Saturday, March 30, 2013

Punxsutawney Phil's prognostication: early spring (but according to Wikipedia, he's only right 39% of the time)

So on a year where spring is arriving late, my LeSabre's heat has ceased to function (not all that surprising since its dashboard currently emits a stunning light show of multitudinous warning messages: "gas cap loose", "check gauges", "check stability system", "check engine soon", and so on), so on a cool morning such as this morning when my windshield is frosted and I'm driving east into the rising sun w/ Mr. Magoo visibility, well, I'm about 100 ft. off the road and realizing that if I'm to make it to Pelee, I'm gonna have to drive w/ my head out the window à la Ace Ventura and so I thank goodness that it's cold enough that I won't have any bugs splatting on my face and thrust my head out the window w/ Drake blaring on the radio (Started from the bottom now we're here, Started from the bottom...) while driving past neighbours' homes that I pray haven't woken up in time to look out their window and see that weirdo Hatt boy driving around w/ his head out the window holding his left ear to block the wind, which is making his eyes tear up and his cheeks turn a disturbing shade of violaceous, but really, I'm like "so what!" cause come on, it's hilarious that I'm driving around w/ my head out the window; so there I am driving w/ my head out the window laughing and thinking that now I know what dogs must feel when they stick their head out the window and the wind blows their dog-slobber in every direction.

This is how my day of birding began. Met up w/ Marianne this morning to see what we could find in the Pelee Birding Circle. We were hopeful that the long-awaited milder temperatures would produce a few early migrants or a good rarity. Even though we didn't find anything too-too rare, we still had a great morning and afternoon of searching. On days like this where temperatures tantalize Leamingtononianillianites into believing spring has finally arrived, there is a marked shift in mood. Our below-0 blahs are shaken free, sun-induced smiles spread across our winter-greyed faces, and the roads fill up w/ idling cars stop-and-go-ing their way toward the Tim Hortons drive thru. Unfortunately, next week calls for another temperature drop (but at least w/ colder weather persisting into April, leaves shouldn't come out as early as they did last May, which made looking for migrating passerines a lot tougher, right?).

Our highlights from today included all 3 scoter species off of Pelee's West Beach, a solitary Snow Goose and about 20 Tree Swallows at the Hillman Shorebird Cell, as well as another look at one of the Eurasian Wigeons that has been seen for quite some time now along Concession E in the Onion Fields. Other highlights from the area in recent days include the first Eastern Phoebes at the Tip (3 this morning), a single Barn Swallow recently, continuing groups of Snow, Cackling, and Greater White-fronted Geese, and the first shorebirds that aren't Killdeer, Greater Yellowlegs and Pectoral Sandpiper. 

Spring is officially here even if temperatures tell a different story. It's my favourite time of the year and I'm so excited to see what 2013 brings. It's also great to see so many birders out. This time of year is as much about enjoying migration as it is sharing the experience w/ fellow birders making their way to Pelee during spring. Looking forward to seeing everyone on the trails!

1 comment:

Blake A. Mann said...

Saw my FOY Barn Swallow at Sarnia today. Things are starting to move!