February started off more slowly than I had anticipated. To be clear, I did enjoy some excellent observations of species I had already seen in January, but year firsts were slow in coming. We’ve been dealing with a great deal of illness in the family and I’m not quite feeling 100% yet either.
It was 2 weeks until I could add a new species to my year list (February 14th I saw a Merlin). Then on the 17th I went out to see the amazing vagrant Townsend’s Solitare (a lifer) that was hanging out at Point Pelee. On that same trip I also was able to check off Rough-legged hawk (also a lifer) and a Red-winged blackbird. On the 25th I got to see a single Ross’s Goose at Jack Miner’s and dropped by at the Essex West lagoons to see a male Northern Shoveler. On the 27th I added an American Coot I found at Lakeview Marina. On the 28th, while it was still dark outside, I was treated to the early morning song of a House Wren. I hope they start using my new nesting boxes!
That brought my February species count to 65 (18 more than last February) and my year count to 80.
Out of the “easier” February targets, I saw 2 out of 5:
Red-winged Blackbird, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Kildeer, and Eastern Screech Owl.
Out of the “harder” February targets, I saw 2 out of 7: Short-eared Owl,
Ross’s Goose, Rough-legged Hawk, Ring-necked Pheasant, White-winged Scoter, Long-tailed Duck, and the Sharp-shinned Hawk.
Species such as Golden-crowned Kinglet, Cackling Goose, Long-tailed, Red-breasted Nuthatch, and Sharp-shinned Hawk have been coming up somewhat frequently in eBird reports lately and for the most part my inability to get them was just merely a result of not being able to get out at the right places/times. Essentially, most of them were there for the easy finding.
In March I hope to find a Cackling Goose. I will also continue to look for Sharp-shinned Hawks, Long-tailed Ducks, and Eastern Screech Owls.
Some easy targets I will be looking for include Green-winged Teal, Ruddy Duck, Turkey Vulture, Golden-crowned Kinglet, and Bonaparte’s Gull.
I need 20 more species to get half way to my year goal (100 of 200) before April.
I looking forward to March birding (Spring is coming!) It is exciting to see some early migrants like ducks, kildeer, and Red-winged Blackbirds moving in. I hope you have a good March!