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A couple of the goldfinches in my SC backyard are showing a few bright yellow feathers.  The GBBC is two weeks off.  That pair of Red-winged Blackbirds that showed up intermittently all winter hasn't been seen in a couple of weeks.

Time for spring migration sightings.  Have at it!

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My goldfinches are still olive in color not showing any bright yellow yet.  I typically start noticing the bright yellow feathers in March so still a little early for my area.  I've been keeping my suet cakes out so I have a ton of suet eating species including all types of woodpeckers and nuthatches.  The bluebirds, warblers (pine) and other insect eaters are using the suet as well.  Juncos, chipping sparrows and some white-throated sparrows on the ground with the doves.  I have not heard any Pine Siskins so I'm not sure where they went?  I had a few back in December. All in all, it has been a decent winter list but not as many as I get when we have a colder winter.  I can't wait on Spring with the hummers and rose-breasted grosbeaks.  I hope I get to see some grosbeaks this year!   

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I have a couple of American Goldfinches that are showing a few bright yellow feathers, a bit early, but we've had a mild winter. Although it was 34 Deg F here (Sacramento) this morning and there's a cold north wind blowing today! Supposed to be back up into the 60's in a couple of days, though.

Still have White-crowned Sparrows and Juncos wintering here. The Anna's Hummingbirds are getting territorial and doing a lot of chasing. There're here year round. The Black-chinned won't be showing up for a couple of months. 

The local Nuttall's Woodpeckers are getting territorial also. There have been 4 or 5 feeding on the suet through the winter, but pretty soon it will be down to the dominant male and female who nest here and the others will have to find their own territory!

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Spotted my first American Robin of the season. I usually see them in the springtime. I never heard of one eating suet, but a chunk had fallen to the ground, and it snatched it up and flew away. It was insect suet however so maybe that had something to do with it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Somebody flipped a switch in the last week and suddenly I have almost no activity.  For the last four months my feeders have emptied in three days or less.  I filled them on Friday afternoon and four days later, some of them are still half full.  I stopped at one of my patches yesterday afternoon and had almost nothing; the only thing calling was a Blue Jay.

I usually have a lull in mid to late March.  If this is indeed it, it's quite early.

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One of my patches had the first Killdeer of the season on Friday.  This morning at another patch I had two more Killdeer and the first Osprey of the year.  I almost missed the fish hawk.  As I arrived I saw him carrying a fresh catch in his talons, pursued by three Ring-Billeds he quickly outdistanced.

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Oh, and I was out with a group Saturday morning and we got a Black-and-White Warbler,  We also had a Northern Mockingbird that was practicing his repertoire.  It was just a few songs at a time with extended breaks in between, but still a sign of spring.  The kinglets and sapsuckers are still with us, though.

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Had my first Allen's Hummingbird in late January. Spring migration starts early here.

Swallows have been moving in too - Tree Swallows overwinter, Barn Swallows showed up in early February, Northern Rough-wings in late February, and I have had my first Violet-green and Cliff Swallows just in this past few days.

Spring songbird migration just isn't as exciting on the west coast as it is in the east. The seasons are just less extreme. Where I live, its pretty much never goes below 45 degrees or above 85 degrees. Honestly I just really miss being able to see 15+ species of warblers in a day.

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I have 2 new shares both from tonight since I’m staying outside longer with daylight savings time. My first share is something I observed at dusk. There was a bird that was singing his heart out about 30 minutes after sunset and I tracked him down to see what it was. It was a mockingbird and I have never heard such beautiful songs from this species. Has anyone else observed this behavior at this late of day? The other one was as I was relaxing in my hot tub, I heard probably 3-5 hoot owls calling to one another. I’m guessing it is mating season and they are figuring out who all is in the neighborhood? Am I correct? 

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, tclarkwood said:

There was a bird that was singing his heart out about 30 minutes after sunset and I tracked him down to see what it was. It was a mockingbird and I have never heard such beautiful songs from this species. Has anyone else observed this behavior at this late of day?

I've heard Mocks singing that long after sunset, as well as that early before dawn.  They're among the first to start and the last to shut up.  Here in the southeast, a song that changes every few seconds and goes on for minutes at a time almost always turns out to be coming from a Mock.

 I spent a summer working with a swimming pool installer.  A Mock set up shop on the house next door and sang for most of the month.  Like winter snow, the first few days are beautiful.  Then...

Edited by Charlie Spencer
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  • 3 weeks later...

Next up!  Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Blue Grosbeak and Indigo Bunting!  They are not here yet but over the next three weeks we will start to see these 3 species coming into the Deep South! Woo hoo!  Also.. the Barred owls have come in behind my house thick.  Probably 5-7 of them calling 30 minutes before dark every night. I only hear them in the Spring and early Summer and don’t know where they go the rest of the year? 

Edited by tclarkwood
Needed to include more info.
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9 hours ago, tclarkwood said:

only hear them in the Spring and early Summer and don’t know where they go the rest of the year? 

They're still out there but if they aren't trying to attract a mate or defend a territory, there's no reason to make all that noise and alert the prey.

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Looks like the first Indigo Buntings have just arrived down at Pensacola, FL. There have been several new sightings in the last week. They are usually a couple of weeks ahead of the Grosbeaks. Pretty little bird. 

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Had 23 species in yard/at feeders in the 1.5 hours I was sitting on patio today. 

Unfortunately, due to the current situation... we are not able to get banding permits renewed for this Spring. Was looking forward to getting back at it and adding to the 108 species we have banded over the years! 

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I’ve got some Goldfinches showing some bright colors in my Maine backyard as well as a Swamp sparrow and a Little blue heron! Also had some Phoebes show up again last week counted 6 today.

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South Central Kentucky here.  Over the past month, Eastern Towhees and Indigo Buntings have been at my feeders.  Goldfinches are brightening up the scene too.  Yellow-rumped Warbers are about and today I spied (thanks to ID help) a Ruby-crowned Kinglet.  Hermit Thrush and Brown Thrashers too.  

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