Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Week 2, August 18th and 19th, 2012

Week two of the Autumn 2012 banding season was conducted under largely warm and sunny conditions, which are pleasant for the banding team and the monitoring crew, but not really conducive to catching migrants. The calm, clear, starry nights permit migrants to fly right over our station and continue southwards. Ideal conditions are a cold front, northerly breeze, and pre-dawn showers. What we got was sunshine on the nets, making them rather too visible. Having said that, we still managed a total of 103 birds, of twenty-two species. Thanks to the efforts of Brett and Erika at the Springbank Farm location, another new bird was added to the ever expanding list, Northern Rough-winged Swallow. In fact, they caught a total of thirteen, along with a further nine Barn Swallows. We have now banded 337 birds of 41 species in two weekends. Not too shabby......

Northern Rough-winged Swallow

Birds overhead included a good number of Swallow species, a few Chimney Swifts, and the family of Ospreys. Pretty soon they will be leaving our area and south into the southern United States. In the meantime, they will continue to provide entertainment for the visitors to the property, especially when they are observed carry quite large goldfish back to the nesting platform! Other birds in reasonable numbers inncluded Red-eyed and Warbling Vireos, as well as the omnipresent Grey Catbirds, which seem to have enjoyed another good breeding season.

Here are the totals:

American Robin 5
Grey Catbird 13
Song Sparrow 15
Northern Cardinal 1
Brown-headed Cowbird 1
"Traill's" Flycatcher 8
Downy Woodpecker 2
Black-capped Chickadee 3
Warbling Vireo 5
Nashville Warbler 1
Wilson's Warbler 2
House Wren 2
Red-eyed Vireo 8
Magnolia Warbler 1
Chestnut-sided Warbler 2
Northern Rough-winged Swallow 13
Tennessee Warbler 2
Cedar Waxwing 1
Barn Swallow 9
American Goldfinch 6
Chipping Sparrow 1
Baltimore Oriole 2
Blue-grey Gnatcatcher 1

The forecast for next weekend isn't especially encouraging, with sunshine and high humidity, potentially in the low 40's celsius. I suspect that if that is the case, the post-banding cold beer will be especially welcome!

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