April 28th & 29th – Two More Cold Days

Nola after doing a great job banding this bright White-throated Sparrow. -JET

The lousy weather continued yesterday and today – raw conditions….I wouldn’t want to be an aerial insectivore at the moment. And these conditions have really been impacting the variety and number of birds that are around. On both days the banding was slow and quite unexciting – at a time when we should be seeing the first long-distance migrants returning. Oh well….it is what it is.

On the positive side…and there is one….we were getting enough birds and at a pace that made it easy to teach budding ornithologists about banding with hands-on experiences. On busy days they would get shunted to the side so that we could process the birds quickly. Another thing was that there were a lot of good people around, like us, hoping to see some neat birds. In this they were disappointed but it was also our AGM so they got to listen to an excellent talk by Dr. Oliver Love from the University of Windsor on the impact of global climate change on Arctic birds.

The winds of change. -DOL

But something peculiar happened later this morning. I could sense a tremor in the Force, a change was in the works. And then, presto, Dorothy and her daughters Diane and Joanne walked into the lab on their annual May birding pilgrimage to chalk up migrants. The fact that they arrived with such a positive energy aura can only presage good things to come.

You will notice that the daily species count has been creeping upwards – 52 species encountered on both days. On Sunday, the young census crew (Ethan, Ben, and Liam) raised this year’s bar to 43 species on census – something to aim for if you’re interested.

April 28th; Banded 15:

Liam releasing a Tree Swallow we just banded. We are catching a number of Tree Swallows as it seems that hordes of midges like to hang out around the net lanes where there is some protection from the wind. -JET

1 Tree Swallow
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
2 Ruby-crowned Kinglets
1 Myrtle Warbler
2 Chipping Sparrows
1 Song Sparrow
4 White-throated Sparrows
3 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 52 spp.

April 29th; Banded 18:
1 Mourning Dove
1 Eastern Phoebe
1 Tree Swallow
1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
1 Northern Cardinal
2 Chipping Sparrows
3 White-throated Sparrows
1 Red-winged Blackbird
3 Brown-headed Cowbirds
4 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 52 spp.

Fresh beaver cutting along the Fox Den Trail. Note the ants going after the sap. -KMP

Due to the high water levels, Belted Kingfishers are plying their trade along Rick’s Rill. -KMP

The distant silhouette of a Common Raven. Two flew by, chased by angry crows. -KNP

Female Eastern Bluebird…..hanging tough in face of the Tree Swallow onslaught. -KMP

Male Eastern Bluebird. -KMP

Puffed out male Tree Swallow. -KMP

The Tree Swallows seem to like the new configuration of nest boxes – Chris and Christine brought some up from the river flats so the Butterfly Meadow has become Tree Swallow suburbia. All the boxes seem to be called for. -KMP

Drab female Tree Swallow checking out the real estate. -KMP

The promising interior of one of our Wood Duck boxes. -KMP


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