October 21st-22nd: Leaves Then Rain

A photo I just couldn’t help but use: Ceileigh has been our good luck owl charm for 2 years – every time she comes we get owls either at Ruthven or Fern Hill Oakville. The magic (she claims) is in the owl pajamas that she insists on wearing….to say nothing of the hat -C.Rintoul

October 21st:
The day started off with a fairly heavy fog which took quite a while to burn off. We then had beautiful blue skies but with a wind that proceeded to fill some of the nets with leaves. We thought that most of the leaves had fallen already….but we were wrong, very wrong. There was a significant drop in the number of birds that were around the site. First thing in the morning for the past 10 days or so we have been hearing the call notes of large numbers of White-throated Sparrows. We heard some this morning but only a few. This presaged the sort of catching day that transpired.

One surprise was a very late Warbling Vireo. This was an adult moult that had yet to complete the moulting of its flight feathers. Not sure what was going on there…..

Banded 24:
1 Golden-crowned Kinglet
2 Ruby-crowned Kinglets
2 Hermit Thrushes
1 American Robin

A very late Warbling Vireo. Surprisingly it was still going through a complete moult. -DOL

1 Warbling Vireo
1 Nashville Warbler
1 Myrtle Warbler
1 Song Sparrow

The spotting on the breast of this White-throated Sparrow indicates that it is VERY young. -MMG

12 White-throated Sparrows
2 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 44 spp

October 22d:
Even on rainy days, the banding station strives to have a few birds in the lab for a banding program when students are scheduled to come. It would be just as easy to say that the station is closed but we almost always come through! A few nets were opened during a lull before the heavy rain settled in for the morning. In less than hour, we had a few sparrows and goldfinches that I was able to show the forty plus students (in two groups) the banding process. Handled 10 today!

Banded 7:
2 Black-capped Chickadee
1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
1 White-throated Sparrow
3 American Goldfinch

ET’s: 33 species

Some recent pics:

Carol’s homemade pumpkin pie; half gone….sadly. -DOL

Tan and brown stripes = juvenile Eastern White-crowned Sparrow. -DOL

Tree Frogs were around yesterday. -DOL

Warbling Vireo still moulting wing feathers. -DOL

1st time visitor Crystal releasing a White-throated Sparrow – a good way to start your visit. -HG

David Brewer – a never-ending source of bird lore. -HG

Speaker Julie Kee during her presentation on the re-establishment of the Trumpeter Swan in Ontario. -HG

Killdeer on the gravel spit just upstream from Slink Island. -HG

Nancy showing off the first owl of the night. -HG

Just-banded Northern Saw-whet Owl getting its bearings. -HG

Tessa showing two intrigued young visitors how it’s done. -HG

White-breasted Nuthatch in typical pose. -HG

Young White-throated Sparrow. -MMG


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