Thursday, May 14, 2009

Spring Migrants Arrive - Part One

Since my last update we've had a mixed bag of weather here in Saskatchewan.
Today it got down to a measly 1°C and it pretty much snowed all day. Snow.. in May !
There have been a few new arrivals here in town , most noticeably Thrushes, Sparrows and a few Warblers.

Yesterday I saw the following species:

Swainson's Thrush - 25
Gray-cheeked Thrush - 2 ( New for the year )
Ovenbird - 1
Blackpoll Warbler - 2 ( New for the year )
Palm Warbler - 3 ( New for the year )
Yellow Warbler - 1 in my own backyard ( New for the year )
Yellow-rumped Warbler - 20+
Orange-crowned Warbler - 4
Chipping Sparrow - 11
Lincoln's Sparrow - 2
White-throated Sparrow - 1
White-crowned Sparrow - 3
Clay-colored Sparrow - 2
Pine Siskin - 2

On a drive on Monday morning I also saw 18 Whooping Cranes flying over the highway to Prince Albert not far from Duck Lake.

Here are some new photos, some are from my backyard and others, I found while on a few walks around the neighbourhood ( Click to see full size )

Here you can compare the differences between a Gray-cheeked and a Swainson's Thrush:

Swainson's Thrush

Gray-cheeked Thrush

Ovenbird - While it looks like a Thrush with a snazzy Orange crown, this ground foraging Warbler can sometimes be hard to spot, until you hear it sing !

Harris's Sparrow - I don't often see this species in its breeding plumage, so this lone bird that showed up yesterday was a nice treat :

Yellow-rumped Warbler - Still, by far the most common Warbler here right now. These can be found in most parks and neighbourhoods flitting from tree to tree or sometimes foraging on the ground:

Blackpoll Warbler - A Warbler I have only seen a few times in its breeding plumage, these usually visit the yard in fall, but by then are much plainer than this one:


Kelly said...

Your Swainson's Thrush and Grey-cheeked Thrush photos are soooo nice. The guys I see are always darting back into the brush, refusing to let me take their photos... You really do have the touch...that little Ovenbird really is the cutest thing. I just read a book about Harris's Sparrows and was wondering if they would show up on any blogs. I should have known I'd find one here!

holdingmoments said...

Great selection there Nick, with cracking detail.

Shelley said...

Very beautiful and sweet birds today! When is it going to warm up over by you??

Chris said...

Hi Nick,
I'm amazed by the number of warblers you can see, and would love to see some of them. They are so cute and colorful. I bet they are no that easy to get in pictures!!!

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

I like the comparison between the two Thrushes,very helpful.If you are looking for breeding plumage Harris Sparrows,we have dozens of them just outside the back door.

Nick S said...

Thanks guys. It was actually a LOT warmer here last week, then we cold this cold snap again !

NCmountainwoman said...

Beautiful birds. You do manage to get such wonderful photographs. I loved each one of them.

Nick S said...

Thanks for the kind words :-)
It will be 18° tomorrow ! :-)

Aunt "B's" Backyard said...

Can you see me Nick...I'm tipping my hat off to you.
They are beautiful shots!!
Oh, I love that Harris Sparrow!

NatureStop said...

This is our first visit to your blog and you got some great shots!!

Tina said...

Nick, Such a neat post with so many warblers!! I just saw my first Black Poles yesterday..both Mr. and Mrs!! So nice.
Always love visiting your site..such nice work!!

Mike said...

Stunning pics Nick, faultless.

Nick S said...

Thanks for the lovely words everyone.

Chris Petrak said...

I'm jealous about the Harris' Sparrow. In '01 I reported the second Vermont record of the sparrow which showed up at a feeder during Christmas Count - person who called me wondered if he had been into the holiday eggnog too heavily. It was a first winter bird. That was a life bird, and the only time I've seen the Harris'. Love your Blackpoll as well - they nest at high elevations. I'll be climbing for them soon.

Nick S said...

Thanks Chris. Good luck with your climb !