September 13th – An Interesting Mix

A sliver of waning moon and Venus highlighted the early morning sky as Joanne and I hustled to open the nets (Joanne even ran between nets in her enthusiasm – I hope that practice doesn’t continue; it makes me tired just watching her….). But you could feel the coming heat and humidity even then except for the cool pockets in the low spots – it turned out to be a scorcher by noon. The heat and increasing wind dampened down our numbers (somewhat) even though there was a big “pocket” of birds between nets 4 and 6.

Blue-headed Vireo.

Birds continued to move through but there was an interesting mix as the long-distance neotropical migrants begin to make way for the shorter-distance migrants. So while we got Red-eyed Vireos, a Scarlet Tanager, Blackpoll, Cape May and other warblers, we also got the first Blue-headed Vireo and a White-throated Sparrow (the latter presaging the horde that will descend in about 2 weeks). We are yet to see (or catch) a Yellow-rumped Warbler but they must be close to getting here. And accompanying the White-throats and Yellow-rumps will be Northern Saw-whet Owls and the beginning of night-time banding (this will start around the beginning of October).

Great Blue Heron in the middle of the river - the very shallow river. -C. Jones


Banded 42:
1 Mourning Dove
1 Eastern Wood Pewee
3 Black-capped Chickadees
2 House Wrens
1 Veery
2 Swainson’s Thrushes
6 Gray Catbirds
1 Blue-headed Vireo
1 Philadelphia Vireo
3 Red-eyed Vireos
1 Magnolia Warbler
1 Cape May Warbler
4 Blackpoll Warblers
1 American Redstart
5 Common Yellowthroats
1 Wilson’s Warbler
1 Scarlet Tanager
1 White-throated Sparrow
1 House Finch
2 American Goldfinches

Retrapped 21:
1 Red-bellied Woodpecker
1 Traill’s Flycatcher
1 Black-capped Chickadee
1 House Wren
1 Swainson’s Thrush
2 Gray Catbirds
1 Philadelphia Vireo
4 Red-eyed Vireos
1 Chestnut-sided Warbler
2 Magnolia Warblers
2 Blackpoll Warblers
1 Common Yellowthroat
1 Chipping Sparrow
1 Field Sparrow
1 Song Sparrow

ET’s: 53 spp.
Fall Banding Total: 549
Year-to-date Banding Total: 3,192

Sandy identifying an unusual mussel for Joanne and Bev.

The mussel turned out to be a Mapleleaf - relatively rare in the Grand River.

When you get down to it, we’re a lot more than “just birds”. The Pomfrets (Norm and Mary) do a weekly butterfly count and Sandy Turner, Ruthven’s Species-at-Risk Co-0rdinator is working hard on the plants and turtles and reptiles & amphibians on the site. Oh….and mussels too. Today she had to work to figure out what the mussle was that Liz Vanderwoude brought in from the Grand River arouind Dunnville. After a lot of consternation and the perusal of guide books she determined that it was a “Mapleleaf” – I must admit that I’ve never heard of it but there you have it.

Introducing Nick, the new co-op student from Cayuga SS - henpecked already.

And we’d like to introduce our latest co-op student from Cayuga SS, Nick Mallet. We’ve had great luck with our students: they do a lot of work and learn a lot too.


1 thought on “September 13th – An Interesting Mix

  1. I’d be interested in hearing about this year’s Monarch butterfly counts. While I look forward to the southbound migration every fall, this year the numbers are beyond belief. Walking along a hedgerow near my house in Barnston-Ouest last evening just after sunset, I observed more Monarchs in 10 minutes than I’ve seen in the last five years. There were thousands! It must be a wonder to see them in their millions down in Mexico.

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