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April Winds Bring May Migrants

4/30/2024


Wow! Time is flying by. Must be all those blustery days this month. April weather has finally caught us. It has made for a convenient excuse, at times, for sleeping in. Even when I have made it out, I feel like I have been middling it to a degree. I do not have much to show for the last half of the month. Migration is in full swing; so, it has been nice to get out and see some different birds. I just need to relearn all my calls - and maybe how to find cooperative birds.


I have been trending towards heading out to Eagle Creek to look for migrants over my last few outings. I have at least one more trip to Monroe/Brown Co. planned. I made a couple there this month. One was not as productive as I had hoped; I think I was a day early on the big push of early migrants. The usual suspects were about. I was hoping for early Ovenbird or Worm-eating or Blue-winged Warblers. No luck. On my other trip south, I was birding in the wake of another photographer, and that does not work out well. I was still able to pick up a few first of year birds: Blue-winged Warbler, Prairie Warbler, and White-eyed Vireo, among others.


I wasted a weekend day by trying to bird for sparrows at Atterbury. The winds were stronger than forecast, and Grasshopper Sparrows had not returned yet. I could hear a lot of Henslow's Sparrow, but they were scurrying around on the ground and not perched up on anything. I drove the area looking for Prairie Warbler but struck out. I ended up getting home early and doing yard work. Birding is a lot more fun.


During the week, I skipped out one morning to check the Crest. The day was a lot less windy and sunny than my previous sparrow hunt. It took a little work, but I found a Henslow's that liked to come check out my pishing. He perched up in a couple small shrubs but then disappeared back into the grasses. I walked the field a bit more and then was surprised to find him perched back up in the open on my way back. He sat for some more hots and was still there giving his little hiccup call when I walked away. I do love these guys.


While I have made a couple of trips to Eagle Creek, neither was overly fruitful. Still, there are people there I know, and it is nice to run into them and bird for a bit. Migration was definitely in full swing last weekend. The marina was overrun with Yellow-rumped and Palm Warblers. A Black-and-white even made a brief appearance. Every wet area had a Northern Waterthrush in it. At the skating pond, we even managed to find a Golden-winged Warbler singing an odd song. Yellow-throated Vireo threw us for a bit with a slightly odd song. No emphasized "3-8" call. The morning rounded out with my first of year Least Flycatcher.


The winds are alternating between north and south over the next week. It is hard to guess what is going to be here by next weekend. Tomorrow is May 1st, and that is the official starting gun for many birders to start chasing migrants. I will be out there with them. I do love spring migration.


Thanks for reading,

Mike



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