Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2010 Summary

It's been a while since the last update, so I thought I would close out 2010 by providing a brief summary of the missing weeks after the last news, way back in September. I became lazy with the updates, then busy with the task of inputting a whole year's records each night. Not much fun after a hard day's work.....perhaps next year, I will follow Grace's advice and complete the data entry after each banding session. It sounds like a good plan right now, but of course, that's in the future. We'll see if I am smart enough to follow that sound advice!

Late September saw the arrival of long time friend from Jersey (he may deny it!!!), Ian Buxton. Ian and his brother David still ring birds in Jersey, and are responsible for setting me on the path to banding when I was much slimmer, and much younger too! It was excellent to be able to spend a couple of mornings catching North Amercian birds with Ian, prior to delivering him to Long Point Bird Observatory, where he was very busy indeed! Hopefully it won't be too long before he, and perhaps David, pay us another visit.

On a negative note, two of the nets were destroyed by vandals. Presumably the person responsible thought they were foiling the attempts of hunters to catch deer. If they had bothered to spend time at the banding station, they would have known that White-tailed Deer are in no way impeded, and certainly not entagled, by mist nets. I know, because I've seen it with my own eyes! No matter....hopefully, whoever it was will suffer a horrible misfortune sooner rather than later.

The season ended on October 31st, with a final Autumn total of 1,482 to add to Spring's modest 101. Sixty seven species were banded, with 7 new species for the site. Highlights were 5 Northern Saw-Whet Owls, 2 Sharp-shinned Hawks, 57 Tennessee Warblers, 102 Gray Catbirds and 7 Orange-crowned Warblers.

The final total for the station is 1,583, with 71 species banded. The Autumn of 2010 was very productive at the site, no doubt reflective of a good breeding season further north.

As always, I thank the staff at "rare" Charitable Research Reserve for their support during the year, and for the use of their property. Thanks too to local naturalist Bill Wilson and his incredible energy and enthusiasm not only for the banding project, but wildlife studies in general in the Waterloo region, and beyond. Further thanks to all of the trail monitors who spent hours in the field, monitoring migrants passing through the area. Finally, special thanks to my right hand man Georg Hentsch, and trainee banders Brett Fried and Erika Hentsch. In fact, congratulations to Brett on obtaining his banding permit. I'm sure he will be very busy in 2011....why, even today, he's catching Snow Buntings, while I'm stuck in the office, composing this!

Have a happy and prosperous 2011, and if you are short of things to do, a visit to my good friend Peter "Growler" Fearon's blog site is well worth the time.