October 25th-27th: Topsy-turvy Weather

These 3 Saw-whets were banded Thursday night (October 24th). -NRF NOTE: THE NEXT OWLING NIGHT WILL BE SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 2ND.

We’ve been riding a sort of meteorological roller coaster over the last 3 days, going through light northerly winds and cloud, frosted nets and poles, to heavy rains, then drizzle with strong gusting (leaf-driving) wind. The birds greatly preferred the first option (banded 123), weren’t as keen on the cold and frost (banded 46) and hunkered down to avoid the rain and wind (managed just 6). Interestingly, it was on the day with frozen nets that we encountered the most diversity at the site with a species count of 42. The weather also brought in what we consider to be the last of the late migrants: a Fox Sparrow was seen on the 25th and we banded our first American Tree Sparrow on the 26th.

American Tree Sparrow. -RG

Today (27th) was the last outing of the Pipits to Ruthven. This stalwart group has come out consistently on Sundays – braving the elements if need be – to help with the census and to learn to identify various species by doing so. And they bring baked goods….. They’ve been a lot of fun. I’ll look forward to their return for the Spring migration. Here’s some pics of them in action:

A delightful group: the Pipits. This was their last Ruthven outing until the Spring. -CR

Bridget releasing a White-throat. -CR

A picture of concentration – Laurie learning to scribe…quite successfully I might add. -CR

Elspeth…cheerful with a bird in the hand…in this case, a Dark-eyed Junco. -CR

October 25th; Banded 123:
1 Blue Jay
1 Brown Creeper
2 Golden-crowned Kinglets
1 Hermit Thrush
4 Myrtle Warblers
1 Northern Cardinal
4 Song Sparrows
6 White-throated Sparrows
6 Dark-eyed Juncos
97(!) American Goldfinches

ET’s: 35 spp.

“Our” Wild Turkeys ghosting through the fog, heading for some food. -ELO

October 26th; Banded 46:
1 Downy Woodpecker
1 Black-capped Chickadee
1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Young Hermit Thrush. -RG

2 Hermit thrushes

An American Robin with a bad case of….pox?….not sure. We’re seeing a disturbing number of robins with anomalies like this. -RG

1 American Robin
1 Cedar Waxwing
1 American Tree Sparrow
1 Field Sparrow
2 Song Sparrows

The 1st American Tree Sparrow of the season. Note the two-toned bill. -ELO

1 White-throated Sparrow
16 Dark-eyed Juncos
18 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 42 spp. (including a Common Raven)

Liam plying (and refining) his craft. -CR

October 27th; Banded 6:
3 Song Sparrows

The gray eye indicates that this Dark-eyed Junco is a juvenile; adults have a deep maroon eye. -CR

3 Dark-eyed Juncos

ET’s: 25 spp.
News from Africa:

An African success story: Isaac was trained by Andrew Bremner and myself at Iris in Bangula, Malawi and, having gone through school, has a job at Majete Game Park. -MMG

Fern Hill Burlington; October 24th & 25th:

And at the end of the rainbow….. -KAP

We’ve had some odd weather this week at Fern Hill Burlington but have had some interesting birds to show the students. When we arrived at the school on Thursday Janice and I were greeted by heavy rains which prevented us from opening first thing, but it soon cleared up and we saw a beautiful rainbow over the school’s soccer field. The rainbow and the Fall colours on the trees were worth the early wake up for myself and the students hoping for birds. Strangely there wasn’t much action at all by the nets and the feeders other than House Sparrows and Starlings which evaded our nets.

Learning about birds…..-JJC

Releasing an American Robin at Burlington. -JJC

Today we had much nicer weather and the families and students that came out before school and during my lessons each were able to see a variety of birds including an interesting recapture: a Black-capped chickadee originally banded in 2013 making her (identified as female by brood patch in 2017) at least a 7 year old lady! It’s always so rewarding to see birds returning year after year, relying on our feeders and surrounding habitat.

A Black-capped Chickadee from 2013!! -KAP

We banded:
1 House Finch
1 White-throated Sparrow
3 American Robins
1 Song Sparrow

We recaptured 2 Black Capped Chickadees and 1 Northern Cardinal.

1 thought on “October 25th-27th: Topsy-turvy Weather

  1. Curious about the Robin with suspected Avain Pox…did you take the bird to a rehab centre for treatment?

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