October 29th – November 1st – Catching Up

Two local wood nymphs – conjuring owls. -KMP

It’s been a hectic time with lots on the go. Weather conditions have been all over the map with a preponderance of wet days (except for the 30th which was clear). Long-distance migrants have almost all moved on and we’re seeing the end of the moderate-distance ones. The big flocks of Cedar Waxwings are no where to be found and the field edges that only a few days ago were alive with the early morning chips of White-throated Sparrows are now quiet. But….where are the American Tree Sparrows? They should be here now en masse but we’ve seen only a few and banded a mere 4.

The American Goldfinches have finally started to show up – both new, young birds and oldtimers. These latter we seem to get with regularity. They show up in either Spring or Fall or both, stay for awhile and then disappear only to show up again during the next migration period. They seem to have built the Ruthven feeders into their travel plans.

On the other hand…..on the evening of Hallowe’en we ran a small owl training workshop for a few of our regular banding volunteers. We thought if we could get a couple it would give them some much-needed hands-on experience. We caught 15(!) – 11 “new” ones and 4 others that we had banded within the last 10 days – I think the generally poor weather conditions may have kept them in place. Needless to say we had a great time – made even better by Irene’s baked goods and Dave’s deep-fried Lake Simcoe perch prepared in situ.

And at Fern Hill in Oakville it was mostly Black-capped Chickadees. The biggest surprise was a diminutive Red-bellied Snake we found in good condition on the 29th and an Orange-crowned Warbler that we banded today. But NO American Tree Sparrows……

October 29th:
Ruthven; Banded 35:

Lyn with a Ruby-crowned Kinglet. Their numbers are petering out. -KMP

2 Ruby-crowned Kinglets
2 Hermit Thrushes
1 American Robin
1 American Tree Sparrow
1 Fox Sparrow
1 Swamp Sparrow
1 White-throated Sparrow
3 Dark-eyed Juncos
26 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 30 spp.

Young Ornithologist with a House Finch – there is a large flock at the school feeding in a burdock patch. -KAP

Fern Hill Oakville; Banded 24:
14 Black-capped Chickadees
2 Golden-crowned Kinglets
1 American Robin
1 Northern Cardinal
3 Dark-eyed Juncos
3 House Finches

Red-bellied Snake – a big surprise on a cold late-October day. -KAP

The Red-bellied Snake. -KAP

October 30th; Ruthven; Banded 43:
1 Blue Jay
1 Brown Creeper

An unusually late House Wren. -KMP

1 House Wren
1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
1 Hermit Thrush
1 Fox Sparrow
2 Song Sparrows
2 Swamp Sparrows
12 Dark-eyed juncos

This male goldfinch was banded as a youngster in November 2016. -KMP

18 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 34 spp.

Ginny learning how to process a bird. -RB

October 31st:
Ruthven; Banded 14:

1 Mourning Dove
3 Golden-crowned Kinglets
1 Northern Cardinal
1 American Tree Sparrow
1 White-throated Sparrow
2 Dark-eyed Juncos
5 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 27 spp.

The Satyr of the Sough Forest with a Saw-whet. -MMG

Ruthven; Owloween; Captured 15 Northern Saw-whet Owls/ Banded 11

One net round’s “haul”. -KMP

One of 15 Northern Saw-whets caught Wednesday night – Owloween. -KMP

Dave Maida’s breaded perch, made on the spot – yummy! -MMG

Same species but very different facial patterns. -MMG

Northern Saw-whet Owl. RF

Two banded Saw-whets getting ready to take flight. -RF

November 1st:
Ruthven; Banded 20:

4 Mourning Doves
2 Dark-eyed Juncos
7 Pine Siskins
7 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 12 spp. (observations were limited by the persistent heavy rains)

Fern Hill Oakville; Banded 12:
2 Mourning Doves
1 Downy Woodpecker
3 Black-capped Chickadees
1 Golden-crowned Kinglet
1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
1 Orange-crowned Warbler
1 Dark-eyed Junco
2 House Finches

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