Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Spring tidings

In the past week or so, I've spent several hours birding at Montrose Point and other nearby areas. Many new species are making their first spring appearances this far north. Among the highlights this morning were Empidonax flycatchers. Yesterday, rose-breasted grosbeak and baltimore oriole. Also, cape may warbler and nashville warbler.

The highlight of the past week was Sunday when a lark sparrow was in the dunal area near the lake. Never seen one of them before. They are quite striking, and Peterson describes their head pattern as "quail-like."

Restorationists plan to plant black oaks on the dunes three Saturdays from now. It's going to make quite an impact. I'm a little surprised in succession terms--after all the only trees there now are cottonwoods--but it's an exciting development and I'm sure it's been well-researched.

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