May 14th & 15th – Hit By A Train.

A nice Welcome!

A nice Welcome!


I’ve been trying to think of an analogy that would describe my feelings of the last few days…..When I was a kid, our family would hike from the Royal Botanical Gardens to Dundas along the train tracks. One time we heard the whistle of a distant train (this was in the days of steam locomotives) and my father ushered us quickly off the tracks. With almost reverential awe he called out: “Here comes the Chicago Flyer!” (A hobo during the depression he could tell most of the engines by their whistle.) All too soon it was upon us. I still remember the rush of wind as it hit my face, chugging of the engine and rolling of the big drive wheels when it powered by, despite being on the sharp upgrade out of Hamilton. And as it receded into the distance all I could think was: WOW!
A study in blue: Black-throated Blue Warbler on the left; Indigo Bunting on the right.

A study in blue: Black-throated Blue Warbler on the left; Indigo Bunting on the right.


Male Orchard Oriole (left); female right.

Male Orchard Oriole (left); female right.


Female Tennessee Warbler on the left; slightly brighter male on the right.

Female Tennessee Warbler on the left; slightly brighter male on the right.


The events of the past few days have been like that: this tremendous rush of life going by all around us. It’s an interesting exercise simply to conjecture on the actual number of birds that passed over us during this time. Often we have little idea as they wing their way north high overhead in the night. It’s only during a “fallout” – like we had on the 13th – that we get an idea of the enormity of it.

The last two days have felt a bit like that receding train – watching that big pulse disappear to the north.

Haider the Fern Hillian with an Indigo Bunting.

Haider the Fern Hillian with an Indigo Bunting.


May 14th; Banded 46:
3 House Wrens
1 Swainson’s Thrush
7 Gray Catbirds
1 Blue-winged Warbler
3 Tennessee Warblers
9 Yellow Warblers
2 Common Yellowthroats
1 Rose-breasted Grosbeaks
1 Indigo Bunting
1 Song Sparrow
2 Eastern White-crowned Sparrows
2 Red-winged Blackbirds
1 Orchard Oriole
11 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 58 spp.

An older (After Second Year) male Indigo Bunting.

An older (After Second Year) male Indigo Bunting.


A younger (Second Year) male Indigo Bunting.

A younger (Second Year) male Indigo Bunting.


May 15th; Banded 40:

1 Mourning Dove
1 Eastern Wood Pewee
1 Traill’s Flycatcher
1 Least Flycatcher
1 Tree Swallow
6 Gray Catbirds
1 Blue-winged Warbler
2 Yellow Warblers
4 Magnolia Warblers
1 Ovenbird
5 Common Yellowthroats
1 Northern Cardinal
2 Rose-breasted Grosbeaks
4 Indigo Buntings
4 Brown-headed Cowbirds
4 Baltimore Orioles
1 American Goldfinch

ET’s: 62 spp.
Rick

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