May 19th – Pot Pourri

Yesterday, Karen discovered a Virginia Rail and with patience managed to get it to within 3 meters for this shot. We figure there’s at least two here. -KMP

On the one hand the migration is winding down; on the other my life is getting more frenetic as I get ready to put out to sea for a Summer of seabird counting on the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans. In fact, for the first jaunt I head to St. John’s on Monday to put to sea for 3 weeks, crossing the Labrador Sea to SW Greenland and then back to Halifax. If ever there was a time for in-depth oceanographic research, this is it. So I will be cutting the migration season a little short. But it’s been a good one and I managed to band our 500th bird of the Spring today – a Traill’s Flycatcher.

Another view. The birds have been around for two days in a row now. -KMP

It’s been slow going the last two days at the Farm. One factor is that I’ve been getting a late start due to logistics I have to take care of in the morning. But the main thing is that the vanguard of the avian horde has passed through. Sure, there will be birds still moving but the main group is through. We’re getting into the usual “late” migrants now: flycatchers (Yellow-bellied, Easter Wood Pewee), cuckoos, some warblers, like Blackpolls. I’m hoping that a Sora will join the Virginia Rails that Karen discovered in the wetland yesterday (we figure there’s two…at least). A Marsh Wren would be nice too.

I’d love to know the gist of the conversation going on between this pair of Tree Swallows…. -KMP

This young (SY) male Orchard Oriole played around the west end of the pond most of yesterday but I couldn’t find it today. -KMP

This Canada Goose has taken over the turtle sunning platform for itself. It’s a great place for it to rest and relax. -KMP

This female Cap May Warbler kept to the tree tops. -KMP

May 18th; banded 12:
1 Mourning dove
1 American Robin
1 House Finch
1 American Goldfinch
1 Song Sparrow
1 Baltimore Oriole
1 Red-winged Blackbird
1 Common Grackle
4 Yellow Warblers

May 19th; Banded 3:
1 Traill’s Flycatcher
2 Eastern White-crowned Sparrows

A real good news story: Jake was a “Young Ornithologist” at Fern Hill Burlington over 7 years ago; now in 2nd year at Western. But still as enthusiastic about birds and banding as he was back then. Holding a female Northern Parula helps. -SAW

May 17th; Fern Hill Burlington:
I was at Fern Hill’s Burlington campus on Wednesday. This little site is pretty exciting bird-wise as there isn’t a lot of habitat. When you look south all you see is an urban landscape – Burlington and then Hamilton. So it must be a relief for birds to find this oasis.

Helping Aanya band her first bird. -SAW

There are a good number of students there that you can tell are keen to learn about birds and the natural world around them. Environmental Studies teach Alex Webb and I are already planning to restart the Young Ornithologists’ Club….so that 7 years from now alumni like Jakob will drop in…

I like to get students involved as quickly as possible – scribing is a great entry point. -SAW

Banded 42:
1 Blue Jay
1 Black-capped Chickadee
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
5 Gray Catbirds
1 House Sparrow
2 American Goldfinches
1 Chipping Sparrow
2 Eastern White-crowned Sparrows
3 White-throated Sparrows
1 Song Sparrow
4 Baltimore Orioles
13 Red-winged Blackbirds
4 Brown-headed Cowbirds
1 American Redstart
1 Northern Parula
1 Yellow Warbler

A bird in the hand can be a transformative thing. -SAW

One thought on “May 19th – Pot Pourri

  1. Boy, you really make a mark on this world. Have a great summer Rick!

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