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Here comes the Regular

March 3, 2008
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March is an odd month for birding. The winter residents have begun to move out, waterfowl are in short supply and I realized this morning that I haven’t seen Juncos in my yard for nearly a week. Alternately, the spring rush has yet to begin, so the only birds that seem to be around in any numbers are the regulars, the birds I see nearly every day of the year. It’s rough for my Big Year plans to be sure, but in the air, are signs of better things to come. Without the possibility of many new birds around, I decided to take the morning to head once again out to Mason Farm.


The temperature has been steadily rising here in North Carolina, and a gorgeous spring morning was already underway as I stepped on the trail. Birdsong was in the air, the most evident were the Ruby-crowned Kinglets, a true sign of spring if you ask me, even though they don’t stick around. Once I hear that song, the slow build to a cavalcade of squeaks and trills like someone wound up a mechanical toy and let it loose on the floor, I know it’s only a matter of time before the rest of the crowd begins to let loose the sounds of the season. There was an unusually high number of Field Sparrows foraging on the trail, among with the White-throats, Songs, and Foxes. The Fields must be moving, I don’t remember ever seeing so many in one place.

It was slow the rest of the morning though. I came within a Hairy of the woodpecker slam (I still need it for the year) and the bluebirds were singing and pair bonding in the fields, it’s only a matter of time before the boxes out at Mason are full of eggs again. Pine Warblers, too, sang unseen appropriately from the tops of the pine trees as I headed back to the car. No richer for year birds but the promise of many soon to come.

I spotted the best bird of the day while I was leaving. Mason Farm is located behind the UNC golf course, so you have to drive through the parking lot of the course to get to the entrance. As I pulled back through the parking lot to go home, I noticed, in the top of a nearby tree, a Common Raven. While I’ve seen ravens in the triangle before, I even had one fly over my house not a month ago, it was the first good look at a raven since I’ve been here. It sat, large as a hawk, in the very top of the tree, calling that guttural croak that they do. A good bird for the area, and likely soon on its way out, just like so many of the others.

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2 Comments
  1. corey permalink
    March 3, 2008 9:03 am

    It’s nice to hear that spring is on its way, even though it won’t make it up here for awhile.

    Hope you find a Hairy soon…

  2. John permalink
    March 4, 2008 12:09 am

    I noticed a distinct paucity of juncos on my walk this morning. That doesn’t necessarily mean they have all left, though.

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