Migration Monitoring
April 28th and 29th

April 29th

The cool of early morning quickly dissipated when the sun cleared the horizon – it was nice to do net rounds in just a t-shirt. There were good numbers of White-throated Sparrows singling from the margins as I was opening nets but not too many of them found the actual nets.

This is the time when you get excited as you never know what is going to show up – it’s just about time for all those long-distance migrants to start moving through: warblers, orioles, tanagers, etc. The most interesting bird today was a beautiful male Purple Martin that came to check out the 2 Martin houses before continuing north up the river. Hopefully he’ll be back….with a female….and maybe some friends.

Banded 38:
1 Tree Swallow
1 Golden-crowned Kinglet
10 Ruby-crowned Kinglets
1 Brown Thrasher
4 Chipping Sparrows
8 White-throated Sparrows
3 Red-winged Blackbirds
1 Brown-headed Cowbird
9 American Goldfinches

Retrapped 15:
1 Hairy Woodpecker
1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
1 Hermit Thrush
1 American Robin
4 Chipping Sparrows
2 Song Sparrows
1 White-throated Sparrows
2 Red-winged Blackbirds
2 American Goldfinches

Estimated Totals: 45 species

There will be a LOT of pressure on Loretta, who is banding tomorrow – we need to band just 15 birds to break the April banding record for Ruthven Park (670 birds).


April 28th

Spring Clean-up Day at Ruthven – so right off the bat you know the weather is going to be lousy. And so it was: cool and wet with intermittent drizzle throughout the morning. But there’s a new breed of volunteers out there. In the old days, even the hint of rain would have sent the would be cleaner uppers back to the couch. So when over a dozen folks showed up AND worked all morning sprucing up the grounds, I was quite surprised. Although I’d like to think it was a burning desire to do good works, to enhance the environment, to make a better world for all mankind (oops! I guess that should be personskind), the reality is that most attended to rake branches, clear trails and pull garlic mustard in order to belly up to the BBQ for some of Walter Peace’s outstanding potato salad. There was general agreement that this year’s batch was the equal to the first ever batch – no small feat I must say! When asked about the “recipe”, Walter mumbled something about it being an art and then proceeded to haul the leftovers over to the Coach House to exhibit in the ongoing art show there. President Betsy Smith pulled a wonderful “Tom Sawyer” and suckered Greg Potter into taking over the BBQing – which was a good thing as Betsy had been close to turning those lovely sausages into briquets. It’s enheartening to see that Karen Walton’s OCD medication is working: the diced tomatos and onions were larger and in variable sizes (not the minute morsels offered in previoius years).

A lot of work got done this morning despite the weather. Thanks to all!!!

At first light there seemed to be a good number of White-throated Sparrows around, singing from the edges. But they seemed to disappear when it got light and we handled only 4. The banding was generally uneventful – not a lot of birds but steady.

Banded 33:
1 Mourning Dove
7 Ruby-crowned Kinglets
1 Hermit Thrush
2 American Robin
1 Nashville Warbler (1st for the year – a very handsome ASY-M)
5 Chipping Sparrows
1 Field Sparrow
3 White-throated Sparrows
2 Red-winged Blackbirds
10 American Goldfinches

14 Retraps (some of them quite interesting):
1 Hairy Woodpecker (banded Sept.2002),
1 Black-capped Chickadee
1 White-breasted Nuthatch (Aug. ’04 and not rencountered until today)
1 American Robin
1 European Starling
1 Northern Cardinal
2 Chipping Sparrows (1 from May ’05)
1 White-throated Sparrow
5 American Goldfinches (2 banded elsewhere; 1 from April ’05)

Estimated Totals: 39 species


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