May 4th – Roller Coaster Temperatures

Male Ruby-crowned Kinglet. -DO

What a difference a day makes! Yesterday: warm sunshine, T-shirt and shorts, picnic lunch and BBQ dinner on the deck…..and watching the orioles hit our jam feeders. This morning when I left the house early I thought I was back in early April: cold NW winds and 5 degrees – and it never warmed up past 8 degrees!

I was kind of surprised to see a migrating Common Loon this morning….for 2 reasons: first, it’s getting to be a little late for them (most have gone through already – I guess April’s lousy weather may have held some back) and, second, there was a stiff NW wind with gusts to >35 km/hour. Usually when I see them they’re really motoring, taking advantage of following winds. But this guy was labouring, the usual speed across the sky just wasn’t there. And, although his heading was NNW his actual course was NNE – the wind hitting him from the side. I’m willing to bet the house that this bird, instead of continuing straight through to Georgian Bay or Lake Simcoe, put down in Lake Ontario until better conditions will prevail.

One of the benefits of The Great Pause is that folks are concentrating on the areas right around them for birding and general nature observations. They’re seeing a wide variety of birds! And this is the time to be out looking for them – the long-distance migrants are upon us….and will be for the next 3 weeks or so. I think you’ll find that you don’t have to go to Point Pelee to see some great birds.

[Thanks to everyone that is sending me pictures. The hard thing is to decide what to post…]:

Gray Catbirds arrived back over the weekend. -AG

Yellow breast, gray head, white eye ring = Nashville Warbler. -AG

Pine Warbler. -AG

This is a great time for accipiters like this Sharp-shinned Hawk; the returning migrants must be like a buffet to them. -AG

Another bird predator: Merlin. -CB

Subtle beauty – one of my favourites: Western Palm Warbler. -AG

Western Palm Warbler. -CB

Western Palm Warbler – evidently they were all over the place….. -MMG

Goslings already! Amazing. -CAJ

A brilliant jewel: Blackburnian Warbler. -CB

Myrtle Warbler. -CB

A tough bird to find let alone photograph: Sora. -CB

Male Yellow Warbler announcing his return. -CB

(Banded) male Yellow Warbler. -MMG

Male Wood Duck…. -DO

Wood Duck pair; female on the right. -DO

Baltimore Orioles returned over the weekend; quickly discovered the feeders. -FJS

Karen’s first Baltimore Oriole of the year. -KMP

Male Red-bellied Woodpecker. -FJS

Common Grackle acting like a Red-winged Blackbird. -KMP

Male House Finch. -KMP

Female Red-winged Blackbird. They weigh only about 2/3 of their male counterparts. -KMP

Black-crowned Night Heron. -MMG

Male Black-throated Green Warbler. -MMG

Least Flycatcher. -MMG

Male Rose-breasted Grosbeak. -MMG

Peculiar white feathering on the back of this Rose-breasted Grosbeak. -MMG

Savannah Sparrow on a singing perch. -MMG

Song Sparrow. -MMG


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