Stéphane’s Blog for Aug. 20, 2011

Off to a Good Start!

Another season has begun at Cabot Head, with nets set up on August 15 and banding starting on August 16. Quite a few birds have already been captured, mostly local American Redstarts, but also, Black-and-White Warblers, Nashville Warblers, Common Yellowthroats, Magnolia Warblers, Red-eyed Vireos, etc.

We had our first surprise with an adult White-crowned Sparrow, heavily in moult of its wing and tail feathers! Because this moult happens in the summer grounds, before migration, it means that this individual has spent its summer on the Bruce Peninsula! Quite surprising for a species that breeds exclusively in Northern Ontario!

The adult bald eagles are regularly seen. “Our” pair has one eaglet on the nest, still learning to fly!

Weather has been so far very warm, clear, and calm, except this morning. After a night with strong southerly wind, we started the day under overcast sky but calm conditions. Soon, though, thunder started to rumble. Suddenly, it poured! There was no gentle drops. It was a mad dash to close all the nets! We tentatively tried to re-open then but it started to rain again. Only at the very end of morning, when it was too late to open nets again, did the weather clear up…

So far, and after only 5 days of monitoring, 144 birds have been banded, which is very good for this time of year!