April weather on the Avalon Peninsula is not fit for human habitation. Yesterday St. John's experienced eight hours with wind gusts exceeding 100 km/hr and a top gust of 121. Today the winds are lighter but snow is falling with the potential of up to 30 cm on the ground when we wake up tomorrow morning. During April Avalon birders cross their fingers for prolonged NE gales accompanied by RDF (rain, drizzle & fog). There are no guarantees in birding. It is still a long shot, but when the right weather systems are lined up across the Atlantic they can and have delivered displaced Icelandic migrants, to Newfoundland.
European Golden Plover is the most routine Icelandic Vagrant to reach Newfoundland in spring. They have arrived as early as 8 April. The peak time period of occurrence is 20 April - 10 May. The magic date for arrival is 26 April. Flocks have been as high as 4 dozen. Other Icelandic species such as Black-tailed Godwit, Common Redshank, Pink-footed Goose and Northern Wheatears sometimes accompany the influxes of Golden Plovers. We are still awaiting a Meadow Pipit - an over due North American first.
We dream on through the inclement spring weather....
A European Golden Plover feeding in a field at Renews, Avalon Peninsula on 3 May 2014.