April 8th – Moving Through

There’s no doubt but that things were on the move. Our species encountered total – 49 – says it all. The season’s previous high was 40 species and that was yesterday. Whereas yesterday’s waterfowl count was low, today’s was respectable: 8 species of ducks including a couple of Red-breasted Mergansers. We rarely see these at Ruthven, inland from a big body of water. In fact, we had great views of one which swam and dove just 100 m away from our observation point beside the river. We saw 4 Common Loons fly by – all heading SSW?! Probably heading for the Inner Bay at Long Point. We had our first Osprey sighting and a Merlin blasted through the site while I was doing the census.

As for passerines, American Robins were on the go. All morning small numbers (from one to 5 individuals) were observed traversing the site, usually at a fairly high altitude and almost all of them were headed NE. We still have a lot of American Tree Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos around but these will soon be moving out, especially the sparrows. On the other hand, we encountered our first 2 Fox Sparrows of the year; unfortunately they weren’t in a net….

Banded 24:
3 Black-capped Chickadees (all of these had big fat loads suggesting that they were migrants – locals have next to none)
2 Brown Creepers
4 Golden-crowned Kinglets
1 European Starling
3 American Tree Sparrows
3 Song Sparrows
2 Dark-eyed Juncos
2 Brown-headed Juncos
4 American Goldfinches

Retrapped 23:
1 Downy Woodpecker
1 Black-capped Chickadee
2 White-breasted Nuthatches
3 Golden-crowned Kinglets
13 American Tree Sparrows
1 Song Sparrow
2 Dark-eyed Juncos

ET’s: 49 spp.


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