Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Record month, no surprise.


Female Wood Duck

Given the incredible unseasonably warm weather, many migratory birds from the southern United States are returning to Wisconsin earlier than ever recorded. With 10 potential birding days remaining this month, right now I'm at 61 bird species at Pheasant Branch Conservancy for the month of March. How does this compare with previous years?

Past years (entire month of March):

2011 - 57 species
2010 - 58 species
2009 - 51 species
2008 - 47 species
2007 - 58 species

I believe I'll hit 70 or more species before April 1st. Here's a list of 10 other species I've observed at Pheasant Branch in the past during March that I have yet to see there this month:

Purple Finch
Swamp Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Hermit Thrush
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Winter Wren
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Double-crested Cormorant
American Woodcock

Here's a sample from eBird showing early sightings from around Wisconsin in just the past few days:

Bonaparte's Gull - Dane Co. - 21 Mar
Pectoral Sandpiper - Dane Co. - 21 Mar
Swamp Sparrow - Portage Co. - 21 Mar
Brown Thrasher - Milwaukee Co. - 21 Mar
Ruby-crowned Kinglet - Milwaukee Co. - 21 Mar
Chipping Sparrow - Dane Co. - 21 Mar
Field Sparrow - Grant Co. - 20 Mar
Osprey - Vilas Co. - 20 Mar
Savannah Sparrow - Juneau Co. - 20 Mar
Eastern Towhee - Kenosha Co. - 20 Mar
American Coot - Door Co. - 20 Mar
Chipping Sparrow - Dane Co. - 20 Mar
Field Sparrow - Waukesha Co. - 20 Mar
Wilson's Snipe - Florence Co. - 19 Mar
American White Pelican - Marinette Co. - 19 Mar
Double-crested Cormorant - Oneida Co. - 19 Mar
Rusty Blackbird - Douglas Co. - 19 Mar
Sora - Walworth Co. - 18 Mar
Yellow-rumped Warbler - Sheboygan Co. - 18 Mar
Swamp Sparrow - Portage Co. - 18 Mar
Sora - Kewaunee Co. - 18 Mar
Savannah Sparrow - Milwaukee Co. - 18 Mar
Field Sparrow - Crawford Co. - 18 Mar
Bonaparte's Gull - Jefferson Co. - 18 Mar
Field Sparrow - Jefferson Co. - 18 Mar
American Coot - Marathon Co. - 18 Mar

Wood Duck © 2012 Mike McDowell

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