**NOTE: WE have decided to continue to offer our free Saturday Morning Birdwalks for the time being, but we have waved the mandatory carpooling requirement." High-fives for life birds are also to be limited.**
For a change of scenery, we headed inland today to check on the progression of spring in fields inland off of Runaround Pond Road. It was soon evident that blackbirds are "in" with flocks of COMMON GRACKLES and scattered territorial and small flocks of RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS widespread. Our totals for the morning were a conservative 111 and 66, respectively. Flocks of AMERICAN ROBINS were in fields as we drove, with several large groups adding up to at least 60 birds this morning.
A spiffy RED FOX pausing in a field was a welcome sight, as was a northbound flock of 24 CANADA GEESE. All five of the SONG SPARROWS were encountered were singing, already on territory, and BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES (4), WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCHES (2), and DOWNY WOODPECKERS (2) were all paired up. BLUE JAYS, MOURNING DOVES, a singing NORTHERN CARDINAL, and more were noted, especially as we traveled to and from.
Heading across the backcountry, we encountered more migrants, including a pair of MALLARDS in a flooded field, and two recently-returned KILLDEER that landed in a horse pasture. A pair of displaying COOPER'S HAWKS also crossed our path.
Our last stop was the Brunswick Landfill. Curious to see if the winter concentration of birds here had broken up, we soon had our answer: yes! We only had 3 BALD EAGLES, all in flight, but and adult and a 4th-year bird soared overhead, offering perfect views. About 21 HERRING GULLS and a single GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL were overhead, less interested in the landfill than the nearby river, it seemed. Only about 40 AMERICAN CROWS (over 70 this morning in all) were present, along with a pair of COMMON RAVENS (total of 5 on the morning).
While a sure sign of the season's progression was a mere 4 EUROPEAN STARLINGS, the edge did produce two AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS and a DARK-EYED JUNCO - a little more apropos for the date. Another singing Song Sparrows and a few Red-winged Blackbirds reminded us it was spring though, as did the low TURKEY VULTURE we spotted on the drive back.