Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Windows of Opportunity

One thing that i'm starting to learn is that birds know when to seize an opportunity. The last two days have had periods of thick fog; today for just an hour or so, yesterday for half the day. Both days, as soon as the fog cleared, there was a major pulse of birds leaving the bay and heading out round the Point into the main part of the lake. Today a wave of 54 Common Loons all in a couple of loose "flocks", yesterday the fantastic sight of 180 Red Breasted Merganser all departing at the same time. This requires continual scanning as being in the middle distance they could be surprisingly easily missed! I guess they were keen to get going after all the strong NW winds then fog holding them back.

Today also yielded the first 3 Red Throated Loons of the year, the first two were helpfully with a Common for comparison! Another 31 Common Loons spread throughout the day made a day total of 85, though it was very quiet for the last 3 hours or so. Also the first Greater Yellowlegs flew through calling, sounding very similar to its Old World counterpart the Greenshank. Fantastic views of an adult Golden Eagle spotted by a visitor brightened the last couple of hours, it looked somewhat different to the Scottish birds i'm familiar with, having broad pale bars on the upperwing and an even paler head - in fact looking rather like an Imperial Eagle! Always gives me a big thrill to see one.
Groups of chickadees came to the edge of the pines by the Shack before panicking and turning back; yesterday while waiting here for the fog to clear a Pine Siskin called and gave good views.
On the way home a good long check of the feeders produced the first three White Throated Sparrows, while yesterday a Common Redpoll showed well, a scarce bird this year. Good views were eventually obtained of its undertail coverts, where 2 broad dark streaks could be seen, thereby eliminating its congener Hoary from the equation.

1 comment:

jmeyer4321 said...

Really good descripion of your day at the Point...will stop back from time to time to see who's flying by.