May 19th – A Summer Day

Our Tequila Sunrise event was a big hit but if you didn’t get there early….. -AT

It was just 7 degrees when we were opening nets but by late morning it was 27 (and even higher with the humidex)! The SW winds and sunshine did a good job drying up some of the net lanes and paths. What a quagmire the grounds have been this Spring – more like rice paddies than lawns and meadows. Despite the drying, we started to lay down wood chips. Sort of an exercise in closing the gate after the cows are gone but…..they will be better able to handle future rains (like the one falling right now).

Amy’s delicious butter tarts make for a good morning. -AT

Wayne Gretzky is touted as being the greatest hockey player of all time. Some think that his scoring records will never be beaten. But does that mean that players shouldn’t try!? Of course not. Gretzky merely set a standard for others to strive to attain. That’s hockey. The same could be said for butter tarts. I have mentioned in a number of posts that Dorothy Smith makes the world’s best butter tarts. But in saying that I’m sort of throwing out a challenge: take it on, try to better her feat. This morning it was Amy Thorne that took up the gauntlet. Her tarts were exceptionally good and her pastry ranks right up there with the best. She wanted an “honest” appraisal….so here’s how things stand. Dorothy is still on top. She is followed closely by Carla (of Bahr Saddlery) who is herself followed closely by Amy. But it is really tight: only a few calories separate the three.

We continued to catch and band at a moderate rate – this kind of weather does NOT make for good catching at Ruthven. We continue to increase the record numbers of 3 species: we banded another 4 Baltimore Orioles bringing the total to 97 (old record was 51); 3 more Rose-breasted Grosbeaks gives us 67 (vs 61); and 3 Orchard Orioles pushes that total to 19 (vs 16).

There was a noticeable drop in warbler species today – we recorded only 7 species. However, we did see our first cuckoo of the year, a Black-billed Cuckoo. They’re pretty late getting here.

Banded 52:
1 Traill’s Flycatcher

Great Crested Flycatcher “snapping” its bill to intimidate us. -MAS

1 Great Crested Flycatcher

Female Tree Swallow. -MAS

1 Tree Swallow
1 Blue Jay
1 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
5 Gray Catbird
1 Red-eyed Vireo
12 Yellow Warblers

Male Magnolia Warbler. -MAS

4 Magnolia Warblers

Male Canada Warbler. -MAS

2 Canada Warblers

A young (SY) male American Redstart; the black patches are just the beginning of the moult that will eventually result in the characteristic orange and black basic plumage. -MAS

1 American Redstart

Another look at the young male redstart. -MAS

2 Common Yellowthroats
3 Rose-breasted Grosbeaks
2 Indigo Buntings
1 Chipping Sparrow
3 Song Sparrows
1 Red-winged Blackbird
4 Baltimore Orioles

Liam with his first Orchard Oriole. -JET

1 American Goldfinch

ET’s: 62 spp.

Leave a Reply