September 10 – Of Orion and Binoculars

It must have been visible for the last week or so but I just noticed it this morning – the constellation of ‘the Hunter’, Orion, high in the eastern sky. I always associate Orion with crisp cold Winter nights. His looking down this morning presages those times to come – the weather that makes us Canadian…sort of.

And lo and behold, who shows up this morning – in time to open nets even, which in itself is significant – but our Species at Risk Co-ordinator, Christine. And she was proudly sporting a new pair of VERY nice Nikon 8 x 42 binoculars, an early Christmas present from her Mom. I can just imagine the scenario when she went home this past weekend:

Christine: Do you still love me mom?

Mom: Of course I do sweetheart.

C: [pregnant pause] You know, my career as a biologist and thus my lifelong happiness is hanging by a thread.

M: Why, whatever is wrong?

C: I need binoculars so that I can move up to the next level and….well….I’m broke. Jobs in biology are so competitively cutthroat. If you really loved me maybe you could get them for me…?

M: If you don’t get them, what will happen?

C: I’ll shrivel up and die.

M: Well in that case, how about I give them to you as an early Christmas present.

C: I can’t ask you to do that…..


C: OK….if it will make you happy.

And so it goes. the bottom line is that Christine has the right tools. Now she just has to learn how to use them.

There were no call notes overhead when I was opening but things picked up as the sun got up in the sky. Small pockets of migrants, often in association with Chickadees, moved through the grounds feeding vigourously on insects and wild fruit – especially wild grapes. The census was pretty quiet with almost no activity along the river. The feeders were very busy – the American Goldfinches have found them!

Banded 53:
2 Eastern Wood Pewees
1 Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
1 Least Flycatcher
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
1 Veery
4 Swainson’s Thrushes
4 Gray Catbirds
3 Red-eyed Vireos
1 Nashville Warbler
7 Magnolia Warbler
2 American Redstarts
1 Ovenbird
1 Common Yellowthroat
1 Scarlet Tanager
4 Rose-breasted Grosbeaks
1 Song Sparrow
1 House Finch
17 American Goldfinches

Retrapped 7:
1 Eastern Tufted Titmouse
1 Black-capped Chickadee
1 House Wren
1 Chipping Sparrow
1 Song Sparrow
1 American Goldfinch

ET’s:  43 spp.


Christine's New Binoculars

Christine's New Binoculars

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