Saturday, April 24, 2010

Stratford Point 4/18-4/24

The weather improved this week after last weekend's washout. As you can see in the photo the left, Stratford Point is rapidly going from brown to green with an explosion of spring growth. While northerly winds persisted most nights, there was a short period of southerly flow that allowed for some heavy migration. This brought waves of Savannah Sparrow in. Another sparrow species that made a mid-week appearance was the Eastern Towhee. We also recorded more Ruby-crowned Kinglet and Tree Swallow. Thursday brought us the first Barn Swallow of the season. During the late summer there will be numerous swallows and swallow species here - on a lucky day you will be able to record Tree, Barn, Bank, Northern Rough-winged, and Cliff possibly simultaneously! Great Egret numbers are steadily increasing, with multiple birds seen on multiple days. Shorebirds are also being seen more and more as Dunlin, Sanderling, and Black-bellied Plovers are regular visitors now.

We still have some wintering species around as well. Red-breasted Mergansers can be seen flying by the Point nearly every day. On Wednesday, a Northern Gannet was sighted very close to shore. Brant have been a fixture at Stratford Point, often numbering into the hundreds as they graze around the tidal line. One interesting species for the week was a Cooper's Hawk. The site has very few trees and is far from any spacious wooded area, but the Cooper's Hawk has been recorded soaring over the rear upland areas on repeated occasions. This week should bring some fantastic passerines migrants and increased numbers of shorebirds - stop by to see what we get!

Photo © Scott Kruitbosch

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