October 23rd – Busy Weekend!

Northern Saw-whet Owl caught at the Irish Line farm. -MMG

Late October and you would expect things to be slowing down…and maybe they are just a little…but we were quite busy at our three sites: Hurkmans Farm (Friday, Saturday, Sunday), Lowville banding station (Saturday), and the Irish Line Farm (Friday night). We were blessed with great (albeit a bit windy) weather over the weekend; it was a pleasure just to be outdoors in shirt sleeves. The birds were an added bonus.
First, Hurkmans Farm results:
Although kinglets and Myrtle Warblers are noticeable in good numbers, those numbers have certainly diminished from the previous week. But their place has been taken by sparrows which festoon the edges, both along the wetland and throughout the farm laneway. Interestingly, White-crowned Sparrows inhabit the laneway while White-throats populate the wetland edge (although, to be accurate, White-throats are all over). And Swamp Sparrows are plentiful….in the swamp. But we also encountered Savannah, Chipping, and Field Sparrows. [I’m pretty excited about what this site will turn up when the prairie grass meadow comes into its own over the next couple of years!]
October 21; Banded 39:
1 Downy Woodpecker
1 Eastern Phoebe
1 Black-capped Chickadee
3 Ruby-crowned Kinglets
1 Golden-crowned Kinglet
2 American Robins
3 Purple Finches
3 Eastern White-crowned Sparrows
7 White-throated Sparrows
3 Song Sparrows
6 Red-winged Blackbirds
1 Rusty Blackbird

Female Rusty Blackbird – always a treat. -DOL

4 Myrtle Warblers
ET’s: 29 spp.

October 22; Banded 18:
1 Golden-crowned Kinglet
10 Eastern White-crowned Sparrows

Eastern White-crowned Sparrows can be found in good numbers along the Farm laneway but not along the wetland edge – where White-throated Sparrows take over. -MMG

1 White-throated Sparrow
3 Song Sparrows
2 Red-winged Blackbirds
1 Myrtle Warbler
ET’s: 27 spp.

October 23; Banded 59:
1 Red-bellied Woodpecker
4 Ruby-crowned Kinglets
3 Golden-crowned Kinglets
2 Purple Finches
3 American Goldfinches
1 Chipping Sparrow

Although they’re a common bird in the area, this is the first Chipping Sparrow we’ve banded at the Farm. -LR

1 Field Sparrow

Pink bill identifies this as a Field Sparrow caught while it was exploring the wetland edge. -LR

6 Eastern White-crowned Sparrows
11 White-throated Sparrows
13 Song Sparrows
6 Swamp Sparrows
2 Red-winged Blackbirds

Female Red-winged Blackbirds are often written off as plain and unattractive but check out the beautiful colouring on the chin and lores. -LR

…and on the wing. -LR

1 Common Yellowthroat
5 Myrtle Warblers
ET’s: 34 spp.

Lowville October 22nd:

Today was a very interesting day indeed. When first coming to the site, I noticed that it was very quiet, even around the meadow nets (at the time of opening them I heard but one Slate Colored Junco hopping about in the aster and such – which we caught the next round), and was fully mentally preparing myself to have a pretty slow day. And my oh my, was I wrong!
The first round was pretty mental. After checking almost all the nets starting from the Meadow, I pretty much assured myself that today would be a trickle, as we only caught 3 birds – and usually this is the busiest net at opening. Shortly thereafter, we came upon Net 2/3 – which had roughly 20 birds in it – being almost exclusively White Throated Sparrows. The following rounds throughout the day were more of Lowville’s typical steady flow, albeit to a higher degree, with maybe 8 birds or so per round. All in all, there were 48 birds banded in total, with particular highlights being a very late Black throated Blue Warbler and a female Rose breasted Grosbeak

Quite a surprise for late October – a male Black-throated blue Warbler…on its way to the Caribbean. -AG

Another late bird: female Rose-breasted Grosbeak. -SGS


Banded: 48
Downy Woodpecker – 1
Black Capped Chickadee – 2
Ruby Crowned Kinglet – 7
Winter Wren – 1
Hermit Thrush – 3
American Goldfinch – 4
Dark Eyed Junco – 1
White Throated Sparrow – 21
Song Sparrow – 2
Swamp Sparrow – 1
Common Yellowthroat – 1
Black Throated Blue Warbler (!) – 1
Myrtle Warbler 1
Northern Cardinal – 1
Rose Breasted Grosbeak (!!) – 1

Recapped: 10
Downy Woodpecker – 1
Black Capped Chickadee – 3
White Breasted Nuthatch – 1
Carolina Wren – 1
White Throated Sparrow – 1
Song Sparrow – 2
Norther Cardinal – 1

Northern Saw-whet Owl caught at the Irish Line farm. -MMG

When opportunity allows, Marnie has been catching Northern Saw-whet Owls at the farm on Irish Line. She’s up to 12 for the season….

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