Morning Observations

Weather: Overcast skies this morning. Temperatures were cool, well above freezing. The wind on the hill seemed to be out of the NNE, but on near the beach and on the water was coming out of the S or SSW. The breeze is variable with enough strength at its strongest to cause branches and trees to wave, but sometimes it is still. The overcast was broken to the South and as the morning went on, the clearing skies moved North. As of approximately 10am it is partly cloudy.

Birds: The Northern Flicker was calling again early this morning, but I did not hear it near the house, nor did I hear it drumming.

There was 20+ crows feeding on the campus quad and I heard ravens throughout my observation time (though I did not observe any particular activity of note).

A Bald Eagle made repeated flights carrying branches from deciduous trees along Lincoln Street back towards Indian River. I has seen an (this?) eagle a number of times in the last few days. I also observed similar activity in past years. I am uncertain where the eagle takes the branches, but it seems plausible that it is trying to build a nest. Given the similar activity in past years, it is possible this is the same eagle adding on to a nest. At some point it would be nice to try following the eagle. The tall trees make this difficult, however.

Juncos were practicing their calls around the neighborhood.

A Song Sparrow was singing from an alder branch right along Lincoln Street. When I got near it toned down its song, but did continue. A short time later it stopped and flew to the ground. I had not been paying attention to where it went, but I heard high-pitched calls and tried to locate the source. I was able to locate the bird, but it was difficult to do so. It was almost as if the bird could throw its voice.

There were around 10 Buffleheads, 5 Barrow’s Goldeneyes, and 5 Harlequin Ducks near the shore of Sage Beach. Further offshore there were flocks of gulls. It seems likely that herring schools have moved in to Crescent Bay. (The herring fishery is on 2 hour notice as of yesterday noon, though most of the activity has been taking place North of town so far.)

For a bird as large as a Heron is, they sure can blend in well. I happened to notice a Kingfisher on the weir at the Hatchery and went over to take a look. As I approached the fence, a Heron materialized as it took off. It should have been in plain sight, but I was clearly too intent on the Kingfisher to notice.

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