March Forecast – 2014 – Hopefully Open Water !

I had planned to post this last Saturday but the arrival of the Long-tailed Duck made me shift blogging gears.

I don’t care how long I have been birding, but at the start of every month I still go through the exercise of seeing which birds I should expect in my local area – Johnson County, IN – for the next month.  I find it helps me to think about birds that might be coming through my area that I am not expecting.  After identifying the uncommon birds for the month I then go through my resources to make sure I know their key field marks, habitats, etc. I have also found that this exercise helps when I am out in the field and I see/hear a bird I haven’t seen for six months.  Once I see it something in the back of my mind goes, “Oh yea, that bird should be coming through this month”. Since I go though this exercise anyway I thought I would share this to help refresh everyone minds.

I also use it to help plan my outings by looking for the expected  uncommon birds that month.  I break down the month into early and late and look for the birds that should be coming through during those times.  With this routine I should see the birds that I would expect plus a few I hadn’t expected.  Case in point, last Saturday I was just expecting to see the expected waterfowl, but I came across a Long-tailed Duck.  The days before that I saw on IBird that there had been a constant flux of Long-tailed Ducks in the area over the last few days.  So I was somewhat prepared to ID Long-tailed Duck.

For March one birding in Johnson County IN a normal number of hours and habitats should see 84 species of birds, more or less.  This is par.

I first heard the wing beats of this Mute Swan as it flew over me.  Atterbury FWA 03/02/13
I first heard the wing beats of this Mute Swan as it flew over me. Atterbury FWA 03/02/13

Birds that are uncommon in Johnson County this time of year and that you will probably have to work a little harder to see: Common Loon, Snow Goose, Ross’s Goose, Northern Pintail, Canvasback, White-winged Scoter, Long-tailed Duck, Red-breasted Merganser, Ring-billed Gull, Hermit Thrush, American Pipit, Rusty Blackbird, Brewer’s Blackbird, and Purple Finch.

I found these 3 on a small pond east of Franklin - 03/02/13.
I found these 3 Snow Geese on a small pond east of Franklin – 03/02/13.


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