May 3rd – The Deluge (Continues)

A male Black & White Warbler - one of 3 new arrivals today.

I remember hearing a story once about it raining for forty days and forty nights. Does anyone know what a cubit is? Maybe it’s time to start building…..

When Loretta and I arrived around 5:30 it was raining. So….we had a coffee and talked over the results of yesterday’s election. When the rain stopped at 6:30 we opened a few nets and set out the traps. We were getting some good action when the rain started an hour later and we had to close up or, rather, Loretta closed up, as I was out doing a census. The census was unremarkable although I did get 2 new arrivals: Bank Swallows and a Warbling Vireo. Loretta got another: a Black & White Warbler. Nice birds for a lousy day!

We hung on with the traps going for another hour or so but finally decided to pack it in when the rain showed no sign of letting up. Between 5:30 and 11:30, 7 mm of rain fell; also, the temperature dropped and a NE wind began to blow – hypothermia conditions. The ground is saturated and the creek is filling up – making it harder for Christine and Chris to cross it to check nest boxes and insect traps. Speaking of insects, the early insect eaters must be hurting. There were swallows flying low over the river searching for emerging midges. This is a dangerous time. I’m particularly worried about the Eastern Bluebirds that are sitting on eggs – there are 2 nests with 5 eggs in them on the grounds.

The census turned up only 25 species and for the day we encountered only 38 species. Many birds must be hunkered down, waiting it out….until their fat runs low. One exception was the American Goldfinch. They seemed to be all over the feeder areas and most of them were males that have just moulted into their bright yellow alternate (or breeding) plumage. They looked like little lemons on the shrubs.

Banded 22:
3 Blue Jays
1 Gray Catbird (1st of the year)
1 Black & White Warbler
3 Chipping Sparrows
1 Swamp Sparrow
5 White-throated Sparrows
1 Red-winged Blackbird
7 American Goldfinches

Retrapped 27:
1 Black-capped Chickadee
2 American Robins
2 Rose-breasted Grosbeaks
1 Indigo Bunting
2 American Tree Sparrows
10 Chipping Sparrows (#202 was the first bird caught today!)
2 Song Sparrows
1 White-throated Sparrow
6 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 38 spp.


Leave a Reply