Stéphane’s Posting for Oct. 13, 2011

After the Wind Storm, They Came!

And come they did! Last week-end, we had 2 days of strong southerly winds under a sweltering sun! There were whitecaps in the tiny Wingfield Basin! The wind was really howling and blowing! Obviously, we couldn’t open the nets but census revealed that not many birds were around anyway.

Finally, on Monday, October 10, dawn found us in blissful calm! And the birds took advantage of the stillness overnight to migrate: nets quickly became filled up, mostly and astonishingly, with great numbers of Hermit Thrushes! In 6 hours, we got a total of 83 birds of 14 species, including 40 HETH (Hermit Thrush)! The record for the entire fall season is 57 in 2007! There were quite a few sparrows and kinglets in the mix!

The following day was as good, although numbers of HETH were down to 14, but Kinglets were way up! We also got the first Fox Sparrows of the season, with 2 in the nets and 2 at census. Such a beautiful and big sparrow!  On that morning, there were other surprises, like the Northern Saw-whet Owl in one net at dawn! Or the young female Sharp-shinned Hawk captured…

The last 2 days, numbers of birds are down quite a bit, especially today, October 13, with a threatening sky. However, Hermit Thrushes are still around in good numbers and enjoying the place, as quite a few are being recaptured. In total, over these 4 days, we banded a record 61 Hermit Thrushes!