Tuesday, March 30, 2010

BIGBY highlights from 3/25-3/28

A few recent BIGBY highlights from 3/25-3/28

* Big mammal highlight Saturday morning (3/27). After about a week of coyotes I had a bobcat sighting! Maybe only the second bobcat sighting I've had in the past twelve months in this area. The bobcat was in a sassafras thicket to the east of the Indiana university cross country course. The only reason I saw it was because I saw three Blue Jays flying around among the sassafras saplings and looking intently at the ground. They weren't making any noise, which made me curious. Having the good fortune to see a bobcat around here is an unbelievably cool experience! Makes me feel like I'm somewhere out in the wilderness.

* On Sunday I saw two singing Brown Thrashers! My first-of-year *singing* Brown Thrashers. And two of them in one outing means spring is finally here!! An aside: I think I like Brown Thrasher songs a lot better than Northern Mockingbird songs.

* There were several Eastern Phoebes flycatching on the XC course one sunny morning. First time I've seen more than one Phoebe this year! And it was also heartening that they were finding insects on what seemed like a very chilly AM.

* Several singing Eastern Towhees. Hearing the "drink-your-tea" song from multiple birds really sounds like spring.

* There's been at least one Northern Mockingbird regularly on the XC course. They're usually scarce there. I'm hoping there will be a nest.

* There were two Field Sparrows singing one morning. I managed to get really close to one of them. Great views of him tilting his head way back and singing lustily. Seeemed very full of himself. :-)

* A Northern Harrier flew over the Indiana University golf course one afternoon. (The golf course is immediately to the west of the cross country course).

* Finally, I've been seeing and hearing lots of Juncos. I note this because the Birds of Indiana departure date for Juncos in southern Indiana is April 6. This means that in a week 90% of the Juncos in southern Indiana will be gone. I've seen several flocks of Juncos on the XC course this week. And I had record numbers of Juncos at home on Sunday. At one point, counting the birds under the feeders in the back, and the birds in the side yard where I'd spread feed in the grass, there were 100+ Juncos. I'm assuming these birds were migrants moving to the north. They're still pretty common today. Interesting to think they should be UNcommon here in just one week.

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