October 27th & 28th – Wet Weekend….But NOT A Washout

Canada Geese heading inland to forage. -KMP

A lot of rain fell over the course of the weekend starting Friday night. It came down steadily on Saturday but petered out on Sunday morning being mostly light drizzle until about noon and then stopping. We even got a few flakes of snow!

Buoyed by the finding of some “strange” juncos we decided that we would put out traps on Saturday which we could watch and clear quickly – birds could get a good feed but wouldn’t get soaked. As juncos come readily to traps we wanted to try and recapture some of the suspect birds so we could get a better look. We figure that there were around 8 all caught at close to the same time. On Sunday we opened traps again but also unfurled nets 1A and 2 – the “feeder nets” – when the drizzle diminished. Despite the few nets we caught a lot of birds banding 9 new birds on Saturday but handling 32 retraps and today we banded 31 but handled 64 retraps including most of the suspect birds (you can look at their pictures below and decide for yourself).

Saturday, October 27th; Banded 9:
1 Mourning Dove

AHY Blue Jay – there are still lots of jays moving through the site. -MMG

1 Blue Jay
7 American Goldfinches

Note the lovely tail on this adult goldfinch. -MMG

ET’s: 24 spp.

Karen says there’s 141 Canada Geese here…….please check. -KMP

Sunday, October 28th; Banded 31:
1 Mourning Dove
1 American Tree Sparrow

Lots of sparrows still on the move including this Fox Sparrow. -MMG

1 Fox Sparrow
1 Song Sparrow
1 Eastern White-crowned Sparrow
8 Dark-eyed Juncos

One of two Pine Siskins caught today. -MMG

2 Pine Siskin
15 American Goldfinches
1 House Sparrow
ET’s: 29 spp.
Junco Pictures:

For comparison: regular Dark-eyed Junco (left) and the Oregon/Cassiar/Pink-sided Junco (right). Personally, I am going with Oregon Junco…… -DOL

Dark-eyed (left) and possible Oregon (right). -DOL

Front view. Dark-eyed on the left. -DOL

Dark-eyed on left. -DOL

Samuel with the possible Oregon Junco. It has been around for 4 days now. -DOL

A “regular” adult male Dark-eyed Junco. -MMG

Another suspect junco. -MMG

Another possible Oregon/Cassiar/Pink-sided Junco – a female. -KMP

More detail. -KMP

Oregon? Cassiar? Pink-sided? Your opinion? -MMG

Another look. -MMG

CAO Marilynn Havelka was telling visitors that this was a Seattle Junco – a very specific designation indeed. -MMG

Some pictures from Thursday’s Owl Night (we caught 10 Northern Saw-whets!

One of 10 owls captured Thursday night. -CR

Long-time supporter Dorothy Smith with a Saw-whet. CR

Part of the “owl team”. RY

Marg with an owl she’s just banded. -CR

And From Fern Hill Burlington:

Burlington YO’s hard at work. -KAP

After Fern Hill Oakville’s two day and one overnight at Ruthven, it was nice to be back in Burlington with the Young Ornithologists there. The winds on Thursday and Friday brought large number of unbanded chickadees to the feeders and nets at the school; at one point 20 in one net at once! Anyone who has had the pleasure of meeting a chickadee must be aware of their tenacity and feistiness, and willingness to give as good as they get, and after extracting 20 in one net round, “that chickadee feeling” had a new meaning to it.

Thursday-banded 23

Burlington birders with an adult White-crowned Sparrow. -KAP

Friday-Banded 10 ET’d 26species
RBNU-1 (an uncommon catch for us!)

Outside of bird banding in my Field Studies classes we observed one Eastern Red Backed Salamander under one of our observation boards, and found an Eastern Garter Snake, unusual to see on a colder day, but exciting for the grade eights who are working on a hibernaculum!

Exploring…..you just never know what you might find. -KAP

Eastern Red-backed Salamander. -KAP

Braving the late October conditions: a Garter Snake. -KAP


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