Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Field Notes from the Past #17

Being a continuation of field-journal entries from the springs of 1962 and 1963 when I was a budding ornithologist of just 15 or 16 growing up in the rural village of Galien in Berrien County, Michigan.

April 29 [1962], Sunday
The leaves on nearly all the trees are out by now and the rest at least have buds on them. There are several species of flowers out also and it truly looks like spring again.

Many Myrtle [=Yellow-rumped] Warblers were seen in woodland swamp, mixed woodlands, and fence rows. They were probably the most abundant bird seentoday.

In the morning I heard the “Sam Peabody, Peabody, Peabody” song of the White-throated Sparrow for the first time. In the evening many were seen feeding on the ground in a woodland swamp. They scratched at the leaves and other debris in typical towhee fashion. In relation to their size they made more noise than the towhee.

I saw the [i.e., my] first migrating Scarlet Tanager and Yellow Warbler this evening.

I saw my first [American] Woodcock this morning when two were flushed from a feld of wheat stubble. [In retrospect, it seems more likely that these were dowitchers.]

In the evening I saw my first Marsh Hawk flying around in circles over the same field. The bird was a female and the white rump patch was seen clearly.

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