Andrew’s Posting for April 20th to April 22nd

Great Banding After Two Mornings of None.

Hi folks, we’ve been busy trying to band as much as possible here but for the 20th and the 21st we were unable to do banding but were able to complete census and some observations then today the 22nd we were able to band all morning and had some great birds to show for it!

The morning of April 20th saw heavy rain and cool temperatures although there were torrents of birds flying around through the rain we were unable to run nets all morning, frustrating. A rainy census produced 19 species including Myrtle Warblers and our first Hairy Woodpecker at the station this spring. At about 9:30 AM there was a large feeding flock of Ruby-Crowned Kinglets, Golden-Crowned Kinglets, Pine Warblers, Myrtle Warblers and Black-Capped Chickadees. The flock was about 40 to 50 birds making their way north along the A nets. Quite an neat sight to see despite not being able to catch any. After the standard count period a volunteer and I headed out on a quest to “twitch” a Western Tanager at Elizabeth Thorn’s (BPBO Board member) feeder. We found the bird and many other birds including over 20 Greater Yellowlegs at a flooded area along the Dyer’s Bay Rd. as well as over 70 Rusty Blackbirds at the dumpsters on Dyer’s Bay Rd.  Despite the cool and rainy weather we had a awesome birding day! We certainly didn’t consider ourselves fools in the rain although I can’t speak for the opinions of others.

The 21st of APril was the day of BPBO’s Annual General Meeting and I being the “Station Scientist” had to attend leaving the station without a licensed bander and as such there was again no banding but there was census and some observations. Census was slow the highlight being a pair of Goldeneys hanging out on Wingfield Basin. One Reb-Breasted Merganser showed up during the morning and spent a while swimming and diving with the many Common Mergansers on the basin. Just outside the census area along Cabot Head Rd. a Peregrine Falcon was observed paralleling the shoreline searching for ducks most likely although this bird could not be counted in standard observations it was still a great bird and a really cool sighting!

The 22nd of April started off cold at 0 degree celcius but with winds absent nets were promptly opened. We banded 2 Ruby-Crowned Kinglets, 1 Golden Crowned Kinglet, 2 Black-Capped Chickadees, 3 Slate-Coloured Juncos, 1 White-Throated Sparrow, 1 Yellow-Shafted Flicker and 1 Sharp-Shinned Hawk a nice adult male with leering red eyes. Waterfowl includes: Hooded Merganser, Red-Breasted Merganser, Common Merganser, Bufflehead and Mallard. Raptor migration was quite good today including: Osprey, Bald Eagle, Cooper’s  Hawk, Sharp-Shinned Hawk, Merlin, Red-Tailed Hawk and the usual many Turkey Vultures sailing by so gracefully. There were many American Woodcock this morning displaying before census beeping for the females and flying around all over the place. Many Pine Warblers were seen today including 2 on census as well as  another 2 migrating across to the lighthouse and another flock later of at least 5 birds! Chipping Sparrow was also observed on census and a Barn Swallow was seen flying over the basin! By the end of the day the sun was beating down making the volunteers at Wingfield Cottage regret that large fire they had stoked in the morning as we were sweating indoors by lunch. Hopefully this warm weather will keep up and bring with it a fallout of birds although according to the weather report report we are supposed to have a bleak few days.