returning back to shore after sunset and the NEXRAD radar was able to capture all this on their images. Radar Ornithology is soo much fun to watch and learn great things about bird migration (and when to expect new birds in the area). The next good southern wind pattern that moves through western New York should bring in many new bird species for me but till then I will continue to look at who is currently here now!!
A photo of a Common Flicker from last Fall
I walked out of my house this morning and saw two Common Flickers inspecting one of my Screech Owl boxes! I watched these two birds do some kind of courtship display and then fly into the woods!! Yeah, expect this for a possible future blog posting and I am glad for once that some Starlings are not in there! I decided to spend my morning walking around Red House Lake to visually inspect the area for any new migrants that might have shown up (since electronically we saw the few migrants moving north). Without a doubt a morning walk before work is MUCH better than a large cup of coffee (especially when it is around 26 degrees F). Only two loons, some Buffleheads, Common Mergansers, Hooded Mergansers and a zillion Canada Geese could be found swimming in the lake. Over near the covered bridge I had watched a Sharp-shinned Hawk that landed on a branch next to the Osprey. The little sharpie gave the Osprey a few choice words on its fishing spot and then disappeared into the pines. He had all the songbirds in an uproar doing all kinds of alarm calls. I continued walking and was pleased when I heard the Pine Warbler singing in its regular spot. I did not locate any Northern Parula’s or Yellow-throated Warbler’s but still decided to look for them since they should be arriving here in the very near future. I think many species are now behind about a week or so due to the snow storm we had. I would expect many first for 2007’s this weekend with the wonderful weather they are planning.
Don’t forget that tomorrow is earth day and please do your part in cleaning up in your local parks or even your neighborhood. We sure want to make it look nice for many of our spring bird migrants making their journey northward.