September 15th – Autumn Was In The Air

Our most mature supporter, Irene Schmidt, with a Chipping Sparrow

It was cool, but not quite crisp, when I opened this morning. Three millimeters of rain had fallen during the night and clouds covered the sky,although breaks allowed dawn’s colours to sneak through. And, before long, blue skies took the clouds’ place until late morning when cumulus clouds took over, riding the steady NW wind. I guess what I’m trying to convey is that the morning’s weather was pretty changeable. It felt like autumn.

Loretta kicks off her first banding day of the Fall with a Yellow-billed Cuckoo - not a bad way to start!

It’s on such days that you never know what to expect. Loretta Mousseau, recently returned from her cottage on Georgian Bay in order to take in the Bird Festival, arrived for her first banding day of the Fall and was rewarded, within minutes, with a young Yellow-billed Cuckoo. Later in the morning, new volunteer Matt Timpf saw a pair of American Golden Plovers fly over – the first record for Ruthven Park. Three adult Bald Eagles soared right overhead at various times. We saw our first Broad-winged Hawk of this migration. And a Common Nighthawk was found perched cryptically on a branch of one of the dead spruce trees right behind the Mansion. Overall we encountered 57 species for the day.

Yellow-billed Cuckoo

But our banding totals are still pretty mediocre – only 25. There’s a lot of birds yet to come!

Banded 25:
2 Mourning Doves
1 Yellow-billed Cuckoo
2 Eastern Wood Pewees
4 Gray-cheeked Thrushes
2 Swainson’s Thrushes
1 Gray Catbird
1 Philadelphia Vireo
1 Red-eyed Vireo
1 Tennessee Warbler
2 Nashville Warbler
1 Black-throated Green Warbler
2 Ovenbirds
2 Chipping Sparrows
1 Song Sparrow
2 American Goldfinches

Retrapped 16:
1 Downy Woodpecker
1 Eastern Wood Pewee
2 Black-capped Chickadees
1 Gray-cheeked Thrush
2 Gray Catbirds
1 Blackpoll Warbler
1 Rose-breasted Grosbeak
2 Chipping Sparrows
2 Song Sparrows
2 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 57 spp.

Birds banded per 100 net hours: 19


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