Migration Monitoring April 5th, 2008 – Finally….a nice Spring day!

The skies cleared during the night from yesterday’s rain; there was some fog as the temperature dropped through the night; so the nets were frozen at opening time. However, there was no wind and as soon as the sun cleared the horizon, it began to make its presence felt. Good thing too as it was HBO’s (Haldimand Bird Observatory’s) AGM with lots of visitors. While waiting for the nets to thaw, I went for a “stroll” along the river. Actually, it was more of a wade as the river has completely flooded out the river flats below the Mansion, obliterating the River Trail and the southern part of the Carolinian Trail is also under water.

However, the birds weren’t bothered by this at all. In fact, they seemed to be taking advantage of the good weather. We encountered 6 new species for the year: 1 Common Loon (heading SSE!?), 16+ Northern Pintail, 1 Ring-necked Duck, 1 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker; 1 Eastern Phoebe, and 1 Yellow-rumped Warbler. As well, there were several Tree Swallows looking for food above the river and over 30 Wood Ducks…and an Eastern Tufted Titmouse. So things are on the move.

Faye, Loretta, Brian and myself were around for the banding but it was mostly Brian when the AGM was in session. The Speaker was David Okines who is the chief bander at Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory. He spoke about banding Northern Saw Whet Owls. As usual, his enthusiasm carried the day and WE are now thinking about trying to catch Northern Saw-whet Owls this Fall. For you insomniacs, this just might be the thing you’re looking for….

Brian and Loretta hooked up our new electronic wireless weather station. It’s terrific – you could almost watch it all day.

We banded 18 birds (which is about normal for this time of year):
2 Black-capped Chickadees
1 American Robin
1 Northern Cardinal
2 American Tree Sparrows
7 Dark-eyed Juncos
1 Brown-headed Cowbird
2 Common Redpolls (one of which was the large Greenland subspecies)
2 American Goldfinch


Here are some views of the flooded river flats.
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The “lookout” spot at the base of the trail leading down from the Mansion.
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The north end of the River Trail…..now, just the River.
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The vernal pool below net #8
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Members of the Niagara Falls Nature Club who attended the AGM.
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Guest speaker David Okines.
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