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Autumn ringing, week 9

A SLOW week! The weather was settled all week, the southerly winds meaning birds were only trickling through so not much to tell this week. Things are slowly changing and we’ve woken up to the sound of Canada Geese passing overhead a few mornings this week. No Snow Geese through yet, but soon…

4th September 2009

An excruciatingly slow day with only 15 birds ringed! Yellow-bellied Flycatcher was a nice catch although my photo didn’t come out as well as i’d hoped so i haven’t posted it on here.

Moulting Eastern Phoebe

Moulting Eastern Phoebe

Although, the Phoebe seems to be doing strange things with it's tail moult - birds usually moult their tail starting with the central tail feathers and moult proceeds towards the outer tail.

Although, the Phoebe seems to be doing strange things with it's tail moult - birds usually moult their tail starting with the central tail feathers and moult proceeds towards the outer tail.

Found outside the ringing room. From what i can find out from the internet this is the caterpillar of the Banded Tussock Moth (Halysidota tessellaris).

Found outside the ringing room. From what i can find out from the internet this is the caterpillar of the Banded Tussock Moth (Halysidota tessellaris).

No. ringed today: 15
No. of species today: 11
Ringed so far this season: 3854

Our afternoon birding session was a bit more lively and we increased our 2009 Manitoba list to 264 with a 15 minute view of a juvenile Least Bittern.

5th September 2009

Melanie and Kyle had arrived late last night and were here for the long weekend to help us. Kyle studies seabirds (mainly Murres and Murrelets) and as things were pretty slow again today he amused us with tales of some of his experiences above the arctic circle.

As the wind increased through the morning the nets gradually got closed up. We’re still getting mozzed :-(

Most of the birds seemed to passing through high in the canopy today, too high for the nets – Red-breasted and White-breasted Nuthatches, Warbling Vireo, Myrtle Warbler, Yellow-shafted flicker, Common Yellowthroat, Northern Waterthrush and Marsh Wren plus a species we haven’t seen around for a while – American Crow.

Veery

Veery

Swainson's Thrush

Swainson's Thrush

No. ringed today: 35
No. of species today: 16
Ringed so far this season: 3889

6th September 2009

A couple of small mixed flocks hit the nets during the morning, bringing our daily total ringed to 77 birds. We ringed our first Lincoln’s Sparrow of the Autumn. Sharp-shinned Hawk, Philadelphia and Blue-headed Vireos were good birds for the day.

Lincoln's Sparrow

Lincoln's Sparrow

No. ringed today: 77
No. of species today: 21
Ringed so far this season: 3966

Afternoon birding, data entry, supper, evening birding then a bonfire and beer o’clock on the beach.

7th September 2009

Watching paint dry or watching grass grow would surely have been a more interesting task for us today – only 13 birds captured in 6 hours! Mind you, there were certainly birds around as with general observations, census and ringing we logged 52 species during the 6 hour ringing period, so i shouldn’t really be whinging!

No. ringed today: 13
No. of species today: 11
Ringed so far this season: 3979
There are quite a few dragonflies around at the moment, i don't know the identity of this one, i couldn't find an id book in the field station library.

There are quite a few dragonflies around at the moment, i don't know the identity of this one, i couldn't find an id book in the field station library.

Spent the evening at Heidi’s cabin drinking beer and playing Settlers of Catan. She had bought a new add-on when we were in Winnipeg last week – Traders and Barbarians. Like it, a good add-on for the game and will probably get it myself when i get back to the UK. (I can recommend Gameslore which is based in Shropshire for board and tabletop games).

Heidi's new Settlers add-on (you need the original Settlers of Catan to be able to play with this extension set).

Heidi's new Settlers add-on (you need the original Settlers of Catan to be able to play with this extension set).

8th September 2009

Woke up to terrific thunder, lightening and heavy rain which continued for most of the day. A day for data entry, although we are virtually up to date with that. Reading (currently reading The Time Traveller’s Wife) and generally sitting around drinking beer. A birdless day :-(

No. ringed today: 0
No. of species today: 0
Ringed so far this season: 3979

9th September 2009

Another deadly quiet day with no birds captured after 10.30am although we did have a new species for the Autumn – Orange-crowned Warbler. A few Myrtles around. Sat outside at the bench for a few hours between net checks and saw virtually nothing! A couple of small flocks of mixed warblers and sparrows on census. There wasn’t even much at the diversion apart from Ring-billed Gulls.

Orange-crowned Warbler

Orange-crowned Warbler

Ian did some maintenance – put some roofing felt onto the ringing room steps as i’d nearly fallen over yesterday when it was wet and slippery. Ian DID fall over on them last week so it needed doing. Mind you, i’ve eaten so many of the station’s homemade cookies, muffins, granola and desserts since i got here in April that i probably have too much padding on my backside to have felt any pain if i had fallen over ;-)

No. ringed today: 19
No. of species today: 12
Ringed so far this season: 3998

10th September 2009

The morning didn’t start well when i got gnashed by a Rose-breasted Grosbeak – a VERY aggressive hatch year male which got hold of the fleshy part of my finger and wouldn’t let go. Pain, aarrgghh. Brought tears to my eyes. Ian thought it was highly amusing especially as i usually tell people “oh don’t be such a wuss they won’t hurt you”. I tell you, even the birth of 3 children didn’t make me cry but that bloody Grosbeak did!

Census was slow again and Ian only managed one more species than i got yesterday. The numbers of Myrtle Warblers seem to be building up.

During our usual afternoon and evening birding the duck numbers have dropped right down. We’re still getting the odd wader – Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs, Short-billed Dowitcher, Least, Semi-palmated, Spotted and Solitary Sandpipers. A few skeins of Canada Geese over – amounting to about 1200 birds.

No. ringed today: 35
No. of species today: 18
Ringed so far this season: 4033
Season summary
At end of week 9: 4033 birds
Birds this week: 194
Species so far: 77 species
Best fall ever: 7390 (in 2006)

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