I had a pretty good year of birding in the new yard in 2015. I totaled 88 species through November and looked forward to what the winter might bring in early 2016. When I woke on New Year's morning and counted 24 Gray Squirrels gorging themselves at the five bird feeding stations scattered around my half acre, I should have recognized it as an omen of what the next two months would have in store.
As it turned out January and February were dead in terms of bird diversity at my house. But March marks the beginning of ornithological spring and with it the birds begin to move. The past two days temperatures sky-rocketed to the mid-30's with light wind and mostly sunny skies. Yesterday as I was chillin' and grillin' out on the deck I noticed an adult Bald Eagle clearly migrating, as it headed north at a great altitude. I grabbed my binoculars and camera suspecting that there may be other raptors on the move.
About 20 minutes later I spied a Rough-legged Hawk (New Species, #89) on the exact same flight path that the eagle had taken. Just a minute later it was followed by a second Roughie.
Then early this afternoon I had this group of Common Mergansers zip by and take the yard list to an even 90.
|Immature Bald Eagle|
|Redheads and Lesser Scaup|