Banding got off to an auspicious start this morning before the rain set in. On opening I heard a Great Horned Owl, American Woodcock and Wild Turkeys. I knew something special was happening when 3 male Painted Buntings, in bright breeding plumage showed up at the feeder chasing away the resident pair of Lazuli Buntings, all of which, evidently, are rare in this area. Moving ahead of the storm front was a surprising Magnificent Frigatebird followed shortly by a pair of Brown Pelicans -attesting to the power of this front moving up from the Gulf of Mexico. After that it was pretty ordinary other than for a small flock of Whooping Cranes heading northwest and an assortment of passerines, including a Cactus Wren. You just never know what’s going to show up at Ruthven!
(I hope no one was gullible enough to fall for this April Fool’s report. The Owl, Woodcock and Turkeys were real – the rest….maybe not…..)
We had some ‘firsts’ for the season:
- Fox Sparrow (1 banded)
- Swamp Sparrow
- Winter Wrens (heard 2)
- Golden-crowned Kinglets (at least 6)
- We also encountered another very early Common Loon – this one was heading a little north of east.
3 American Tree Sparrow
1 Fox Sparrow
1 Song Sparrow
7 Slate-coloured Junco
2 American Goldfinch
2 Black-capped Chickadee
1 American Goldfinch