April 11th – Things Beginning to Move (& More Snow Bunting News)

The first White-throated Sparrow of the year.

There finally seemed to be a crack in the wall that has been holding back migrants for the past few days. Not a big one but enough to have noticeable results: we heard and then saw and then caught & banded the first White-throated Sparrow of the season; a Common Loon went over, heading north; we chanced into a flock of Golden-crowned Kinglets; banded the first Brown Creepers of the season (both birds carrying big fat loads); welcomed back the male Purple Martin that has been visiting for the past 3 days; found an Eastern Screech Owl in one of the Wood Duck boxes; banded 33 birds; and, on the day, encountered a total of 45 species. Things are looking up. It seems that, for us, unsettled weather gets things moving.

Joanne with the White-throated Sparrow.

Kellie, visiting all the way from Waterloo, bands her first bird - a junco.

Kellie with 'her' junco.

Banded 33:
1 Mourning Dove
2 Brown Creepers
10 Golden-crowned Kinglets
1 Northern Cardinal
1 American Tree Sparrow
1 Field Sparrow
1 White-throated Sparrow
6 Dark-eyed Juncos
3 Brown-headed Cowbirds
7 American Goldfinches

Annarita, with daughter Kellie, and Song Sparrow.

Retrapped 34:
1 Mourning Dove
1 Downy Woodpecker
3 Black-capped Chickadees
3 Golden-crowned Kinglets
1 Ruby-crowned Kinglets
3 American Tree Sparrows
2 Field Sparrows
6 Song Sparrows
5 Dark-eyed Juncos
9 American Goldfinches

Distant squall.

ET’s: 45 spp.

And on the Snow Bunting front:

From Yann Rochepault who is co-ordinating efforts at 3 stations (Magpie, Riviere-Saint-Jean, and Riviere-au-tonnerre, QC):
We currently have for the three stations 610 Snow-Bunting.

From Darroch Whitaker in Rocky Harbour, NFLD:
We’ve just had a couple warm sunny days / clear nights and yesterday I
didn’t see a single bunting even though I went by the lighthouse in both
the morning and afternoon. Hopefully they’ll show up again, I think we’re
forecast to get some snow and rain again in a few days so maybe that will
bring them back for an easy meal of birdseed. Of course they may be halfway
up the coast of Labrador by now too, who knows…

From Gord Parsons in Labrador City:
We have had a dozen or so that overestimate wintered on the Wabush Mines
Tailings. They have started to arrive now, last weekend I counted in excess
of 500 on the tailings, smaller flocks are reported in town. We have done
annual count on April 22 for years now. They take another route south.

Gord’s closing comment, “they take another route south”, sounds intriguing. We need to find what that route is….


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