Border Birder Hotline Update

Bob Knudsen jknuds at soonet.ca
Sun Mar 31 09:49:56 EST 2002


Despite the late winter conditions of snow and freezing weather, the
Sault area has experienced a slow early spring migration. The first 2
Red-winged Blackbirds were reported arriving in Echo Bay on March 9th.
The first Northern Saw-whet Owl was reported roosting in a car port at
13 Langdon Cres. on March 12th. On the 19th, waves of American Robins
were observed crossing the St. Mary’s River behind the Canadian Forest
Service building during a brief warm spell. The following day 2
Red-winged Blackbirds showed up on territory along Black Rd.

East of the Sault in Blind River on the 28th, the first 4 Turkey
Vultures were reported migrating. Purple Finch has been rare this past
winter with the first reported coming to a feeder along side of a
juvenile Harris’ Sparrow in Blind River on the 28th. A juvenile Great
Black-backed Gull can be seen at the Blind River marina. Four Snow Geese
were seen off shore from Providence Bay, Manitoulin Island on the 28th.
The first Killdeer was reported along the south shore of Manitoulin
Island that same day.

The male Harlequin Duck can still be seen in the St. Marys River rapids
or the headrace near the Sault Locks. Numbers of Common Goldeneyes have
declined but gulls have increased dramatically. Both Herring Gull and
Ring-billed Gulls can be seen courting on the ice at the foot of the
rapids and on their territories on the snow-covered colonies. At least 1
first winter Glaucous Gull can be seen on the ice from Station Mall. The
female White-winged Scoter that over-wintered in the Sault can be seen
at the Pine St. Marina.

Whitefish Point Bird Observatory began their spring bird recording
season on March 15th. Highlights from the point have been; The first
Golden Eagle was seen on the 18th, two others have migrated through
since. One Spruce Grouse and the first American Robin on the 22nd and 26
Long-tailed Ducks on the 26th. The first Great Blue Heron, 2
Red-shouldered Hawks, 2 Golden Eagles, 2 Northern Goshawks, 1 Merlin,
and 12 Bald Eagles on the 28th. On March 29th, a Black-billed Magpie was
the highlight for the point.

A warm spell on March 29th, produced large numbers of Canada Geese
moving into the Sault Ste. Marie area. Common Grackles, Cedar Waxwings
and American Robins can now be seen throughout the area. Sharp-tailed
Grouse are just beginning to display off their traditional leks, but
will probably be moving into them over the next week. The first Sandhill
Cranes returned home on the 29th, with 7 seen over White Pines High
School and two seen in a field on Lake George Rd. west of Lapish Rd.

Bob Knudsen
Sault Ste. Marie, ON
[705] 256-2790

Bob Knudsen <jknuds at soonet.ca>



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