Saturday, March 25, 2017

Migration tonight!

I know there won't be many people reacting to this idea/post on ~8 hours notice (I kinda missed this approaching) - but I was surprised to see the wind/rain pattern unfolding tonight. As per usual, I'm using Point Pelee as an example...

Despite strong NE winds and colder temps, the rain is moving north of SW Ontario:

Harrow Airport says it's 3.5 degrees...

and here's the surface winds:

(yes, NE winds) - but the south winds aren't terribly far away!

This is (in my opinion) a great setup for big NUMBERS of birds to drop in at migrant traps (like Pelee!)... You'd never know from the ground, but warmer southerly air is flowing over Pelee from places further south. Check out the 850mb winds: 

This is a very similar setup to the BIG day from May 11, 2016 - with huge numbers of neotropic migrants from Pelee / Pelee Island...

IF it turns out, tomorrow will be "March/April" themed - so flickers, winter wrens, kinglets, juncos etc - but it could be a pretty interesting show out there. I won't be there, but maybe you will be? Looking forward to the ebird checklists!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Bald Eagle X European Starling hybrid

Or maybe it's a partial albino Starling.. Who's to say? My lovely ladyfriend spotted this beast in our backyard during the recent snowfalls... Snowfall = more birds at your feeder, and spring snowfall = oodles of migrant blackbirds at your feeder!

Managed a few quick grabs from inside the house. Not much else to say about it - although I was pretty surprised to see just HOW the white was coming through... I am not knowledgable about the exact causes of plumage abnormalities in birds (I believe there was a great article several years ago on how the mechanisms are different in birds vs. mammals)  but it seems a little more unusual that the feathers are part normal part white (greater coverts) - or part normal part paler-than-normal (primaries) - or straight up white (head etc).