Warning: Declaration of Walker_Comment2::start_lvl(&$output, $depth, $args) should be compatible with Walker::start_lvl(&$output, $depth = 0, $args = Array) in /homepages/41/d80554892/htdocs/PROPERTY/wp-content/themes/atahualpa/functions/bfa_comment_walker.php on line 145

Warning: Declaration of Walker_Comment2::end_lvl(&$output, $depth, $args) should be compatible with Walker::end_lvl(&$output, $depth = 0, $args = Array) in /homepages/41/d80554892/htdocs/PROPERTY/wp-content/themes/atahualpa/functions/bfa_comment_walker.php on line 145

Warning: Declaration of Walker_Comment2::start_el(&$output, $comment, $depth, $args) should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output, $object, $depth = 0, $args = Array, $current_object_id = 0) in /homepages/41/d80554892/htdocs/PROPERTY/wp-content/themes/atahualpa/functions/bfa_comment_walker.php on line 145

Warning: Declaration of Walker_Comment2::end_el(&$output, $comment, $depth, $args) should be compatible with Walker::end_el(&$output, $object, $depth = 0, $args = Array) in /homepages/41/d80554892/htdocs/PROPERTY/wp-content/themes/atahualpa/functions/bfa_comment_walker.php on line 145

Autumn ringing, week 6

Rather worrying start to the week when i found out that my daughter, Kat, back in the UK, had contracted swine ‘flu. She works on the “front line” in a hospital so it’s hardly surprising and of course the good old NHS hadn’t yet got round to giving any staff their vaccinations.

14th August 2009

A deep, fire orange sunrise was the only time we saw the sun today. It was starting to drizzle as i took this very surreal photo and didn’t stop for most of the day.

Lake Manitoba, lashing wind and waves.

Lake Manitoba, lashing wind and waves.

No ringing, no census, no obs. Data entry, time to read my book and an early beer o’clock.

No. ringed today: 0
No. of species today: 0
Ringed so far this season: 1885

15th August 2009

You will be getting the idea by now that i’m obsessed with the weather – the main reason being that it controls whether we ring, how many nets we open, how long the nets stay open for etc. So, yes we always have an eye on the sky. So, today we started the day off like any other by looking at the sky and thinking “oo, er, that doesn’t look so promising”. I logged on to the internet and checked the radar which looked BAD! Lots of rain and it’s all heading our way!

Screen shot from the Environment Canada radar - all that rain was heading straight for us.

Screen shot from the Environment Canada radar - all that rain was heading straight for us. This impressive band of rain spans three provinces - where we are, Manitoba, Saskatchewan to the immediate west and further west still, Alberta - to give you an idea of size i reckon you could fit the UK into Manitoba

It was very dark this morning and i saw three bats flying around so delayed opening the nets until 6am, and then only opened three nets – the closest one to the ringing room. We kept our eye on the radar and the rain crept closer, i took the descision to close at 8am, good move as the rain arrived 10 minutes later! The only two birds ringed were a Least Flycatcher and a Song Sparrow.

What we did find amusing was that the Swallows that had fledged 2 days ago from the nest on the side of the ringing room were all sitting back in the nest, they’d obviously spent all night there, roosting in a safe warm place i suppose.

No. ringed today: 2
No. of species today: 2
Ringed so far this season: 1887

After lunch we rested up for an hour or so before heading out to Carel and Jennifer’s place. They had arranged a big surprise birthday party for Heidi. The weather perked up and we were all able to sit outside on their verandah. Heidi had the shock of her life when she arrived and found 30 people waiting for her.

Heidi looking rather surprised!

Heidi looking rather surprised!

It was a good evening. The bit i didn’t enjoy was the gruesome drive back (i had foolishly volunteered not to drink and so was driving, pah!) – my least favourite driving conditions – darkness, gravel roads, and low-lying mist :-(

16th August 2009

A night of disturbed sleep – the course students making a racket coming and going from the lodge, we found that they were still up when we got up at 5.15am. Jeez i sound like a right old grouch now don’t i. I swear i’ve never made a lot of noise when i’ve been drunk and incapable (did i tell you about the time when i woke up thinking i was paralysed as i couldn’t move my arms and legs, it slowly dawned on me that this was because someone had wrapped me up in a carpet. Have never touched Tequila since!). Anyway, i’m getting side-tracked…

…a very mizzly start, no wind but unable to open the nets as they were instantly soaked with water droplets. As soon as the mist lifted we opened a couple of nets but after three-quarters of an hour the wind got up and the rain set in. No birds captured. Took the opportunity to wander about in the mizzle and do some obs but not much about, a few Yellow Warblers but not much else. What a depressing, miserable day! Where is the summer??

Still plenty of mozzies around :-(

Still plenty of mozzies around :-(

No. ringed today: 0
No. of species today: 0
Ringed so far this season: 1887

17th August 2009

Weather – more of the same – 2 nets open for two and a half hours but all closed up by 8.30am. 1 Eastern Kingbird ringed. The Swallows that had fledged are STILL roosting in their old nest on the ringing room, must all be males, reluctant to leave home LOL. 3 birds ringed in 4 days, is that some sort of record?

No. ringed today: 1
No. of species today: 1
Ringed so far this season: 1888

18th August 2009

Warbling Vireo

Warbling Vireo

Ah! A better day all round. A decent number of birds and a bit of variety. First American Redstart of Autumn plus we had Nashville Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler and Canada Warbler. Tennessees are starting to arrive and we had more adult Yellow Warblers than usual. We ended the morning with 102 birds ringed of 16 species.

During the afternoon we checked out the remaining Barn Swallow nests and ringed a further 3 broods – 2 of 4 and 1 of 5. In the other nests the young are still too small to ring.

No. ringed today: 102
No. of species today: 16
Ringed so far this season: 1990

19th August 2009

A delayed start. Yup, more rain! And when we finally opened at 7am we were restricted to 4 nets because of the SW wind. More rain so we closed up, re-opening at 1045. A small flock of Tennessee Warblers threw themselves into net 10 bringing us to just over 2,000 birds ringed this autumn so far.

Tennessee Warbler. It has apparantly been a good year for Spruce Bud Worm so, in theory, we should be getting quite a few of these guys.

Tennessee Warbler. It has apparantly been a good year for Spruce Bud Worm so, in theory, we should be getting quite a few of these guys.

No. ringed today: 22
No. of species today: 8
Ringed so far this season: 2012

19th August is a strange sort of day for me these days. Ben would have been 19 today, and although i think about him every day, i always think about him extra today. I think he would have liked beer so we had a few in the evening to say happy birthday.

One of my favourite pics of Ben, when he was 8 or 9, with his ever-present smile.

One of my favourite pics of Ben, when he was 8 or 9, with his ever-present smile.

20th August 2009

A blustery day with clouds and rain threatening all morning (by now you must be as sick as me of the weather here!). Shock of the morning came when Ian went to net 12 at 7.30am and found a Broad-winged Hawk in there which escaped before he could grab it. The Hawk left a dead Grey Catbird and several traumatised warblers (which all flew away OK after resting up in a bag for 20 minutes).

Got savaged by a Rose-breasted Grosbeak.

Yup, that HURT!

Yup, that HURT!

Black and White Warbler

Black and White Warbler

No. ringed today: 45
No. of species today: 10
Ringed so far this season: 2057

It’s so flat here, you can see the weather coming in for miles. We’ve been birding most afternoons along the ridge then after supper we go out birding again along the diversion. Generally we record 65 to 80 species a day. Took this next photo as we came back from our evening’s birding.

Nice here but raining over there

Nice here but raining over there

We made it back from birding a little earlier tonight as some of the resident students had arranged a wine and cheese evening which also coincided with the annual Delta photo competition. It was interesting to see all the entries, the winning shots from each category got a $50 Mountain Equipment Co-op voucher. Ian won the Flora section with this fab grass shot.

iancompwinner

Winning shot for the Flora section

I had an “honourable mention” with the following two photos

Runner up in Landscape with this shot which i took back in early Spring

Runner up in Landscape with this shot which i took back in early Spring

Runner up for Nature Close Up. I thought this was quite mundane really and only entered it because i didn't have anything else!

Runner up for Nature Close Up. I thought this was quite mundane really and only entered it because i didn't have anything else!

My crowning glory came though in the Viewers Choice category, there were 30 entries and the audience had to vote which they like best. This was for the “Posteriority Award” where your name is engraved on a toilet seat which hangs on the wall in the dining room. My photo raised the biggest laugh and subsequently got voted as the winner. No cash prize but hey, i’m famous now, i have my name engraved on a toilet seat :-) This was the photo…

Ian hard at work catching Swallows (or is that catching flies LOL). And yes, he really was asleep.

Ian hard at work catching Swallows (or is that catching flies LOL). And yes, he really was asleep.

So, a good night, late to bed and too much to drink. Aargh got to get up at 5.15am….

Season summary
At end of week 6: 2057 birds
Birds this week: 172
Species so far: 57 species
Best fall ever: 7390 (in 2006)

Comments are closed.