After a long winter, April is a breath a fresh air. It is one of my favorite months for birding. I get great views of our non-migratories over the winter without leaving the house but nothing beat heading out on a foray once the milder weather hits. It seems that every day I catch a glimpse of a bird returning after its migration. This year has been no exception as I've seen 8 species this month (5 birds in the past 7 days) that have been off my radar for some months now.
Here are my most recent additions to my year list, along with the dates they were first sighted.
-- Slate-coloured Junco (April 5)
-- House Sparrow (April ?)
-- Herring Gull (April 10)
-- Canada Goose (April 15)
-- Chipping Sparrow (April 18)
-- Rock Dove (April 20)
-- Tree Swallow (April 20)
-- Red-Winged Blackbird (April 21)
An interesting note about the red-winged blackbird as I had read on an on-line forum about a sighting at a nearby storm pond on March 17, if I recall the date correctly. This piqued my interest since it seemed a bit earlier than usual. Indeed there was still a generous amount of snow on the ground at the time. Since there was still a decent amount of usable light in the evening I made a bee-line for this storm pond one evening during my last shift but came up empty. Today though, I made up for it by spotting one among the reeds and a second in a nearby tree. At first I wasn't able to make out what the one in the reeds was until it took flight, revealing its tell-tale shoulder patches.
I'm sure there will be more species turning up in the coming days and I look forward to adding completely new species to my life list as always.