Thursday, September 27, 2012

Not Much About.....except for "The Ripper."

The weekend of September 23rd/24th was the poorest so far this Autumn. Not only was Brett missing, presumed twitching, but so too were the birds. A not at all grand total of 35 birds were banded over two mornings, representing twelve species. Meagre reward for the effort, I'm sure you'll agree. Here are the totals:-

"Traill's" Flycatcher 2
Magnolia Warbler 1
Wilson's Warbler 2
Wilson's Warbler
Philadelphia Vireo 3                                         
Black-capped Chickadee 2
Common Yellowthroat 2
Red-eyed Vireo 1
Downy Woodpecker 1
Gray Catbird 1
American Robin 13
Nashville Warbler 3
Blackpoll Warbler 1

On Saturday we were confronted by a gentleman holding a "Traill's" Flyctacher, that he claimed his dog had found at the foot of the net pole. The bird was still covered in some netting, which was carefully removed, the bird processed and released safely, apparently none the worse for wear. On inspecting the net, it was pretty clear that the bird had been torn out of the net, presumably by the aforementioned gentleman, who was then unable to safely remove the netting. At least he came looking for help! Although his story was not especially believable, we used the opportunity to explain what we were doing, and demonstrated the banding process for him. Hopefully we have educated another member of the public. After he left, Georg and I mulled over a suitable nickname, including The Flycatcher Ripper, The Robin Ripper, and The Blue Jay Ripper, but finally settled on plain old "The Ripper." Henceforth he will be known as The Ripper, and future sightings recorded and reported here!

Interestingly, the same Flycatcher was retrapped on Sunday, and had increased its weight from an impressive 16.0 gm, to a rotund 17.1 gm in just 24 hours. The second Flycatcher was even heavier, weighing in at 20 gm.....normal early Autumn weight is around 13 gm.

Next weekend sees the annual fund raising walk (Sunday) for "rare" Charitable Research Reserve, so I don't expect to catch very many birds, given the amount of people expected to be on the property. If anyone reading this is in a position to join in, contact the office to register!

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