Friday, March 16, 2012

Hot winter continues!

Nearly a month ago I wrote about how this was actually a "hot" winter with far above normal temperatures across our region of the country. The deviations we had been seeing were extreme, and I doubt I have to tell anyone who has been in Connecticut in the last week that this continued in an "off the charts" way. Vernal pool activity has been full steam ahead as frogs are singing their choruses night and day. Fox Sparrows and others are making a quiet march through the state, not being pushed into the open by snow that we could easily be having at this time of year.

Trees are exploding with buds as countless species of woody vegetation and flowers pop open with days in the mid 70s. In 2010 we experienced an incredible leaf-out with many trees full of leaves before most of the neotropical migrants had returned, making life easier for them but harder for eager birders. This year we stand a good chance of beating that. Take a look at the newly burned Stratford Point as green shoots pop up everywhere in the black earth!

We are shattering daily temperature records with by several degrees, and look to do much of the same again next week. So where do we stand on temperatures? Here is where we stood as of March 14 (in degrees Fahrenheit, via the National Weather Service):

November: +4.3
December: +5.7
January: +5.6
February: +6.3
March: +7.0

November: +3.9
December: +5.9
January: +5.5
February: +6.0
March: +6.8

Unbelievable. The early birds keep coming, too. Have you seen (or maybe more accurately heard) your first of year Eastern Phoebe or Pine Warbler yet? More will be on the way next week.

Scott Kruitbosch
Conservation Technician

All photos © Scott Kruitbosch and not to be reproduced without explicit permission

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