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General News · 14th April 2022
Unfortunately, the uncertainty of this new wave of the Omicron virus is making it difficult for me to offer this outing.

It makes it difficult to gather as a group, even outside.

Birding is a close encounter event, with birders helping each other find a bird for example, looking through a telescope, etc.

As for myself, presenting/pointing out the location of a bird and discussing the nuances of the songs with a mask on is far too difficult for me, especially if we all have to be spread out.

Let’s hope this current wave is only a bump in the road and we can re-schedule this event.

In the meantime, I will drop off the Cortes Bird Checklist at the Cortes Museum. It is available for $5. All proceeds go to the museum. This list is actually a graph that allows you to predict when a species will arrive, thus you can look out for it. It also allows you to narrow down the possible candidates that you might be looking at. Spring migration is just beginning and the summer residents are arriving in a timely way.

It’s really quite remarkable how species can be so punctual. There’s lots of reasons for this: leafing of trees and the blooming of flowers, hatching of insects, warmth! (which is currently lacking!), cover for nests etc.

The birds are indeed on their way! If you want to watch the waves of millions of birds on radar moving northward across North America, go to BirdCast ( ) on the net. It is supported by Cornell, Colorado, and UMass Amherst Universities. For example, tonight the prediction is for 102 million birds to be on the move! They can even ID species! By the time spring migration is over 2–4 billion birds will have moved north from the tropics.

Additionally, you can go to the Cornell Lab site and put in any species you are interested in and you can go to a crisply presented description, photographs and my favourite – the sounds that have been recorded for that species – it really helps me identify and refresh my memory of the singers, and I totally recommend it.

So let’s hope we once again can beat back this virus.

George Sirk

P.S. The Horned Grebes do indeed now have their gorgeous breeding plumage regalia – go in the next two weeks and seek them out. I recommend any of the Government docks for a pretty good chance of seeing them close!