Banding at Cabot Head Starting to Wind down.
Today (May 28th) we had a lot of birds moving through Cabot Head. We banded 48 birds of 17 species including the first ever Yellow Billed Cuckoo banded in the spring at Cabot Head! We also observed Black Billed Cuckoo as well. We also banded our first Warbling Vireo, 3 species of flycatchers, Veery, Swainson’s Thrush, Gray Cheeked Thrush and 8 species of warblers including Mourning Warbler and Blackburnian Warbler. A Whip Poor Will was heard calling from across the basin at the start of the period and Great Crested Flycatcher and Eastern Wood Pewee were heard calling throughout the morning. In the evening while sitting on the porch of Wingfield Cottage a Black Bear walked passed and went for a swim to the other side of the basin.
Today (May 29th) birds were slower than yesterday, fewer species and in fewer numbers we banded 25 birds of 12 species including Canada Warbler, Eastern Wood Pewee, Nashville Warbler and Black Throated Blue Warbler. Both Yellow Billed Cuckoo and Black Billed Cuckoo were heard singing this morning. A Pine Siskin singing from the Pine Barrens on census was a pleasent surprise and the Indigo Bunting is still singing away at his usual spot. Newton George a birding tour guide from Tobago in Ontario for the Huron Fringe Birding Festival visited the station along with Stewart Nutt of the Owen Sound Field Naturalists and saw lots of birds at the station and were taken to Lark Whistle sparrow fields and Crane Lake in the afternoon Newton was excited to get great views of Black Billed Cuckoo, Clay Coloured Sparrow, Grasshopper Sparrow, Sandhill Crane and many other “lifers” for him during his visit.
Today (May 30th) cooler temperature seemed to detriment bird activity. We banded few birds of 10 species including Brown Creeper, Veery and another female Golden Winged Warbler. We saw 30 species on census including a Myrtle Warbler and a Wilson’s Warbler which has been singing every other day in the same spot on the Pine Barrens. 3 Ring Necked Ducks dropped into the basin in the morning and hung around for a while and a Common Loon also floated on the basin for most of the morning.
Today (May 31st) migration has continued is gradual grind to a halt with little bird action in the air, water, forest or nets exacerbated by howling North winds. We banded few birds today, census was more productive with Baltimore Oriole, Northern Rough Winged Swallow and 2 Ring Necked Ducks. A Mourning Dove was seen sitting on the drive way or t roof of Grebe Lodge all morning only the 4th or 5th seen this year at Cabot Head. If the past few days are any indication bird migration is winding down very quickly and soon the woods here at Cabot Head will be filled only with the sounds of local breeders…..a depressing but unavoidable truth.