The Three Amigos had thrown down the gauntlet: 138 species in a 24-hour period. So the team, gathering at 6:00 this morning, knew they had a big job on their hands, especially as they had only 14 hours to work with as Matt was heading out this evening for the Yukon. But this was the classic battle of age and beauty versus youth and….adolescent …gawkishness. And you know who wins that battle.
The Ringers got their first bird, a Tennessee Warbler, right at 6:00 (we had just banded it) and set out to do the census. An hour later they were up to 49 species…a good start. Ben texted in periodically to let me know how things were going: 10:45 – 94 spp.; 4:20 – 131; 4:30 – 135; [you could sense the tension!] 5:20 – 140; 5:35 – 142; 6:00 – 145!! (Finishing off with Whimbrel and Red Knot!). Not only had they blown the Amigos away but they had bested last year’s record of 143 species. Great job Ringers!!
[If you haven’t had a chance to support our Birdathon team there’s still time. Visit:
The Ruthven Ringers BSC donation page]
It wasn’t quite so exciting here at “base camp”. Sure, we had a Blackpoll Warbler and another lovely male Mourning Warbler but not much else. Just enough to keep the very interested visiting children excited.
Odds & Ends:
It was common today to see Purple Martins sitting in the tops of the weeping willow trees. There they would pluck green leaves and carry them back to their nesting box/gourd. Green leaves are the last addition to the nest before they start laying eggs…..so any day now.
It’s a late Spring so the leaves and flowers on many trees are still just opening. The forest still has that “fuzzy” look – like a Japanese watercolour – before the leaves are fully formed.
This Baltimore Oriole nest is just to the left of the Mansion. The reddish tinge is the result of the bird using synthetic orange fibres. I’ve looked around but can’t find the source of them.
We have around 22 birds at the colony so far this year. The colony capacity is going to increase next week when we put up a new array of 16 gourds. We’ve found that the birds much prefer gourds to the metal housing units. It’s unfortunate that they couldn’t have gone up earlier (just got them) but at least fledging birds will see that there’s plenty of housing for next year…..
With all the rain we’ve had, local streams are still running with a good flow. Rick’s Rill has been flooded several times this Spring and is still going strong. Although there are a few mosquitoes around, the woods are still enjoyable, especially the Fox Den Trail, which is the best place to see migrant warblers.
We recaptured the cowbird “Stumpy” today – it has returned from Western with a bright new red band above the aluminum one. He is in very good shape weighing over 48 grams (up 6 grams from the time we made the decision to amputate his broken leg). He seems to be getting around very well – I’ve seen him hopping on the ground feeding and perching on a branch – adeptly on the one leg.
2 Traill’s Flycatchers
1 Least Flycatcher
1 Wood Thrush
5 Gray Catbirds
1 Cedar Waxwing
2 Tennessee Warblers
1 Blackpoll Warbler
1 Mourning Warbler
1 Common Yellowthroat
1 Wilson’s Warbler
1 Indigo Bunting
1 Chipping Sparrow
2 Red-winged Blackbirds
1 American Goldfinch
ET’s: 64 spp.