Youthful Energy – Glancaster

Glancaster Sept 10-11

There’s nothing like youthful energy as inspiration to put your thoughts and ideas into action.  Liam came out to join me this Saturday, and like all good birders, he’s always looking and watching for great bird spots.  Now I’ve known there are a couple of great spots on my neighbour’s property that are key areas for birds. Unfortunately, both of them present some challenges: one has a literal carpet of poison ivy, the other is home to around 30 beehives.  Since my field nets have been producing very few birds early this fall, I decided it was time to pick my poison and try adding another net.  When I was a child, my dad kept a few bee hives and I have some memories of dressing in a bee suit and going to gather the honeycomb, so while I have great respect for honeybees, I don’t fear them.  There is also a nice path cleared in which a net lane would fit perfectly, so Liam and I set about to put up a new net near the bees.  We debated where it was best to set it up, in a more open area where there was lots of goldenrod and dogwood bushes or behind the aspens which were acting as a throughway for passage of the birds between the marsh area and the forest of evergreens.  We ended up going about half and half and deciding to note where we were getting most of the birds.

After Liam worked with my husband to straighten a couple more crooked poles, we carefully pulled out a net and strung it out, just to find out it had numerous holes and what appeared to be a broken trammel line.  So we gathered the net back up and tried out the last remaining net.  While it has a few large holes, it was otherwise intact so we set it up and waited for the morning.  Liam’s parents had planned to head out for a hike in the morning so I had to enjoy one of the first birds in the net on my own, a Black-throated Blue Warbler!  I quickly sent Liam a photo of the bird and soon got a reply saying he was on his way.  Apparently his parents don’t hike in the rain. There was a bit of drizzle at my place, but it wasn’t very heavy and as I kept checking the weather map, the rain was going to push further south so I left my nets open and luck was on our side.  The rain let up and we enjoyed a number of birds in the net that morning.

I also learned something about Liam’s mom’s muffins.  I’m not sure if anyone noticed in the photo Rick posted earlier, but the bags of muffins are nicely labelled and in ziplock bags ready for the freezer.  I noticed one said “pipe-cleaners” and I was challenged to imagine how she added pipe-cleaners to the muffins: did she cut them up and mix them in or twist them into circles so they fit into the muffin tray? Apparently, and disappointingly, it was neither.  Those are the muffins full of all the good stuff to clean out your insides, hence the label “pipe-cleaners”.  I’ll have to keep an eye out for those in the tin next time…

American Goldfinch – 4
Warbling Vireo – 1
Black-capped Chickadee – 4
Black-throated Blue Warbler – 1
Common Yellow-throat – 4
Blackpoll – 1
Red-eyed Vireo – 2
Song Sparrow – 1
Grey Catbird – 1
Blue Jay – 2
Northern Cardinal – 3

Song Sparrow – 1
Downy Woodpecker – 2
Black-capped Chickadee – 4

Total 31 (Banded 24, Recaps 7)

Our new net land. Notice the abundance of goldenrod and dogwood at the far end and the stand of aspens at this end. Liam and I debated trying to set up a double net here to capitalize on both spaces. A nice compromise if I can get a hold of another net and pole…

A few of the beehives near our new net lane.

My first visit to our new net lane netted a good number of birds!

Liam using his phishing skills to call some of the birds down into the net. He lucked out with the Cape May and Tennessee warblers that were nearby but did get us a couple of chickadees, red-eyed vireo and goldfinches.  You can see the barrier of vegetation between our net lane to the right and the beehives to the left.  With the cooler weather, they take a while to get out and moving in the morning and we didn’t find they were very concentrated in our net area.

A lovely Black-throated Blue Warbler which brings our species count up to 52.

Lovely male Common Yellow-throat from our new net lane. We had quite a number of these in the net, but this was the only adult male.

Blackpoll warbler. It’s been almost exactly a year since I had one here. The first one I had was Sept 25th of last year.

Liam banding on of 4 Cardinals we had Saturday.



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