March 14th – Explosion!!

Winging their way WSW, this flock of Tundra Swans is likely headed for the Turkey Point marshes (although they may head on to the St. Clair marshes). These birds helped drive up the day’s total swan count to 1,127!! -CAJ

Wow! What a morning….migrating birds everywhere! We started counting as soon as we got there (8 AM) and didn’t finish until early afternoon. During that time we encountered 52 species. What was particularly notable was the number of waterfowl: 18 species! This included: 1,127 Tundra Swans, over 130 Northern Pintails, and 3 species that are new to Ruthven: Long-tailed Duck, Canvasback, and White-winged Scoter.

Long-tailed Ducks, one of three species of duck that are “new” to Ruthven. The other two are White-winged Scoter and Canvasback. -CAJ

As well as waterfowl the usual early migrants were moving in full swing: Killdeer, American Robins, Red-winged Blackbirds, Common Grackles and even the first Eastern Phoebe of the year. Surprisingly, though, Sparrows and finches were few and far between.

80% of today’s work/observer crew. The other 20%, having been traumatized by paparazzi in her youth, declined the invitation to join in. -DOL

April 1st and the start of the Spring migration monitoring season (our 24th) isn’t very far away so between observations we began to put up the nets. We completely replaced Net 2 (it was on its last legs due to UV damage) and put up Nets 5 & 7. We hope to get most of the others done on Tuesday.

Just a reminder to volunteers and visitors: a banding lab marches on its stomach. -DOL

Matt with a male Red-bellied Woodpecker that was hatched in 2010. -NRF

Although ice chunks line the banks, the river is running clear of ice and slush. -CAJ


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