Thursday, August 26, 2010

21st/22nd August 2010

The second weekend of the new season kicked off under cloudy skies, light winds, and little humidity. Some heavy showers passed through the area on Saturday afternoon, and well into the evening, but didn't disrupt the banding effort. The mosquitoes positively enjoyed the refreshing rain and were ready and waiting for us by Sunday morning.

Saturday proved to be the busiest day of the year so far, with a respectable total of seventy-two birds banded, of nineteen species. The first push of neotropical warblers are now in the area, although in small numbers so far. Thanks to sound luring, a good number of Baltimore Orioles responded, including a retrap AHY male, originally banded here as a HY on August 23rd 2008.

Sunday was not surprisingly, a little quieter, with the overnight rain halting migration. However, the Orioles, attracted by the tape, ensured a reasonable total for the session. In all, the weekend produced 114 individuals of twenty-two species, broken down as follows:

Tennessee Warbler 4
"Traill's" Flycatcher 4
American Redstart 5
Magnolia Warbler 1
Nashville Warbler 2
Wilson's Warbler 1
Common Yellowthroat 2
Black-capped Chickadee 11
Mourning Warbler 2
Warbling Vireo 7
American Goldfinch 1
Red-eyed Vireo 5
Song Sparrow 4
White-breasted Nuthatch 2
Gray Catbird 16
Northern Cardinal 5
Baltimore Oriole 33
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 3
American Robin 3
Chestnut-sided Warbler 1
Great-crested Flycatcher 1
Cedar Waxwing 1

This week's image is of a Chestnut-sided Warbler, in winter (basic) plumage.....very different than the Spring edition!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Autumn Banding Season begins.

After a long, hot, humid Summer, the Autumn banding season got underway on Saturday August 14th. It's still quite sunny and very humid, so I ask myself, "self, is it really Autumn?" The birds say yes. In spite of the conditions, there was plenty of activity, and the weekend produced a total of 64 birds banded, representing 20 species. Caught but not banded was a Ruby-throated Hummingbird. The Ospreys appear to have raised one chick to fledging, in this, their second year at the nesting platform. Here's the list.

American Goldfinch 3
American Redstart 4
American Robin 4
Baltimore Oriole 1
Black-capped Chickadee 10
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 1
Cedar Waxwing 2
Gray Catbird 20
Great-crested Flycatcher 1
Indigo Bunting 1
Least Flycatcher 1
Mourning Warbler 1
Norther Cardinal 2
Red-eyed Vireo 1
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 1
Song Sparrow 2
"Traill's" Flycatcher 3
Warbling Vireo 3
Willow Flycatcher 1
Yellow-shafted Flicker 2

The image is of a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, as always, courtesy of Georg Hentsch. I will try to update this site weekly as the season progresses.

Spring 2010 Summary

Having finally received the banding log sheets from Brett, it's time to summarize the Spring effort......which at best was disappointing! There are two reasons for this. Firstly, the weather was not conducive to depositing migrants onto the property, it was far too warm and clear, and they just "kept on trucking." The other reason is that I was on holiday from mid May, and Brett was busy padding out his 2010 species list in an attempt to gain an insurmountable lead in our "Big Year" race. I'm lagging at least 100 species behind him, and a good fifty behind Georg and Erika.....but that's o.k. because there's plenty of time left to close the gap.....assuming I can be arsed to do so! Following is the banding totals list, which I'm sure you will agree is not especially impressive, and not in any particular order!

Black-capped Chickadee 4

Ruby-crowned Kinglet 1

Blue-grey Gnatcatcher 1

Magnolia Warbler 1

Wilson's Warbler 1

Blackburnian Warbler 1

Yellow Warbler 20

American Goldfinch 11

Warbling Vireo 1

American Redstart 3

Northern Waterthrush 1

Red-eyed Vireo 2

Song Sparrow 1

Cedar Waxwing 7

Orchard Oriole 2

Grey Catbird 4

Baltimore Oriole 1

Brown-headed Cowbird 5

Red-winged Blackbird 15

American Robin 6

Least Flycatcher 1

Myrtle Warbler 2

Swamp Sparrow 1

Hermit Thrush 1

White-throated Sparrow 3

American Tree Sparrow 2

House Wren 1

Northern Cardinal 2

The not so grand total is 101, of 28 species.

Finally, news of some recoveries. Firstly, an American Robin, banded here on October 5th 2008, was found dead in December 2008 in Trenton, Georgia, USA. This Spring, an American Redstart banded as a hatch year bird just east of Port Rowan, Ontario on August 31st 2009, was controlled here on May 23rd, 2010, presumably on its way back to its natal location. A Brown-headed Cowbird banded by my good friend Peter Fearon at a banding demonstration at McGreggor Point Park on June 3rd 2007, was found dead in Columbia City, Indiana, USA on April 21st 2008. Finally, a Pine Siskin we banded at Bannister lake Bird Observatory (a.k.a. Georg's backyard) on February 1st 2009, made its way to Mansfield, Ontario where it presumably lost interest in living and was found dead on May 13th.