Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The birds of March

Posted by Kirk Mona
The March birds have arrived! Wednesday March 5th I noticed some birds on the side of Co. Road 7 very close to work. They looked bigger than sparrows or juncos. The weather was foul with snow and ice. I decided against slamming on my breaks. I took the same route home and luckily spotted the flock of birds. Part of the flock seemed to be snow buntings. They were hard to make out in the corn stubble and they were very shy but their bellies were very white and you could make out a dark bar running the length of the body on the wings. I had a feeling there was more to be seen as the birds I saw in the morning had a black necklace. At least I imagined I had seen that dark band in the glimpse of bird I saw though the snow at 40 mph. I'm getting pretty good at taking a mental snapshot of a bird as it flies across the road. Sure enough, some of the birds were braver and hanging out on the side of the road as I crept along on the shoulder, foot on the brake. I took a look through the binoculars and sure enough, Horned Larks. At one point I was close enough that I could see the yellow on their necks with my bare eyes. Sorry, no camera. I'm going to go ahead and make a prediction for the next four birds I will see. I'm thinking American Kestrel, Red-shouldered hawk, Eastern Phoebe, Sandhill Crane. Time will tell.

Running Tally for 2008
31 Snow Bunting
32 Horned Lark