Saturday 31 May 2014

An Avalon Big Day

Three teams scoured the avalon today with hopes of seeing a high diversity of species. Between the three groups we came up with about 89 species for the day! Migration is very late this year on the avalon, only 5 or so Yellow Warblers have been seen so far and no American Redstarts!!!

But we shouldn't be complaining after what has been a phenomenal month of rarities.

The last stop of the day yielded the best bird of the day, a Black-tailed Godwit (yet again!) in full breeding plumage in Renews. I knew what it was right away when I saw it because we all became familiar with this plumage earlier in the month, but it wasn't on the radar - we had thought all the European shorebirds had left! The last Black-tailed Godwit was seen on May 16 in Stephenville. Could this one be a new one that arrived in the last week (there were some very good winds...) or is it a straggler from the early May invasion?

My group made it out to Cape Race in what was perhaps the calmest day I've ever seen in that area. There was barely any detectable swells! Several Razorbills were feeding in close to the rocks:

American Pipits were eagerly singing in several locations:

We also saw our first non-hibernating (?) butterfly of the year, a Spring Azure:

Several cathedrals still floating by:

eBirding has been growing very quickly in Newfoundland this year. We've already got 10 locals who have submitted over 100 checklists for the year (previously there were only about 5), and almost 10 who have recorded 100+ species to eBird for the year!

More impressive is that we've submitted over 1300 individual checklists to eBird from the avalon peninsula in the month of May alone!