April 9th & 10th – Slow But Sure

Purple Martin "scout".

Purple Martin “scout”.

[Before starting I’d like to add this disclaimer: The Open-billed Stork pictured and mentioned in the April 1st post was an April Fool’s Joke. For those who thought it wasn’t….I have some swampland in Florida you might be interested in buying.]

These two days have been relatively slow, despite the lovely sunshine and warmth in the afternoons. Over the two days we’ve banded only 40 birds. But each day produced some “new” species for the year.

Carol Jones writing down Jeff MacLeod's deepest thoughts word by word as he recites....or maybe just keeping track of the early morning birds.

Carol Jones writing down Jeff MacLeod’s deep thoughts word by word….or maybe just keeping track of the early morning birds.

April 9th Jeff MacLeod spotted the first Barn Swallow of the year and, although we’ve seen males for a couple of weeks, we saw the first female Red-winged Blackbirds and Brown-headed Cowbirds. So watch out for those cloacal protuberances!!! The male Purple Martin that arrived the evening of the 8th was around first thing in the morning and stayed in sight for several hours.

Today (10th) it was windy right from the getgo and the wind built as the morning progressed until it was whistling through consistently at over 40 km/hr, billowing many of the nets. Still, we saw the first Field Sparrow, Winter Wren, and Eastern Screech Owl (sunning itself at the mouth of a Wood Duck box). And the Purple Martin was there first thing checking out the houses and gourds between bouts of preening atop the parking lot light pole.

The park in York...under water.

The park in York…under water.

The Grand River was in full flow today, overflowing its banks in low-lying areas and backing up Rick’s Rill so that it flooded out the lower parts of the Carolinian Trail, complicating the census. [My son Geoff and I paddled from the Caledonia dam to York last night at a leisurely pace and still made it in less than an hour.]

April 9th; Banded 26:
1 Black-capped Chickadee
2 Golden-crowned Kinglets
4 Song Sparrows
1 Swamp Sparrow
12 Dark-eyed Juncos
1 Brown-headed Cowbird
5 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 34 spp.

April 10th; Banded 14:
2 Mourning Doves
3 American Robins
1 Song Sparrow
7 Dark-eyed Juncos
1 Brown-headed Cowbird

ET’s: 33 spp.

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