October 3rd and 4th – We’ve Turned The Corner

A genteel breakfast, complete with phalic centrepiece, to start off the day.

The morning was strangely silent…silent in that I was the only one there to open the nets and then take in the glory of the early morning with a pot of tea and a cup of granola, listening to the birds as they began to move about. There was no conversation; just me and the wind and the birds.

It was a subtle turning but we’ve definitely rounded the corner. The long-distance birds are becoming progressively rarer, their place filled now by short-distance migrants: kinglets, Yellow-rumped Warblers (although some of these may end up in Mexico or even Central America) and White-throated Sparrows. And Winter residents are just starting to appear – notably a few Dark-eyed Juncos.

Yesterday (the 3rd) we had an early fog and overcast skies throughout the banding period. It didn’t “feel” like we were getting many birds but…by the end of the day we’d handled 155 (107 banded). (I think the two station banding setup in the lab makes things a lot less hectic so we’re able to handle larger numbers easier.) I think the most interesting bird we got was a Cape May Warbler. We don’t see many of these at any time here so getting one is always a treat.

A late Cape May Warbler - always a treat.

Today (the 4th) was definitely slower even though we heard good numbers of White-throated Sparrows along the edges at opening time. The warm humid conditions seemed to hamper their movement. And then the wind picked up out of the SW filling the nets with leaves. Gawd I hate having to pick a kazillion leaves out of a net!! The most noticeable bird today was a Peregrine Falcon that sailed high over the Butterfly Meadow, generally following the course of the river. WE continue to get huge numbers of American Goldfinches. The 54 we banded today brings our Fall total up to 646! Where are they all coming from!? It will be interesting to see what effect this cold front, which is forecast to arrive over the weekend, does for our numbers and for our diversity. I hope that it brings an Orange-crowned Warbler(s) – I love the subtle colouring of these little birds.

Serious overbite (avian keratin disorder?) on this Yellow-rumped Warbler.

Note the different ages of secondary coverts on this Yellow-rumped Warbler.

October 3rd; Banded 107:
1 Downy Woodpecker
1 Eastern Tufted Titmouse
1 Black-capped Chickadee
1 Red-breasted Nuthatch
5 Golden-crowned Kinglets
2 Ruby-crowned Kinglets
1 Gray-cheeked Thrush
1 Swainson’s Thrush
1 Hermit Thrush
17 Cedar Waxwings
1 Blue-headed Vireo
2 Nashville Warblers
1 Cape May Warbler
17 Myrtle Warblers
6 Blackpoll Warblers
3 Chipping Sparrows
6 Song Sparrows
1 Swamp Sparrow
5 White-throated Sparrows
1 Dark-eyed Junco
1 Purple Finch
1 House Finch
31 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 53 spp.

October 4th; Banded 86:
1 Brown Creeper
2 Golden-crowned Kinglets
3 Ruby-crowned Kinglets
1 Hermit Thrush
3 Nashville Warblers
12 Myrtle Warblers
1 Blackpoll Warbler
1 Song Sparrow
8 White-throated Sparrows
54 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 51 spp.
Fall Banding Total: 2,467
Year-to-Date Banding Total: 5,052


1 thought on “October 3rd and 4th – We’ve Turned The Corner

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