Saturday, April 9, 2016

What a difference a Country Makes

After over a month in Florida, where it was never too hot and never too cold, and a couple of days in Montreal where you could almost feel spring in the air, I am back in Toronto for a week where the weather is as cold as at any time this winter, and it is THE SECOND WEEK IN APRIL!

However, the first wave of migrating birds don't seem to have noticed.  Today I saw my first Brown-headed Cowbirds here in Canada.  In fact, I saw five at Humber Bay East this morning.  Oddly, that is three more than I saw this spring in Florida.  I always seem to see dozens of Brown-headed Cowbirds late in March on the lawns around the fort in Fort de Soto.  This year I saw two.  Of course I saw dozens of Yellow-throated Warblers, a few Least Terns and a couple of Red Knots amongst the 148 species I've seen in Florida so far this year, so I can't complain about a lack of cowbirds.

So, with temperatures well below freezing, birding outings this past week have been short and not exactly sweet.  Probably, the highlight of the week was seeing the Red-necked Grebes in full breeding plumage getting ready to build their nests on the waters of Humber Bay and start their new families.

One pair, at Humber Bay East, was looking for the nest platform, only to find a log protruding from the water.  It will be interesting to see if they manage to build a nest on or around the pointy piece of driftwood.

And, as the weather hopefully warms, and the migration season fast approaches, so, finally, will much of my Big Year travel begin in earnest.  April will see trips to Boston, Baltimore and a return to Florida and in May things will really begin to pick up with trips to San Francisco and Texas.

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