Stéphane’s Posting for Oct. 31/10
Last Day of Monitoring
October 31st is not just for trick or treat! It is also the last day of bird migration monitoring at Cabot Head Research Station. It was a beautiful day with impressive snow showers! Sometimes, the view was completely obscured by a curtain of snow.
The “winter birds” were very much present: big flocks of Pine Siskins, with some Common Redpolls mixed in them; some White-winged Crossbills, pausing and posing, briefly, on fir treetop; Snow Buntings; a young Northern Shrike, perched on the dead birch in front of the station (a bird birch list should be made for this particular tree, as it is well used and provides both a perfect perch and a perfect viewing of the perched from the station front porch); etc.
The last new species of the fall was Bohemian Waxwing, with a small flock of 8 birds zooming across the basin!
On this windy day, Bald Eagles were enjoying the ride. Three adults and an immature were seen gliding above West Bluff at once, amid a whirling flock of more than a dozen Common Ravens. Later on, 2 young Eagles were seen flying together on the western horizon. Finally, another adult Eagle came low from the East and perched behind a leafless veil of trees across the basin. All in all, it is 7 Bald Eagles that were seen!
Captures were minimal throughout this last day. However, when it was time to close the nets for the last time of the season (and the year, for that matter), a flock of Pine Siskins was suspended in mid-air, caught in the very first net! 13 Siskins and 3 Redpolls were captured all at once! A very nice way to end a banding season.
It has been an exciting fall season, with great help from dedicated volunteers. I would like to thank again our long-term volunteers: Matthias, Maggie, and Emily. Without them, there would simply be no monitoring possible!