Spring Migration Begins at Douglass Park!

As temperatures climb and the snow melts away, migratory birds are returning to Douglass Park! I found four recent returnees and a few other interesting birds on my most recent visit to the park on Thursday, March 4th.

Rob Andrade recorded the park’s first Red-winged Blackbird of the year back on February 27th.  This male blackbird was singing in a sanctuary tree on Thursday.

I saw my first Ring-billed Gull of 2021 flying over the Douglass Park lagoons on February 28th. There were at least 15 Ring-billed Gulls in the park on Thursday, including these two on the soccer field.

When I heard a Killdeer over the park back in January, it was rapidly flying south, probably trying to escape the winter’s first big snowfall. On Thursday, these four Killdeer and three others were foraging on the lawn just north of the COVID-19 testing station before continuing their northward migration.

Mallard ducks abandoned Douglass Park when the lagoons froze over in mid January. This Mallard pair was back on Thursday, dabbling in open water at the east edge of the otherwise frozen Lily Pond.

As the lagoon waters slowly melt, it’s open season on dead fish! This American Crow picked a fairly fresh dead catfish from open water at the edge of north lagoon.

Once the fish was securely in its grasp, it was time to begin the meal.

Two Herring Gulls found a decaying catfish in the southeast lagoon’s ice.

Gulls have strong stomachs and will eat all kinds of awful things!

A couple of American Crows were interested in what the gulls were eating.

But Herring Gulls are large and mean, so the crows flew to north lagoon and searched for their own dead fish in the melting ice.

Looks like the crow on the right found something…

…and it walked away, hoping the other crows would let it eat its piece of fish in peace.

You can see my complete eBird list from Thursday morning, March 4th, here: https://ebird.org/bcn/checklist/S82748904

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