Movements on the Bruce (Sept. 3)
As August disappears into September, we are getting the first true
migrants of the season, bird species that do not breed on the Bruce
Peninsula, but farther north. A Tennessee Warbler was detected on
August 27, as well as the first Wilson’s Warbler. An Olive-sided
Flycatcher was seen flying and perching briefly while we were up on
top of Middle Bluff in the afternoon of that same day! A Blackburnian
Warbler was seen on August 28. Another one was also seen the following
day, among a small flock of foraging birds (mostly warblers) that
included a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher! The latter is not frequent in fall
at Cabot Head, detected only in 6 years in the previous 13 falls.
This is the time of the season when warbler diversity is at its
highest in fall. We have been having days with 10-12 species of
warblers, for a seasonal total of 19 so far. There were definitively
some movements today, as the first Palm and Blackpoll Warblers were
detected, among many Wilson’s Warblers and a few Northern
Waterthrushes among others (for a total of 13 species of warblers).
As usual, the Barn Swallows have left before September comes around:
the last ones were seen on August 30!
A very young Dark-eyed Junco was captured and banded today, the first
of the season. Another sparrow, more surprisingly though, was banded a
few days ago: on August 27, a moulting White-crowned Sparrow was
captured. This species usually arrives on the Bruce Peninsula from its
northern breeding grounds in late September. Most songbirds moult
before migrating, which would indicate that this individual may have
spent the summer on the Bruce. It is not the first time that a
white-crowned sparrow is detected in August but it is definitively a
rare and noteworthy occurrence.
There is a good crop of chokecherries this fall around the station and
the fruit eaters have been enjoying them: Cedar Waxwings in flocks of
increasing sizes, Red-eyed Vireos, and the occasional Black Bear. With
the fog coming and going today, waxwings flew in the nets more readily
and a total of 13 were banded!
Quite a few Swainson’s Thrushes are migrating too.
Stephane’s blog for Sept. 3rd.
Posted in STATION NOTES / BLOG