Stephane’s blog for Sept. 20

sunrise over Georgian Bay
sunrise over Georgian Bay

Fall Equinox- (September 20)

After 2 days of high, South winds (with some rain on Saturday),
precluding banding, we awoke to a calm, blue dawn with wisps of fog
over Wingfield Basin. We opened all the nets, as a deepening orange
glow moved over the eastern horizon.

The day started slow for captures with a few White-throated Sparrows
and Thrushes (one Swainson’s and one Gray-cheeked). However, there was
movement in the sky: sizable flocks of Blue Jays were flying back and
forth; Pine Siskins would announce their passing with their
unmistakable calls: there was a few flocks of them, up to 30 birds at
once, for a total of 82! Most of the Siskins flew over, without
stopping. Likewise, detected first by their calls, there were a few
American Pipits (with 2 shortly stopping and walking on the
shipwreck!) and 2 Horned Larks flying over Cabot Head. A few Cedar
Waxwings were also observed: they could be the last of the season, who

We got 2 new arrivals this morning: a Blue-headed Vireo and an
Orange-crowned Warbler were caught in our nets. This morning, after a
slow start, we got quite a few birds banded in the end. There was
notably one very productive net check, with 12 birds in C15, the last
net! And, most surprisingly, most of them were Nashville Warblers! We
ended up banding 10 of this species, as well as a couple Blackpoll
Warblers, a few Black-throated Green Warblers, several Myrtle
(Yellow-rumped) Warblers, and the aforementioned Orange-crowned

The volunteers were lucky to witness a (failed) attempt by a Merlin to
catch a Northern Flicker! Other noteworthy observations: a
Ruby-throated Hummingbird is still enjoying the feeder; 2
Whip-poor-wills were still calling at dusk on September 18.

On September 23, it will be the fall equinox, when the day (and night)
length will be the same everywhere on Earth. We are soon to enter a
“darker” time, with increasing night time! It is to remind us to go
out more and enjoy every bit of sunshine we get.