Daily Observations

Northwestern Crow with Branch

I made it out to Starrigavan this afternoon to look for Snow Buntings that had been seen there yesterday, and then I also made a second evening trip out to Starrigavan to try to get a recording of a Western Screech Owl.

Weather: The weather was like it has been the last few days, sunny and cool.

I saw a couple of American Robins on campus this morning. I think they’re the first I have seen since December.

This morning it looked like the crows may have been eating red alder catkins. I had never seen them doing this before, so that seemed kind of interesting. Later in the day I noticed a couple of crows in a red alder along Crescent Harbor. They were trying to break off small branches. One of them finally managed to accomplish this and then it trimmed off the side branches while the other one watched. After a couple of minutes, the one with the branch took off followed immediately by the second bird. They landed on the powerlines across Lincoln Street and proceeded to work on the branch a little more. I assume this was some sort of nesting activity, but I wasn’t sure. It also made me wonder if the crows this morning had been going for branches rather than catkins.

On this afternoon’s trip to Starrigavan we saw a first of season Savannah Sparrow, the swans, and the usual gulls and ducks, including a female Northern Pintail (presumably the one that’s been there all winter).

This evening, there were two Great Blue Herons in the estuary.

I was able to get a recording of a Western Screech Owl this evening. We actually heard two of them, though one was a fair distance away.

Other Notes: The herring started spawning around Magic Island today. It was the first spawn activity of the year. Fish and Game said it was the latest date of first spawn since 1992. We saw a whale fairly close to shore near the cove.

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