September 6th – A BIG Day!

Last night, in the middle of the night, there was a significant change in weather conditions. Looking at the wind history at the Grimsby buoy (in the middle of Lake Ontario about equidistant from Hamilton and Grimsby), I noticed that around 2:00 AM the winds, that were relatively light out of the SW, more than doubled and shifted to the WSW. As it was relatively clear last night but cloudy this morning, I’m assuming that the cloud moved in with the wind. I operate on the assumption that migrating birds in the Fall that show up at Ruthven start their flight north of Lake Ontario, probably north of Toronto. Last night these birds, meeting up with these conditions probably dropped to the ground rather than try to continue fighting against them – in migration monitoring terms this is called a fallout. Fallouts are what banders dream about and we faced the results of one this morning.

I knew we were in for an exceptional day when I approached the first net (#2) on the first net round and found 28 birds in it. It was at that time that Faye showed up to assuage my anxiety about handling this volume of birds by myself. And then the Melia family arrived to provide even more support. So I just banded and Faye and company cleared the nets while Sarah (mother Melia) scribed. This was a very effective and efficient arrangement.

We ended up banding 125 birds, 60% of which (75) were warblers. We also had terrific variety – 31 species (16 warblers). You just never knew what the next bird bag would produce.

Banded 125:
6 Eastern Wood Pewees
3 Traill’s Flycatchers
1 Least Flycatcher
1 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
1 Gray-cheeked Thrush
2 Swainson’s Thrushes
1 Wood Thrush
1 Gray Catbird
1 Warbling Vireo
13 Red-eyed Vireos
3 Tennessee Warblers
7 Nashville Warblers
1 Yellow Warbler
24 Magnolia Warblers
5 Black-throated Blue Warblers
1 Black-throated Green Warbler
1 Blackburnian Warbler
2 Bay-breasted Warblers
11 Blackpoll Warblers
1 Black & White Warbler
7 American Redstarts
2 Ovenbirds
1 Northern Waterthrush
2 Mourning Warblers
6 Wilson’s Warblers
1 Canada Warbler
1 Rose-breasted Warbler
12 Chipping Sparrows
3 Song Sparrows
1 House Finch
3 American Goldfinches

Retrapped 15:
2 Downy Woodpeckers
1 Yellow-shafted Flicker
1 Black-capped Chickadee
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
1 Red-eyed Vireo
1 Blue-winged Warbler
1 Magnolia Warbler
2 Bay-breasted Warblers
2 American Redstarts
2 Rose-breasted Grosbeaks
1 Song Sparrow

ET’s: 48 spp. (this should have probably been considerably higher but there was no time for a census)


One thought on “September 6th – A BIG Day!

Leave a Reply