Friday, April 30, 2010

2010 Spring banding season.

The 2010 edition of Spring banding began on a cold and windy April 17th. Frankly, I should have stayed at home and watched the football matches on the Setanta sports channel. Sunday saw a slight improvement in the weather, but the migrants were not impressed and chose to stay well south of here! The final total for the weekend was four, comprising American Robin (2), American Goldfinch (1) and in keeping with the American theme, American Tree Sparrow (1).

The weekend of 24th/25th April saw an improvement on the Saturday, and a toal washout on Sunday, when banding was not possible, owing to high winds and lots and lots of rain. A total of tweleve birds were caught, as follows:

American Tree Sparrow 1
American Goldfinch 2
American Robin 1
Black-capped Chickadee 3
Brown-headed Cowbird 1
Northern Cardinal 2
Red-winged Blackbird 2

The coming weekend would normally be expected to be the real start of migration, but the forecast is for windy conditions, with rain on Sunday. A bit of a bugger really, but we'll see what happens......

The picture is another one of last Autumn's Connecticut Warbler. Nothing of interest has been caught yet in 20110, so I'm resorting to last year's stock of pictures to entertain you!

Autumn 2009 Summary

Having run out of steam by October of 2009, it seems appropriate to summarize our final results for the Autumn season.

The last day of banding was Sunday November 1st. All of the nets and poles were removed from the Springbank Farm location on a sunny, but frosty morning, and began the long winter hibernation at Bannister Lake Bird Observatory, a.k.a. Georg's place!

The final total was 1,239 of 70 species and sub-species. Number one on the list was the Song Sparrow, with 234 individuals banded, closely followed by American Goldfinch at 233. Other highlights (for me, which is what counts most, as I'm the one writing this!) were Myrtle Warbler 90, Savannah Sparrow 58, and Red-eyed Vireo 35. New for the location were American Pipit, Blue-headed Vireo, Chipping Sparrow, Connecticut Warbler,Eastern Bluebird, Eastern Kingbird, Eastern Wood Peewee, Grasshopper Sparrow, Great-crested Flycatcher, Pine Warbler and Vesper Sparrow.
There are reports, although I've yet to see the actual details, of recoveries of an American Robin in northern Georgia (that's the good ole U S of A, not the strife torn home of Stalin and former Soviet republic), and a Brown-headed Cowbird in Indiana. If I ever get the details from he who shall remain nameless, I'll post them here.
Once again, I'd like to thank Georg and Erika Hentsch, and Brett Fried for all of their time and effort banding birds. Thanks also to the "rare" organization for the use of their land and financial support with banding equipment needs, and to Bill Wilson and Josh Shea for organizing the daily trail monitoring and record keeping. Thanks too to all of the volunteers and monitors for your dedication and participation in the project.
Let's hope that 2010 is even more successful.....