The Winds of Change
Winds of change have blown in cold and rainy weather preventing us from opening our nets on several days. Bird activity has been moderate to low with some days with very good visual movements of more northerly migrants. On the 15th it rained the entire day for almost 20 hours! The 16th brought milder weather and migrants. It was a sparrow day with plenty of White-crowned and White-throated Sparrows as well as 8 Slate-coloured Juncos banded. We also banded a Song Sparrow. Kinglets were also in good numbers with 12 Golden-crowned and 2 Ruby-crowned kinglets banded. Hermit Thrush, Nashville Warbler, Downy Woodpecker and Hairy Woodpecker were also banded. A Belted Kingfisher was seen fishing in the basin. The 17th was windy and we could only open half our nets. We had a pleasant surprise on our first net check, a Northern Saw-Whet Owl. We also banded 2 the previous night. We banded: Brown Creeper, Black-capped Chickadee, Golden-crowned Kinglets, White-crowned Sparrow and Slate-coloured Junco. Recent Baywatches have had: Long-tailed Ducks, White-winged Scoters, Red-breasted Mergansers, Horned and Red-necked Grebes and Common Loons. A Pintail was also seen during one Baywatch. The 18th was slow due to high winds, we could not open our nets for more than 1 hour and we caught few birds one of which was a Red-breasted Nuthatch. The 19th was similar to the previous day we could only open 2 nets for an hour and we caught no birds due to gales from the South. The 20th was a change from the previous bad weather day with no wind but hours and hours of rain. No banding. A Myrtle Warbler and a Belted-Kingfisher were seen during census. Winds on the 21st were moderate and the sky was cloudless. American Tree Sparrow have arrived in good numbers, we banded 3 and observed a large flock feeding on the ground. We banded our first Northern Cardinal for the year as well as a Song Sparrow. We also banded: Golden-crowned Kinglet, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Brown Creeper, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Black-capped Chickadee and Orange-crowned Warbler. Baywatch was typical with Common Loon, Grebes and Scoters. Over 300 Pine Siskins flew over during the morning 1 of which we banded. On the 22nd we had our first full day of coverage in 2 weeks. Waterfowl migration was good with Grebes, Scoters, Long-tailed Ducks, Common and Red-breasted Mergansers moving through in high numbers. A flock of 30 Long-tailed Ducks flew over the basin during census and 2 Belted Kingfishers were seen chasing each other irately. A Red-bellied Woddpecker was seen early in the morning as well as a flock of 30 Common Ravens. We banded: Slate-coloured Junco, American Tree Sparrow, Golden and Ruby crowned Kinglet, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Black-capped Chickadee, Downy Woodpecker and our first White-breasted Nuthatch for the year. Winds howled fiercely once again from the South-east on the 23rd and we could only open a couple of nets. We banded less than a dozen birds and few throughout the morning. An Adult Bald Eagle was seen with a hatch-year Eagle combing the far side of the Basin. Shortly after banding a Great-blue Heron was seen sitting on the Gargantua. The 24th was once again windy but we were able to open a couple nets. A flock of 20 Kinglets hit Net 15 which we promptly banded. 5 American Black Ducks were seen during census. The Bald Eagle was seen once again. American Tree Sparrows were around but in fewer numbers a there was also a Northern Cardinal hanging around. The season is drawing to a close but they may yet be some northern specialties to come through so keep your eyes open for Bohemian Waxwings, Evening Grosbeaks, Pine Grosbeaks, Common Redpolls, Hoary Redpolls and your ears open for Boreal Owls.