Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Lots of Northbound Migrants

I spent a couple hours birding the neighborhood after work today. I was impressed by the increasing numbers of north-bound migrants around. There were lots of tiny Blue-gray Gnatcatchers. (I got this picture of one last Friday.) Their soft raspy call is a common sound on our streets and on the trail right now. There are also lots of Yellow-rumped Warblers, and the males are just starting to emerge into their bright breeding plumage. Many Ruby-crowned Kinglets are still here, and they are now singing. They have quite a complex song and it's surprising to hear it from such a small inconspicuous bird, especially since all winter long all I've heard is there typewriter-like clicking call.

On Lake Creek Trail between the parking lot and the footbridge Lincoln's Sparrows are more numerous than in the past few weeks. Lately I've been seeing them in groups of 3 or 4. I got this picture of one last Friday.

By the new parking lot I was excited to see a single Grasshopper Sparrow. This is a bird I usually only get to see a few times per year. It's a grassland species that we only see in the neighborhood during migration, or very rarely during the winter. This was the first one I've seen here since April, and I got this poor picture.

I'll end this post with a much better picture. Our state bird, Northern Mockingbirds are common year-round residents here and often let you get very close to them. This one was near the Grasshopper Sparrow and was much more cooperative for photographing.


Anonymous said...

Mikael, I assume you have the iPhone. Have you tried this app yet?


I would like your opinion if you have.

Thanks, Back Yard Birder

Mikael Behrens said...

You assume correctly -- I love my iPhone! I have birdJam installed on it, but iBird looks like something I need to check out. Thanks!


Anonymous said...

I had not planned on any birding today. Only hail damage clean up chores. However a bright yellow flash in our holly shrubs caught my eye. It was a Hooded Warbler that was foraging with a Bewick Wren that has a nest on our front porch. A good day after all.

-Back Yard Birder