from the NOPs (Northern Observation Posts)
the April 13, 2004 Robin Report.
the news from NOPs for the week? Who has heard the first robin song, and
who's still waiting for the first sightof a robin?
Mitchell, Anchorage, AK
(April 6) No robins !! We have been having unbelievable amounts of snow!
All weekend was like living in a snowglobe. It's great for skiing but
I don't think spring is close. Although I have lived here for many years
and to me the sign that it's coming is seagulls. We have the most enormous
ravens you've ever seen all winter (they are the sign that winter is coming).
Then when summer hits the seagulls are everywhere. I saw 2 seagulls on
Sunday here in town. That says spring to me! It's 40's again today, more
seagulls and GEESE!!!! They never show up until it's the right time (they
have been doing this for eons, after all).
Sterling, Anchorage, AK
04/05/04: Here in Anchorage I am still snow blowing. After a snow drought
last year, we got a bumper crop this year. In fact, I was shoveling my
garage roof today, and I realized the time had come when I could just
step down onto the banks around it without using a ladder. I think the
official snow tally this year is around 115 inches. Up at my house on
the mountainside, we're probably up into the 150-inch range. Since we
haven't had any significant thaws it looks like the middle of winter here.
Oh, and no robins. The tulips haven't seen the light of day, either.
Bennett, Whitehorse, YT
(April 5, 2004) It continues to be nice during the day with afternoon
temperatures above freezing. It has been going down to ~20F at night and
with highs up to the
mid 40's. Still not much new on the migratory bird front though. We had
longspurs reported. It is a record year for Trumpeter Swans at M'Clintock
Bay with almost 900 there already. We also have several Tundra Swans,
which is early for them.
Cloutier, PQ, Canada
Here's a little update on our weather and the robin migration. Because
of the cold and the remaining snow, there isn't much activity, yet, but
our first robin (arrived March 28) has found a companion!!
Bell, Pinawa, MB, Canada
The robins started singing today. I could hear one territorial calling
and one answering back. This was just after sunrise. Going to the next
village, I have been observing the hawks cruising the fields looking for
dinner. The river is wide open. Not the marina yet, and there is lots
of gulls flying around, just waiting for the farmers to start plowing
and exposing a feed of grubs for them. There is lots of geese around Pinawa.
all mainly in pairs and arguing about nesting sites.
Seamans, Quispamsis, NB
4/07/04: Now I've seen my first lone robin in MY backyard. Poor thing
had to walk
through the snow to find its worms. It snowed Monday and has continued
through today, Wednesday. A discouraging sight but NB always has snow
in April. Temperatures are a bit above zero.
Keitsch, Ajax, ON
The wind-chill is minus 16°C . We have a few female Robins here.They
arrived with the wind just before it turned so cold. Now I am just hoping
that the warmer weather will arrive soon. It is a big treat to hear all
the birds in the morning, singing away. (April 6)
11) "It is staying cool because of the big High Pressure area. We
are also waiting for the female Robins. Looks like last year's migration.
It was 6 weeks long before all the birds could move up. So here we have
all the "Puffed Up" and bored Robins sitting around waiting.
(Ute saw her first Robin March 13, and March 22, 2004, she reported the
"real" Robins arrived, in full color and a fighting mood!)
Dwornik, Lethbridge AB
4/08/04: Spring is still teasing us here in Lethbridge. The weather's
been pretty good, but a little odd, even for Lethbridge. Lots of sunshine,
but on Tuesday it thought the wind should blow, and really howled, but
only for an hour or two!! Then Thursday, they predicted rain or snow,
but only sent cool cloudy weather. The robins who come here are hearty
though! they did not get blown away. They're tough; in fact I've seen
more robins in our neighborhood this year than ever. I guess it's because
our trees are starting to get bigger. The robins are getting very vocal.
It is just wonderful hearing them singing so bold and bright so early
in the morning. Two sit in our willow trees, another perches on top of
the house next door. It's wonderful waking up to them. We've also got
about a half dozen house finches.... and oh! what a lovely song they have.
Trees are budding out, tulips poking through but no tulips in bloom in
our yard yet.
and Richard Darling, Nipawin, Saskatchewan
(04/05/04) Our weather
at Nipawin, Saskatchewan, has become sunny and "warm" each day
(usually up to 45 F). The snow is quickly melting in the gardens and lawns
with more patches of soil and lawn peaking through each day. Out at the
edge of the lawn the winter snow, ice and gravel from the snow plows'
"cleaning of the streets" still remains. We have no robins here,
but to the south at Hyas, SK, near Yorkton, many robins have arrived.
Here the crows are back, but no robins! However, we look forward to reporting
their arrival soon.
Nagy, Inuvik, NT
4/05/04: We had quite a week last week. Temperatures warmed to the mid
range and we had another 2 day blizzard--our 7th or 8th this winter, which
is quite unusual. I had snow piled 4 to 5 feet high in my drive way. The
town crews are still digging out the streets. People are saying that this
has been the highest snow fall winter in living memory. In addition we
apparently have had the coldest winter in 38 years. Temperatures are supposed
to get up to -9 C today, so am looking forward
to this. Days are long and there is a fair amount of heat from the sun.
I even had a few drops of water dripping from the roof of my house on
the weekend. Don't expect the robins to arrive till mid May.
Cheadle, Slave Lake, AB
I have seen a robin! American Robin was seen and heard in a stand
of white spruce along the southern shore of Lesser Slave Lake Provincial
Park. Weather was sunny and temperature was about 15 degrees C. Time of
the sighting was 2:13 PM Mountain Time, 04/03/04.
Hervieux, Grande Prairie
4/06/04: Nothing yet but I have had a report from about 20 km west of
town. We have been having beautiful weather with clear skies and temperatures
mid-high teens. There are lots of ring-billed gulls, Canada Geese, Crows
back as well as a few Trumpeter Swans (they nest in this area). Hopefully
by your next report we will have robins.
I saw a robin this morning as I drove to work sitting at the very top
tree. There are also a few prairie crocus in bloom along the south facing
slopes of the Peace River about 1 hour north of us.
Landry, Beresford, NB
4/07/04: Good news... today I saw 3 robins in a tree and also
a red wing black bird was at my feeders!!!
Robins waves are continuing and the robins seems to be more active and
territorial but still no song. Also this morning, my first song sparrow
of the year. Another good sign of an active migration.
Just to let you know that the robins are now singing!!! They made quite
symphony last evening!
Owens, Fireweed Academy, Homer, Alaska
yet (April 5)... Good thing for them, because we had a last
blast of winter this past week. After lots of snow and cold temperatures,
things are beginning to warm up again though. This morning on the way
to school, I saw the first squirrel I've seen since late last fall. Those
robins should be getting here any day though...
04/06/04: No sign of any robins here in Fairbanks yet, but the first geese
of the season arrived on Sunday (April 4) about 2 weeks earlier than usual.
They seem a bit out of place as the snowpack is still about knee deep.
The snow plows were out on Monday clearing some space for the geese at
Creamer's Field Refuge. They will be spreading some grain soon so as to
keep the geese away from the nearby airports. Temperatures changed rather
suddenly, from about -25F last week to +50 this week, so maybe the geese
know what they're doing.
White, Homer, AK
Not much new
here on the Kenai Peninsula. Robins? No reports so far; we'll hold off our
expectations for them for at least another 3 weeks, and feel lucky if we
see them then. For many of us this is the hardest part of the winter, when
the days are long already (over 14 hours, plus long twilights) but the obvious
signs of spring are still not apparent. What keeps us going is the knowledge
that soon, very soon, our world will be bursting with the sights and sounds
of returning life.
Hoffman, Creston, BC
4/05/04: I heard a robin doing its lovely territorial song early this
morning. We have had many more robins than usual visit our place this
year. You can't look out the window without seeing robins doing their
aerial fighting. I am sure all the earthworms around are quivering in
the ground as the robin patrols are so numerous. I guess that means that
we humans won't get to eat the cherries this year as all those robins
will get there first.
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