Don’t let the return of snow and seemingly slow start to spring dampen your spirits when it comes to bird migration. Many species have returned to our area and many more will soon follow. One of the things I enjoy most about photographing so many birds each year is cataloguing them by both species and date. I am able to look back to this date in previous years and compare what birds have been present from year to year.
According to my records things are not as slow as they may seem. Many of the previously reported birds such as Red-winged Blackbirds, Common Grackles and Osprey have returned right on schedule with previous years. The forecast for the end of the week is calling for warmer temperatures and south winds. Anyone who reads my blog regularly knows this is the perfect recipe for migration and has me pretty excited about what we may see. Looking back to my records for 2013 and 2012 here is what we can expect over the next couple of weeks.
The third week of April last year saw me photographing Yellow-Rumped Warblers, Spotted Sandpipers and Northern Rough-Winged Swallows that had just returned. Barn Swallows were also present. The first couple of days of May saw the return of Baltimore Orioles, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, and the Yellow Warbler. By the second week of May there was a rush of warblers moving through and more shorebirds including Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs, and Solitary Sandpipers could be found in the city. If the weatherman is right and history repeats itself, this weekend and the start of next week could reveal new migrants. What better way to spend the Easter long weekend than birding and finding some first of year species?
This cold snowy day won’t interfere with the imminent return of many birds that are currently positioned just to our south. We are a few warm days and a south breeze away from new arrivals showing up in our area. Days like these are perfect days to clean binoculars, scopes, and camera lenses or brush up on your identification skills in preparation for the influx of migrating birds. I know it may not look like it by looking out the window but spring migration is moving along right on schedule.