Monday, April 2, 2012

Monday Phenology: April 2, 2012

Posted by Kirk
No podcast again tonight. I'm coming down with something and I sound like Berry White. It might make for a sexy sounding podcast but I'm going to go pass out in bed instead.  Here's some rough observations for the week.

Stay Healthy.

Monday- I saw first of the year Red-breasted Merganser and Turkey Vulture. It was a cold dreary day. People talked about the other shoe dropping. No, the other shoe dropping would be a snow storm. This is just normal March weather. There were a few little pellets of frozen rain on my door mat when I let the dog out in the morning. The rest had clearly melted away but the mat must have insulated them and kept them around long enough for me to see them.

Tuesday - Brought two more new birds for the year. I saw an Eastern Meadowlark while doing a roadside clean-up and then Tree Swallows were out in the prairie in the afternoon. Painted lady butterflies are also out now. Tuesday was warmer but very windy. Branches were blowing down off trees. Very small fiddle head ferns are poking up in the woods.

Wednesday I got reports of White pelicans migrating, northern flickers, myrtle warblers and ruby-crowned kinglets in the Hugo area.

Thursday I sawsome kind of thrush on the edge of the driveway at work but didn't have time to stop. I hoped it would be around of Friday.

Friday I went for a short hike in the morning to see what was happening in the woods. I was itching to see that first myrtle warbler and they should be around. What I found instead was a woods full of American Robins. I counted 200 as they zoomed around and I figure there were easily twice as many that I could not see. Walking into the middle of the forest while this flock flew around me was surreal and very exciting. The birds were feeding mostly on buckthorn. Mixed into or drawn to the flock were blue jays, cedar waxwings and even a rusty blackbird! The blackbird teed up right in front of me and I was pretty surprised. I headed back toward the building and a thrush flew across my path. A little more snooping and I was able to get a good look. There were a couple of hermit thrushes. I even heard one do a tentative song. I headed back on the same trail in the afternoon taking some volunteers on a hike and there were still lots of robins around. A flock of blackbirds flew into a tree and while they were too far away to tell that they were more than males and females their call gave them away as Brewer's Blackbirds.

Saturday and Sunday there were reports of loons on area lakes, flower buds on my lilacs are about to open. I also found buds on clematis that were about to open.

What to watch for this week:
Watch for blooming lilacs. Early returning myrtle warbler, loons, northern flickers will become more common. That's all I can muster right now. I'm going to bed but hope to be right as rain next week and the podcast can return.