April 10th – The Trickle Continues

As you’re probably aware, we’ve had a fair amount of rain over the last couple of days – 2 cm according to the rain gauge in the banding lab. That would explain the swollen Grand River and the submerged gravel bars. When the River swells we predictably don’t see Belted Kingfishers on the census (even though they nest in holes along the River). They must go to shallower streams and ponds inland to hunt.

It was quite cool, no…cold…at opening time (three quarters of an hour before the sun gets up). There was frost on the net poles. And a cool wind blew throughout the morning making sitting at the picnic table just outside the lab less comfortable than usual. This morning I was sitting in anticipation of the next big sign of Spring [for me Spring moves in predictable waves involving particular species]: Common Loons. I was fully expecting to see at least one this morning – it just felt right. When they’re on the move the best time to see them is between 30 to 60 minutes after the sun clears the horizon. I think they must be sitting out on Lake Erie and when the sun gets up, “Bingo! it’s time to head up to the lake country”, and away they go. I’ll let you know when the first one shows up.

One of the nice thing about the “regular” banding season is the presence of visitors. In this case, Faye Socholotiuk’s Mom and Aunt came from west of London somewhere (a town of 20….) to make sure she was, in fact, up to no good. [Faye is a long-standing weekend voluteer – she is a pedagogue during the week, albeit a reluctant one….] And Liz Vanderwoude and her two sons Ethan and Gideon came by – both boys will be excellent birders in the near future and I could see Ethan as a bander. What higher calling could a young person aspire to?!

It was an unremarkable morning except for the early serenade of a Carolina Wren below Net #6 and the capture of the first Hermit Thrush of the year (Net #10).

Banded 11:
2 Mourning Doves
1 Black-capped Chickadee
1 Hermit Thrush
1 American Robin
1 Northern Cardinal
1 Swamp Sparrow
1 Dark-eyed Junco
1 Brown-headed Cowbird
2 American Goldfinches

Retrapped 17:
1 Downy Woodpecker
5 Black-capped Chickadees
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
3 American Tree Sparrows
4 Song Sparrows
2 Dark-eyed Juncos
1 Red-winged Blackbird

ET’s: 41 spp.


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