I remember once hearing someone refer to March 4th as if it were a command, as in to march forth and charge ahead with confidence. I think of this every year as I regroup from the cold winter and look forward to my favorite season, spring (which happens to start in March). Now that I am a birder, I realize even more how it was fate that I should be born in spring, the season of rebirth and possibility, of renewed energy and awe. As the last frosts melt away and the trees begin to bud, I can almost hear whispers of the collective sentiment to march forth and prosper. :)
March, Spot 1
March, Spot 2
Here in spot 2, it's easy to see the change from the beginning of March to the end. White is replaced by green, and gray skies are repainted blue.
March, Spot 3
Other March happenings:
This month, I was lucky enough to find three new birds: American Pipit (Anthus rubescens), Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum), and the ever-impressive Harlequin Duck (Histrionicus histrionicus). Each of these three lifer sightings provided their own unique experience.
The first, the American Pipit, was a chance sighting while viewing a Northern Pintail duck. As my friend Andrew and I scanned the beach, wind whipping violently at our faces, we saw a bird jumping around on the sand. It didn't look like a blackbird and it had streaking and tail-dipping behavior. I Love unexpected lifers!
|Harlequin Duck swimming|
The second, the Grasshopper Sparrow, was a group effort where one birder found it, and through the grapevine, many others were able to relocate and view this little bird. This was a bird I probably would not have spotted on my own, but once I saw it, hopping around with a few Song Sparrows, I could see the smaller size and the yellow wash indicative of a Grasshopper Sparrow.
|Harlequin Duck, on the rocks|
Memorable FOY's (first of the year sightings):
|Male Blue-winged Teal|
- Northern Pintail
- American Woodcock
- Rusty Blackbird
- Snowy Owl (waiting all winter for this one...had all but given up... then saw 2 in one week!)
- Barred Owl
- Blue-winged and Green-winged Teals
- Pectoral Sandpiper
Last year's January through March total species count: 61
This year's January through March total species count: 99