September 23, 2013 – A Couple of Surprises

A gorgeous Fall day! The cloud that moved in during the night kept the temperature well above the forecast low of 3 degrees (it was 9) making for a very pleasant net-opening walk. It’s a wonderful time to be out, that half hour before sunrise. The air is so fresh and, except for the odd highway rumble, it is very quiet….quiet enough to hear the hooting of distant Great Horned Owls, the discordant squabbling of geese on the river, or a disturbed Killdeer (hmmm…I wonder what is bothering it?….).

The first two hours saw a lot of activity as birds moved about the site quickly, looking for places to forage. There was a good variety of warblers and, although not nearly as numerous as yesterday, Cedar Waxwings were obviously excited by the great crop of grapes, zipping from one patch to another.

But after a couple of hours, as temperatures rose, it became noticeably quieter. Time for a siesta after a long night’s flight and a good meal? Maybe…but I think a marauding Cooper’s Hawk, its every movement marked by the screeching of Blue Jays, also had something to do with it.

Oh yes, the surprises: one was a Ruffed Grouse that flew like a bullet across the parking lot toward the river. I haven’t seen one at Ruthven for a long time and only one ever on the Mansion side of the highway. The other was a feisty little Winter Wren. I don’t start looking for these guys until well into October. They’re always a treat. A tiny bird with a BIG attitude!

Banded 29:
Eastern Phoebe – 1
Winter Wren – 1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet – 2
Swainson’s Thrush – 1
Cedar Waxwing – 5
Philadelphia Vireo – 1
Red-eyed Vireo – 3
Nashville Warbler – 1
Magnolia Warbler – 1
Black-throated Blue Warbler – 1
Myrtle Warbler – 3
Black-throated Green Warbler – 1
Blackpoll Warbler – 3
Ovenbird – 1
Chipping Sparrow – 1
Song Sparrow – 1
White-throated Sparrow – 2

ET’s: 49 spp.

Rick

A feisty little Winter Wren

A feisty little Winter Wren

1 thought on “September 23, 2013 – A Couple of Surprises

  1. A few years ago, while I was at Ruthven, a Ruffed Grouse flew into one of the mansion’s windows. Neither the window nor the grouse survived. I think it went right through the window. Whatever the case, it was certainly on the mansion side of the highway!

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