May 7th – A Big Day!

Colours at the front edge of the day.

By the time I was able to sit down and enjoy this wonderful sunrise, we had already caught and banded 2 birds. Usually it takes them a while to get up and get moving but not this morning. In fact, there was a certain urgency to the morning that is hard to describe – there was a lot of birds singing…and some of those songs I hadn’t heard for many months: Scarlet Tanager, Wood Thrush, Eastern Wood Pewee,Baltimore and Orchard Orioles, Magnolia Warbler. You just got the feel, a sense of urgency, that there were birds on the move.

ASY (After Second Year) male Indigo Bunting.

Look at the blue edging to the winge feathering of this ASY male Indigo Bunting.

Our first round was a big one. To my surprise, we were inundated, again, with Yellow-rumped Warblers and these were moving along the net 8-9-9A ‘axis’, as they had on the previous big Yellow-rump days. It would appear that during the day, they are moving in large numbers along the river and when they get below the cemetery they have options: follow the thin line of trees right along the river; follow a more substantial “middle” row of vegetation along this axis (but which is 50 m inland from the river); or swing further inland still to a bigger, deeper forest tract but be even further from the river. Now you could find “Myrtles” in all three options, but we caught by far the most in that middle section. Also of interest is that the sex bias has swung male to female – we are getting quite a few more females now.

Young (SY) male Common Yellowthroat - note that the mask is just moulting in.

We had a good variety of birds around today: 57 species on census and 72 species in total for the day – 14 of these were warblers, including the first Tennessee Warbler of the year.

Gray Catbirds have flooded the area in the past several days. - R. Mueller

Banded 115:
2 Mourning Doves
1 Red-bellied Woodpecker
1 Traill’s Flycatcher
2 Least Flycatchers
1 Blue Jay
1 House Wren
9 Gray Catbirds
1 Tennessee Warbler (1st of the year)
6 Nashville Warblers
5 Yellow Warblers
1 Chestnut-sided Warbler
1 Magnolia Warbler
46 Yellow-rumped Warblers
5 Western Palm Warblers
1 Ovenbird
4 Common Yellowthroats
1 Canada Warbler
7 Rose-breasted Grosbeaks
1 Indigo Bunting
1 Song Sparrow
3 Swamp Sparrows
2 White-throated Sparrows
4 Eastern White-crowned Sparrows
1 Red-winged Blackbird
2 Brown-headed Cowbirds
2 Baltimore Orioles
4 American Goldfinches

Male Canada Warbler - one of my favourites.

Retrapped 34:
2 Downy Woodpeckers
2 Tree Swallows
1 Eastern Tufted Titmouse
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
1 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
1 Blue-winged Warbler
4 Yellow Warblers
2 Common Yellowthroats
6 Rose-breasted Grosbeaks
1 Indigo Bunting
1 Chipping Sparrow
1 Field Sparrow
2 Song Sparrows
2 Eastern White-crowned Sparrows
1 Red-winged Blackbird
5 Baltimore Orioles
1 American Goldfinch

ET’s: 72 spp.

Photo Gallery:

White "scalloping" on the feather edgings of this Mourning Dove indicate that it is a young one, just recently fledged.

Swarm of bees in a tree at the top of Net #10.

Another look at that bee swarm.

Determined female Rose-breasted Grosbeak giving Addison what for.

Beavers are seen with some regularity now on this part of the Grand River. - R. Mueller

Purple Martins almost seem to prefer the gourds to the houses. - R. Mueller

Well-camouflaged, the Killdeer have been able to raise broods in the parking lot for the last several years. - R. Mueller

These cute little rabbits can wreak havoc on young trees. - R. Mueller

Rob and Angie spied this Great Horned Owl just outside Hamilton. - R. Mueller

2 thoughts on “May 7th – A Big Day!

  1. We had another great morning exploring the grounds! I don’t know if I’m disappointed or relieved that I didn’t see the swarm of bees. EEK!

  2. You would have loved it – bee swarms are pretty passive. I got to within a few meters and wasn’t bothered at all. Of course, if you were to poke the bee ball with a stick….

Leave a Reply