May 17th – A Fine Weather Day!

The Ruthven Ringers Birdathon Team; From left: Ethan Gosnell, Ezra Campanelli, Alessandra Wilcox, Ben Oldfield. -DOL

[Our wonderful Birdathon Team, as you can see below, finished with 158 species!! And in typical style they were beating themselves up for what they didn’t see and setting goals for next year. Congratulations you guys – 158 species!!!]

I would like to thank everyone that donated! Below is a summary of our big day:
The day started at 0300hrs in Burlington, where Alessandra, Ezra and I drove to Caledonia to pick up Ethan. Once the crew was assembled we powered down to St. Williams conservation area and quickly picked up Whip-poor-Will, American Woodcock and Ruffed grouse. From here we headed to Hahn marsh and picked up marsh birds such as American and Least Bittern, Sedge Wren and Sandhill crane. The next bird to be heard at another local spot was King Rail, King Rail is a very rare bird in the area and we were all happy to hear it. At this time we headed to Backus woods and arrived around 0700hrs and found Carolinian rarities such as Cerulean Warbler, Louisiana Waterthrush, and many other birds. As the temperature began to rise we drove to Oldcut. Oldcut has a world-renowned banding station and for good reason. The park, as usual, was filled with birds. Over 20sp of warblers were found quickly and the banding operation was kept busy with birds consistently flying into the nets. Once we were satisfied with migrants we began to check our list and fill in spots checking places on the way back such as Port Rowan wetlands, the lookout on the bay and spooky hollow. We collected Grasshopper and Vesper Sparrow on the way and we checked an odd spot for Clay Coloured Sparrow, beside the O.P.P station in Simcoe. As in the last 7 years, they did not disappoint. From here we drove to the Townsends sewage lagoons and were rewarded with many duck species and some shorebirds including a very rare migrant in the spring, Red Necked Pharalope. Once finished here we drove towards Ruthven with windows down picking up Bobolink, once at Ruthven we chatted with Rick and Nancy and took a quick look for Yellow Throated Vireo and Orchard oriole. The time was approaching 1400hrs and we drove towards the Halton area where we stopped at Windemere basin and picked up Greater Scaup and Northern Mockingbird. We were still missing migrants so we checked Confederation park, the only thing of notice in the shrub habitat was an abundance of ticks. We totaled approx. 15 on us 4, including one black-legged tick that I found at home. The lake was a little bit better, with a Long-tailed duck. The last bird added was a Peregrine falcon at the lift bridge, after a detailed count we confirmed our suspicion that we broke the record with 158SP. The total is amazing as we only were able to go to 1700hrs due to fatigue(didn’t get enough sleep). The total none the less was fantastic and we were all extremely happy with the result. Out of curiosity, I complied birds that we missed and could have gotten for sure and other birds that were reported in the area that we missed. These are below. As you can see a total of 170 is possible, and we have a new goal for next year!
All the best,

Ben Oldfield

Golden Crowned Kinglet
Winter Wren
Prothonotary Warbler
Common Nighthawk
Canada Warbler
Blackpoll Warbler
Orange-Crowned Warbler
Red Necked Grebe
Iceland Gull
Bonaparte’s Gull
Eastern Meadowlark
Great Horned Owl
Eastern Screech Owl
Red Headed Woodpecker
American Kestral.
Blue Headed Vireo.
Lark Sparrow(Looked for and missed by an hour.
Harris Sparrow(Report seen too late)
Fox Sparrow(Reported did not see)

And today at Ruthven:
There must have been a massive lift-off last night from the Ruthven area as the diversity and overall number of birds was considerably less today than yesterday. Still, we did well and each net round brought some surprises.
Banded 64:
1 Blue Jay
1 Tufted Titmouse
1 Red-breasted Nuthatch
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
9 Gray Catbirds
3 Warbling Vireos

Male Blue-winged Warbler -JWC

2 Blue-winged Warblers
2 Tennessee Warblers
12 Yellow Warblers

Female Canada Warbler -MAS

1 Canada Warbler
1 American Redstart

Tick on a male Common Yellowthroat. -MAS

4 Common Yellowthroats

This was a tough male Rose-breasted Grosbeak to age. The wing feathers have all been moulted which you don’t see in SY birds (you get a mix of juvenile and freshly moulted feathers) but the body feather appear to be juvenile. -JWC

7 Rose-breasted Grosbeaks
2 Indigo Buntings
4 Song Sparrows
9 Baltimore Orioles (bringing our total to 89!)
3 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 72 spp.
More pics:

Underwing of a male Rose-breasted Grosbeak. -JWC

Male Bay-breasted Warbler -JWC

Red-eyed Vireo – well named…… -MAS

Long-distance flier: Blackpoll Warbler. -MAS

Carolina Wren -MAS

Female Tree Swallow. -MAS


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