18 April 2018

More on Junco "Erruption"

Yes, I think we can call this an erruption of Dark-eyed Junco ... and it continues ( see previous post robin junco flip).

Let's see if eBird observations support that; let's compare this year (on the right) to last year, and then to previous years combined.

 Comparison of "Total" Dark-eyed Junco, East Kootenay, spring 2017 to spring 2018:

check out the scale on the left: 2017 upper limit = 420, 2018 upper limit = 1000

Comparison of "Abundance" of Dark-eyed Junco, East Kootenay, spring pre-2018 and spring 2018

again, check out the scale on the left: pre-2018 upper limit = 2.6, 2018 upper limit = 6.5
There are over twice as many juncos this year as we normally record.  What's up with that?  Are they coming here rather than heading to places that were burned up in forest fires last year?  Was it a good winter further south for them?

And they seem to be staying around a bit longer, rather than dispersing quickly to breeding territories.  Maybe because the snow is on the ground later and melting not so fast?

I know they are "thick" in my little yard - a dozen hanging around every day for the past two weeks.  There are still a couple of patches of snow back there but they seem happy and sing most of the day until late afternoon.

And yesterday I had quite a strange mix of birds.  Besides the juncos, and usual American Robin, there was a Mourning Dove,  a couple of Clark's Nutcracker, a Pileated Woodpecker, and a dozen Common Redpoll still!  AND a Varied Thrush later in the day.  (Redpolls seems to be holding back a bit this year.  Someone else reported a hundred of them out on a prairie.)

Nature! Always interesting!

And thanks! to all eBirders for reporting!  With so many more eBirders, we are going to be snowed under by volumes of data at this rate!

Solar veered

Long-billed Curlew "Solar" changed his mind on returning here, maybe. He was headed this way from California but veered East to Kalispell.

I posted on the Montana birding yahoo group in case anyone there could go look for him and low and behold someone did! They saw him, and maybe his new mate, and got pics of him eating a fat worm. Sweet! Thanks, Dick Walker! Great to know he is fine and has company. We shall see if he returns here or tries out a different place.

Meanwhile, Pine and Mojo were snapped on Skookumchuck Prairie and pics posted on eBird. Remote stalking is awesome! Getting out there and seeing for yourself is fun, too! Argyle is out there somewhere.

31 March 2018

eBird works

Study shows that eBird data is actually pretty useful and just as accurate as professional studies. I knew it, I told ya so.

Time for professionals to use it more often. And while we're at it, let's keep getting all that historical data from people's journals and notebooks into eBird.  It's worth it.

It also talks a bit about the decline in common species.

25 March 2018

Pine heading back

Curlews returning?

Yay!  First movement of the return of the Skookumchuck Prairie IBA Long-billed Curlews returning from their wintering grounds in California.

Pine was the first of the satellite-tagged curlews to head south last year.  SHE left Skookumchuck 21st of June 2017 and headed to Enterprise, Oregon for a bit.  Then, after another couple of days stop near Arok, Oregon, she headed over Nevada for California, arriving closer to where she wanted to be for the winter, which was near Cimarron, Calif., on 27 June 2017.

She's been hanging pretty close to either side of Hanford since then.  Now, she's heading back!  Where will she go?  Will she return here or go somewhere else!

Who will be next?  Mojo was the next to leave Skookumchuck last July. Then Solar. Then Argyle.  Will they reverse their chronology?

There is still a foot of snow on the fields close to my home.  In the Kootenay River valley bottom the snow is a bit thinner, but not by much!