Migration Monitoring – September 4th, 5th & 6th, 2007

Please Note: there should be a bander on site now every day throughout the Fall up to the end of the first week of November (unless it is really lousy weather). If you have any doubts about whether someone will be on site you can contact the chief bander, Rick Ludkin: rludkin’at’hotmail.com (insert the @ in the appropriate place).

Also, there should be daily updates on this blog over the next two month. It seems I am still getting used to the idea of updating the blog daily, so some posts will appear with several days’ reports, like today. Hopefully I will be able to update daily on most days.

Finally, if anyone visits Ruthven and has pictures that would be appropriate for the blog, please send them to natureblog@ruthvenpark.ca
September 6th

I arrived ridiculously early this morning and was treated to a clear constellation-laden sky complete with shooting stars. A couple of Great Horned Owls calling in the distance completed the nocturnal scene.

A large sphingid moth flying southwards with purpose harbinged the departure of night and the commencement of day. A fog briefly arose at dawn, through which Lesser Yellowlegs and Eastern Bluebirds could be heard – very little else however.

An Olive-Sided Flycatcher made an appearance at the top of the dead pine by the back parking lot but otherwise things were very quiet. It became hot, hazy, and humid early on and few birds were moving at ground level. Overhead there was a steady movement of Blue Jays, American Robins, and Northern Flickers, but most remained well above the level of the nets.

Banded: 12
Philadelphia Vireo 1
Red-Eyed Vireo 1
Swainson’s Thrush 1
Song Sparrow 3
Scarlet Tanager 2 (both HYs)
Grey Catbird 2
Rose-Breasted Grosbeak 1
Blue Jay 1

Retrapped: 6
House Wren 1
Song Sparrow 1
White-Breasted Nuthatch 1
Grey Catbird 3


September 5th

On my drive in this morning, the Toronto radio station I was listening to was bemoaning the fact that it was thundering and raining. But Haldimand County still has its umbrellas overhead. Not one drop of the wet stuff to relieve the parched ground.
It was a very pleasant late summer day with light southerly winds. The temperature doubled from pre dawn 15C, to 30C when I left mid afternoon.

Many of the birds that have nested locally look absolutely comical as they are in the midst of a complete moult, and have so few flight feathers, it is a wonder they can still stay airborne!

I saw the Bald Eagle twice today, once soaring very high, and then about an hour later, he did an awesome fly past at tree top level, just above the mansion. (Or maybe it was a second bird?)

Banded 37 birds today:
1 Mourning Dove
1 Eastern Wood Peewee
2 Traill’s Flycatchers
2 Black-capped Chickadees
1 Blue-grey Gnat catchers
1 American Robin
3 Red-eyed Vireos
2 Nashville Warblers
1 Magnolia Warbler
3 Blackpoll Warblers
1 Common Yellow-throat
1 Northern Cardinal
1 Chipping Sparrow
2 Song Sparrows
3 House Finches
12 American Goldfinches

Retrapped 10:
1 Yellow-throated Vireo
4 Black-Capped Chickadees
1 White Breasted Nuthatch
1 House Wren
1 Song Sparrow
2 American Goldfinches


September 4th

The (very) early sky was dominated by the constellation Orion in the east and punctuated with the occasional call note of a migrant high overhead. The rising sun invigorated a lot of birds – that tended to stay up high rather than at net level. I hoped that the impending cloud cover that moved in from the north would bring them down but it lifted and the birds stayed up. There were some Blackpoll Warblers around today – another very long distance migrant – but none found their way into the nets. Same with the Scarlet Tanagers that were around and a small flock of at least 8 Rose-breasted Grosbeaks. I banded the first Red-breasted Nuthatch of the year and while I was doing it another was calling just outside the lab. I think there was a small movement of nuthatches going through as I banded 3 White-breasted ones as well….and they just seemed to be everywhere.
One interesting sighting was a Great Egret cruising majestically down the river.

Banded 27:
1 Eastern Wood Pewee
1 Traill’s Flycatcher
2 Blue Jays
1 Red-breasted Nuthatch
3 White-breasted Nuthatches
1 Cedar Waxwing
1 Philadelphia Vireo
3 Red-eyed Vireos
1 Chesnut-sided Warbler
1 Magnolia Warbler
2 Common Yellowthroats
2 Northern Cardinals
2 Song Sparrows
6 American Goldfinches

Retrapped 7:
2 Black-capped Chickadees
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
1 House Wren
1 Philadelphia Vireo
1 Song Sparrow
1 American Goldfinch


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