Andrew’s Posting for May 14th to 16th

Migration at Cabot Head in Full Swing.

Today (May 14th) the warm sunny weather brought several new arrivals for the year to Cabot Head. We banded 45 birds of 23 species! Including: Our first Mourning Warbler, Rose Breasted Grosbeak and Wilson’s Warblers, Bay Breasted Warbler, Orange Crowned Warbler, Black Throated Blue Warbler, Blue Headed Vireo, a late Brown Creeper and Sharp Shinned Hawk. 3 new species banded! Daily census observations throughout the morning turned up Indigo Bunting, Baltimore Oriole, Bobolink, Scarlet Tanager, our first Canada Warbler, Blackpoll Warbler Wood Thrush and Yellow Bellied Flycatcher . We saw 19 species of warblers and 74 bird species for the day, migration is definitely ON!

Today (May 15th) was very windy here at Cabot Head and we could not open all our nets until it slacked off a bit around 8:00. There were lots different species about but in low numbers we saw 61 species. Banding was slow but there were a lot of great birds around. On census a Vesper Sparrow and a Savannah Sparrow were found together in a bush near the rocky point next to Wingfield Cottage. The most exciting bird of the day was a Le Conte’s Sparrow found between Georgian Bay and the Middle Bluff the first sighting ever for Cabot Head and and an awesome bird for Bruce County! After its initial discovery the bird was never to be seen again. A surprise on Baywatch was 2 Upland Sandpipers flying out over Georgian Bay paralleling the shore. We saw our first Great Crested Flycatcher living up to its namesake sallying for insects from a birch tree close to the cottage. Another surprise was a bolt of lightning striking our telephone pole and knocking out our phone. Storms on the Great Lakes can be awesome. Today we say farewell to Martin Scott from the Isle of Lewis in Scotland who is headed to Ottawa for a week before he goes to Churchill, Manitoba for the summer. Good Luck.

Today (May 16th) was windy and cold as  winds shifted to the North-East. Banding was slow but good with a Northern Parula, Chipping Sparrow and Sharp Shinned Hawk banded. There were 41 species on census including Northern Waterthrush, 4 Spotted Sandpipers, Greater Yellowlegs and a female Hooded Merganser on the basin floating with a dozen Common Mergansers. Winds remained moderate as a storm rolled in but no rain. Over 50 species were seen today a good day considering the weather here.