Andrew’s Posting for May 15th to May 20th

Warbler Invasion!

The past week has been a exciting one at Cabot Head with many birds moving through in strong numbers with most species arriving and now only a few species that are to arrive that are normally seen every year. All warblers that are expected to move through have arrived except for Blackpoll warbler. Strong winds on the 15th prevented us from opening all our nets we banded chestnut-sided warbler, black-and-white warbler, American redstart, ovenbird and northern waterthrush as well as a sharp-shinned hawk. A flock of 37 white-winged scoters were seen as well a flock of more than 20 sandhill cranes. Baltimore orioles arrived in good numbers with several individuals hanging around the station area. Ruby-throated hummingbirds have also returned. The 16th saw good variety of birds including more than 200 blue jays, gray catbird, ruby-crowned kinglet, black-throated blue warbler, over 200 myrtle warblers, western palm warbler, many American redstart, as well as good numbers of pine siskin and American goldfinch. The usual lone wild turkey has been hanging around the area all week. The 17th was perfect weather and all nets were open. Yellowlegs of both species have been flying over on a daily basis also spotted sandpipers have been seen most days. Both golden and ruby crowned kinglets were till around and almost 100 black-capped chickadees and 50 red-breasted nuthatches flew through late in the morning. Our first yellow-throated vireo was seen as well as a red-bellied woodpecker, bay-breasted warblers, magnolia warblers and both warbling and Philadelphia vireo. 2200 blue jays in large flocks were flying around throughout the day and both pileated and hairy woodpeckers were heard calling as well as a yellow-bellied sapsucker. The 18th was good as well with several new species. Both common and Caspian terns have been sitting on the rock across the basin most days. Least flycatchers are still around as well as a single eastern phoebe. 17 species of warbler were seen including our first Wilson’s warbler. Our first eastern towhee and indigo bunting were seen as well as 2 red-shouldered hawks. The started our a day like any other however certain condition brought forth a massive pulse of birds rarely witnessed at Cabot Head and the volunteers were in awe at the numbers and diversity of the birds. 41 birds of 13 species were banded. 19 species of warbler were observed and 9 species were banded. Our first mourning warbler turned up in a net as well as many ruby-crowned kinglets and a rose-breasted grosbeak. The bird of the day was Magnolia warbler with more than 500 detected more than 100 American redstarts as well. More than 60 species were seen for the day. Although nets were not used on the 20th due to lack of personnel migration monitoring continued with 57 species detected during the morning. Red-headed woodpecker was a new species for the year as well as a single chimney swift and a couple of cedar waxwings. 64 birds of 19 species were banded on the 21st including 11 species of warbler. We banded our first Canada warblers of the year as well as our first indigo bunting, Traill’s flycatcher, Philadelphia vireo and golden-winged warbler. Warbler diversity continued with 21 species of warbler observed. Now all species except Blackpoll warbler have arrived. Migration is far from over as there are still big movements of warblers, flycatchers, vireos and thrushes moving through southern Ontario that have yet to arrive.