March 29 – Making A Good Friday Better

How could a day not be better when you have a group like this helping out!? (From left: Sarah, Eila, Liam, Jennifer, Nola, Ben, Sam. -DOL

I haven’t had this much fun in a long time. What a great group of people, who not only worked hard but looked for things to do (more of that later). In terms of banding we were not overly busy but there were a lot more birds around with some new species – banded our first Eastern Phoebe and Golden-crowned Kinglet. Our overall species count for the day was 41 – we’ve entered the “40 zone”, moving inexorably toward 50…and then….and then.

First Eastern Phoebe of the year. SGS

Weatherwise it was a funny sort of day with periods of threatening clouds followed by sunny periods and then back to clouds. But all through the morning there was a cold NW wind which would have limited migration.

A lot got done today: Net 6 was put up. We used a part-time net – the Laneway net (the laneway, sometimes, is a great place for sparrows). Jennifer and I dug up a number of dogwoods and a couple of small junipers and moved them over to the net 9 area to make it more appealing for low-level migrants. But the BIG job was initiated, out of the blue, by Eila and Nola who took it upon themselves to clean and tidy the banding hut, to rid it of 2 years of….usage. That they would undertake this was amazing but the results were even more so. What is interesting in the picture below is that, before this house cleaning, 3 people in the banding hut was a crowd. Now it accommodated 7 people with comfort.

7 volunteers comfortably ensconced in the newly cleaned banding hut. DOL

Banded 15:
1 Eastern Phoebe
1 Golden-crowned Kinglet

First Golden-crowned Kinglet of the year. -SGS

2 American Robins
2 American Goldfinches
5 American Tree Sparrows
3 Song Sparrows
1 Swamp Sparrow

First Swamp Sparrow of the year. SGS

ET’s: 41 spp.

This, our first Field Sparrow of the season, was banded yesterday. DOL

Our Mascot:

Raven SHL

There’s a pair of Labs that live at a farm on Meadow Road. They are free range dogs that have been showing up at the banding hut every now and again for the past 2 years. A year ago they were joined by their young puppy. She has grown into a delightful, friendly, affectionate dog. Today it arrived on its own and let us all know that she was happy to see us and to hang out with us. All you had to do was pat her head and she’d roll over onto her back for a belly rub.

Liam has a new best friend. -SHL

If there was an award for determination it would have to go to Rick Walford, a parent of a couple of keen birders at Fern Hill’s Oakville campus. A couple of trees had come down on a net. We were able to lift the trunks out of the way but a number of branches impeded the net lane. No problem….if you have a Swiss Army knife with saw….

Rick Walford….Lumberjack. DOL

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