Thursday, April 11, 2013

Possible April and May Rarities

 Each month brings the potential to yield rare birds. I was curious about what could show up during this month so that I could be on the lookout.
I dipped back into my pictures from Spring in previous years and came up with a few to share today. There have been sightings of the Rose-breasted Grosbeak and Indigo Bunting. I believe in the past the grosbeak has been seen in St. John's while the bunting has been reported on the west coast of the province. I recall one spring grosbeak reported at Kent's Pond, two years ago I think.

The special rarity was the European Golden Plover seen in Goulds on May 15, 2010. I included it here because this is one we should be watching for every time we get a strong NE wind.

The Ivory Gull showed up at QV on Feb. 27, but has been sighted as recently as March 31st. It is still possible there may be more out there to be found.

While the Laughing Gull has been reported in the province as early as April, it was in June 2010 when one showed up at Kenny's Pond and July 2012 when one was spotted on Pond Road in CBS. Anything goes with rarities, that is what makes them so exciting when they do appear.

This Garganey arrived at Mundy Pond on April 30, 2010 and stayed only one day. I recall the day to be cold and blustery, hardly tolerable. Nevertheless, I was glad I pushed through it because this bird did not linger.

It was on April 25, 2011 in Trepassey when I first saw a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. This is really a great bird! There are reports of at least two that regularly frequent Trepassey during the spring. In fact, signs on trees in the area suggest there may be more than two and that they have been very busy.
It was on May 10, 2010 that I was able to see this great Red-necked Phalarope in the Ruby Line Pond. This bird stayed around for several days.
There was this Great Egret that flew into Long Pond in April 2011 and stayed long enough to wow birders and non-birders alike.
Last year, it was a White Pelican that teased us at about this time of the year. I made two trips in an effort to see that very active bird but was unsuccessful. This year there have been reports of possibly three Greater White-fronted Geese in Central NL. The Gray Heron still lingers in Little Heart's Ease, and who knows what else is out there. Of course, also possible to see at this time of the year are the owls. This is a group of birds that I have only seen the Great-horned Owl and the Snowy Owl. The thought of seeing the small owls that breed in our province is pretty exciting.
Even though it seems quiet on the bird front, the possibilities keep me engaged enough to get out there looking for the next unexpected rarity. Good places to check at this time of the year are fields and ponds in Goulds, Long Pond, Mundy Pond, and all feeders. Anticipation is a great motivator to get out and explore the many areas, even though the weather-of-the-month is not shaping up to be that great.
For more information about birds of Spring, check Jared Clarke's blog: Birdtherock to read his spring summaries. (Linked under My Blog List.)

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