Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Update as of September 20th

A very quick update, covering the last two weekends. 12th/13th was very slow, with a total of 79 birds captured, of 20 species. New for the site was a hatch year Eastern Bluebird. Brett's tape luring of Savannah Sparrows proved quite successful, with nineteen banded.
Things improved at the farm location for the weekend of 19th/20th September, as the various sparrows and Goldfinches finally showed up in numbers. A total of 179 birds were banded, with a further, and very paltry 29 at the river site. Although only seperated by a few hundred metres, the difference in numbers at the two sites was quite remarkable.....but, given the clear weather conditions for several days and nights, the species to be expected along the river never bothered stopping. Sparrows and Goldfinches, on the other hand, find the organic farm and seed fields to be irresistible. The hedgerows are also attracting a few warblers, which is a bonus! Three new species were added to the station list, these being 11 Chipping Sparrows, a Grasshopper Sparrow, and a Pine Warbler. Using the tape lure, a further 23 Savannah Sparrows were banded, bringing the total for this species to 45....not bad considering only one was caught in the whole of 2008.
Pictures of Eastern Bluebird, Pine Warbler and Grasshopper Sparrow courtesy of Georg Hentsch.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Labour Day Weekend

After a relaxing Saturday enjoying the sights of the Toronto Islands, including the air show, and of course the poofters, it was back to the business of banding migrants on Sunday and Monday. The weather was warm and sunny after the early morning fog, not exactly ideal conditions for dropping migrants on to the property, especially with the clear nights and full moon. Although quantity was lacking, it was made up for by quality, including a Connecticut Warbler, only the third record for the property! Interestingly, an early White-throated Sparrow put in an appearance, no doubt the first of many to come our way!
In alphabetical order, the totals were as follows:
American Goldfinch 5
American Redstart 3
American Robin 3
Black and White Warbler 1
Black-capped Chickadee 2
Chestnut-sided Warbler 2
Common Yellowthroat 4
Connecticut Warbler 1
Eastern Phoebe 1
Gray Catbird 10
House Wren 4
Indigo Bunting 2
Magnolia Warbler 5
Nashville Warbler 4
Ovenbird 1
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 2
Red-eyed Vireo 14
Scarlet Tanager 1
Song Sparrow 10
Swainson's Thrush 2
Traill's Flycatcher 2
White-throated Sparrow 1
Warbling Vireo 3
Wilson's Warbler 2
Total 86, of 24 species.
Images of Connecticut Warbler and Ovenbird courtesy of Georg Hentsch.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Quiet times down by the river.......

In spite of a change in the weather to cooler, unsettled conditions, the light northerly breezes failed to deposit any numbers of migrants in the "Rare" study area. Nevertheless, diversity has increased, as might be expected as the Autumn migration starts in earnest. This weekend saw an overall reduction in birds banded (81), but an increase in the number of species to twenty-six, including the first Magnolia and Black and White Warblers. We also added an Eastern Kingbird to the year list, which now stands at fifty-six. Last year saw sixty-three species banded, so we are expecting that total to be surpassed very soon!

Two Ospreys continue to use the nesting platform as a home base, but the second pair that nested further upstream, appear to have departed. There were several raptors to be seen each day, this weekend producing Sharp-shinned and Cooper's Hawks, an American Kestrel, Red-tailed Hawks, and of course, the Ospreys.

Totals banded on August 29th and 30th are as follows:

American Goldfinch 3
American Redstart 2
American Robin 4
Black and White Warbler 1
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 1
Brown Thrasher 1
Canada Warbler 1
Cedar Waxwing 1
Common Grackle 1
Downy Woodpecker 2
Eastern Kingbird 1
Eastern Phoebe 1
Great-crested Flycatcher 1
Gray Catbird 6
House Wren 5
Indigo Bunting 1
Least Flycatcher 1
Magnolia Warbler 5
Red-eyed Vireo 11
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 3
Savannah Sparrow 1
Song Sparrow 10
"Traill's" Flycatcher 8
Warbling Vireo 5
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher 3
Yellow-shafted Flicker 2

There are no pictures this week, as Georg, our trusty and rather hairy photographer was on a family excursion through the Rocky Mountains, where he no doubt saw lots of interesting birds, large mammals, and more than a few Red Necks.

Next weekend is the Labour Day weekend, so we'll be operating on Sunday and Monday.....Grace and I are off to Toronto Island on Saturday.....hopefully the weather will be good for the entire holiday weekend!