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Down on the Farm

April 6, 2009

Mason Farm has always been the spot I would consider my “local patch”. It’s nearby, it’s small enough that I can get around the trail in a couple hours, and it’s nearly always hopping with birds. With no other local rarities or hot reports drawing my attention elsewhere I figured that there’s no better place to watch Spring slowly arrive on my doorstep then there. So on Sunday morning I headed out there to see what was around.

According to the the Doppler radar there was a good movement of birds in the southeast Saturday night, no doubt encouraged by UNC’s triumphant victory in, er, Detroit… Many were in full voice as I left my car and headed down the trail. Singing birds are, for the most part, photogenic birds, so I decided to practice my digibinning skillz on those too preoccupied with territories and female birds to pay me any mind. Case in point, the Eastern Towhee.

There were also lots of Flickers about as well, and though the peak period of woodpecker display drumming has passed (an aside: I’m particularly thankful that woodpeckers have stopped drumming for the most part down here as it seems this is the time of year my non-birding friends are most aware of my interest, in that they’re asking when those damn woodpeckers are going to stop drumming on their gutters and such. Anyone else get that? Now back to your regularly scheduled post…) the Flickers seem to be peaking and this particular morning walk was full of them flushing off the ground like surface to air missiles. Occassionally they’d perch.

Perhaps most notable though, was a flock of a couple dozen screaming squabbling Rusty Blackbirds. It’s always nice to come across these guys given their precipitous decline. Many males had even shed their rusty wash for the sleek inky plumage that makes them all too easy to confuse with Grackles.

Also heard was a sizable flock of Pine Siskins, remnants of the irruption this winter. Maybe these were the birds that made it all the way down to Florida, it certainly seems late for around here. It’s definitely a sighting that adds a little intrigue on a typical early spring morning.

One Comment
  1. Radd Icenoggle permalink
    April 9, 2009 8:51 pm

    Wonderful time of year when some winter visitors are lingering and the arrivals of spring are descending over the land.

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