April 20th – It Doesn’t Rain But It Pours

The creek flooded quickly after the storm, almost reaching the bottom pole of net 10

It subsided just as quickly - same spot one hour later.

This old cliche really applies to this April’s weather. And it poured last night – a big thunder storm went through between about 1:00 AM and 3:00 AM dropping over 15 mm. of rain. This deluge swelled the small creeks, including the one that runs in the valley just to the east of the banding lanes. I thought we might lose the lower part of net 10 for awhile. The rain didn’t let up either. We had showers on and off until the late morning. The ground was completely saturated and the trails were either under water or boggy. Great. Today was the start of Ruthven’s educational programs for school kids. We had a group of 65 coming from Brantford. Good day for a hike…..

The creek and Carolinian Trail running together.

Part of the program always incudes a visit to the banding lab where the kids get a chance to see birds up close. We were a little worried that we wouldn’t have any birds. We opened only a couple of nets but had all available ground traps on the go. As it turned out we handled 70 birds; 43 of them came from ground traps; 52 of them were retraps. The migrants are hanging around, growing fat on our bait, and waiting for good conditions to speed them on their way.

The showers stopped late morning but the wind picked up so as soon as we ushered our last student out the door we closed up.

Banded 18:
1 Golden-crowned Kinglet
1 American Robin
2 White-throated Sparrows
1 Dark-eyed Junco
7 Brown-headed Cowbirds
1 House Finch
5 American Goldfinches

Retrapped 52:
1 Downy Woodpecker
2 Black-capped Chickadees
1 Golden-crowned Kinglet
1 American Robin
1 Northern Cardinal
10 American Tree Sparrows
2 Chipping Sparrows
5 Song Sparrows
19 Dark-eyed Juncos (at one point I looked out the lab window and all I could see was banded juncos)
5 Brown-headed Cowbirds
5 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 41 spp.


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