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Autumn ringing, week 11

18th September 2009

A slowish day with a brisk southerly wind. Plenty of Orange-crowned Warblers (11) and a few Nashville and Myrtle Warblers. We caught and ringed a Yellow-shafted Flicker – always a fun (and VERY noisy) bird to handle.

No. ringed today: 38
No. of species today: 12
Ringed so far this season: 4428

19th September 2009

The first Brown Creeper of the Autumn seen and ringed today.

Brown Creeper

Brown Creeper

Saw our first Snow Geese flying over. Plenty of visible migration today. We ringed just over 200 birds with a good range of species (28) – plenty of Myrtle Warblers (53) and White-throated Sparrows (27)

No. ringed today: 206
No. of species today: 28
Ringed so far this season: 4634

20th September 2009

A slow day with strong southerly winds. The first Fox Sparrow of the season turned up in the net, i just love these big chunky sparrows.

Fox Sparrow

Fox Sparrow

Also the first Winter Wren of the Autumn. Unlike Europe, North America has a variety of wrens – here at Delta we have House, Marsh, Sedge and Winter Wrens – the Winter Wren being the same species as in the UK.

Winter Wren

Winter Wren

Black-capped chickadee. Only a few a year caught here at Delta.

Black-capped chickadee. Only a few a year caught here at Delta.

Out in the evening to see our friends Alicia and her husband Aaron, had a lovely dinner and it was good to spend time chatting with them.

At Alicia and Aaron's house

At Alicia and Aaron's house

No. ringed today: 16
No. of species today: 10
Ringed so far this season: 4650

21st September 2009

The wind has now swung right round to the north – perhaps it will push some birds down from that direction? We caught a rather late Eastern Wood Pewee and perhaps the last Black and White Warbler of the season.

A lovely adult male Black and White Warbler, probably the last we'll see this year.

A lovely adult male Black and White Warbler, probably the last we'll see this year.

The wind continued to increase as the morning went on and all nets were closed by 10.30

Census was a record breaker for all the wrong reasons – the least species of birds ever (12!), even beating Becky’s record low of 15 birds in the worst Autumn ever (2004).

Thousands of gulls (mainly Ring-billed with some Franklins plus the odd Bonaparte’s and Herring Gull)  flying round over the lake made an impressive sight. The Bald Eagles just seem to thrive in this wind as two of them spent the morning effortlessly drifting up and down the ridge.

No. ringed today: 18
No. of species today: 13
Ringed so far this season: 4668

22nd September 2009

First Yellow-bellied Sapsucker of the season.

Hatch year male Yellow-bellied Sapsucker - you can see the red coming in on the throat.

Hatch year male Yellow-bellied Sapsucker - you can see the red coming in on the throat.

Yesterday’s northerly seems to have brought us some birds with a total today of 190 birds (20 species), 108 of these were Myrtle Warblers, 26 Ruby-crowned Kinglets and a fair smattering of other interesting stuff – Hermit Thrush, Swainson’s Thrush, Chipping Sparrow, Lincoln’s Sparrow, Blackpoll Warbler and a single American Redstart.

No. ringed today: 190
No. of species today: 20
Ringed so far this season: 4858

Thousands of Snow Geese out on the fields in the evening.

23rd September 2009

Golden-crowned Kinglet turned up today.

Golden-crowned Kinglet

Golden-crowned Kinglet

Our first hatch year White-crowned Sparrow which was actually the first hatch year bird i’d seen and confused the hell out of me briefly – i’ve only seen them in adult plumage before. It was the first bird i’d taken out of the net this year and said “what the heck…???”. There’s always one isn’t there – last year it was a summer plumage American Pipit which gave me a brief moment of “duh…??”. Just over a hundred birds today and again a really good mix of species.

White-crowned Sparrow - a hatch year bird, very different plumage from the adult birds!

White-crowned Sparrow - a hatch year bird, very different plumage from the adult birds!

No. ringed today: 102
No. of species today: 22
Ringed so far this season: 4960

Spent the evening at Heidi’s house and later went with Chris on an owl net check – two owls were in there so Ian and i ringed one each.

Ringing the Northern Saw-whet Owl. The owl ringing programme here at Delta runs from the 15th September up to the end of October with the peak catch usually during the first 2 weeks of October.

Ringing the Northern Saw-whet Owl. The owl ringing programme here at Delta runs from the 15th September up to the end of October with the peak catch usually during the first 2 weeks of October.

Bit of a dark photo but we were asked not to use flash.

Bit of a dark photo but we were asked not to use flash.

24th September 2009 – ringing the 5,000th bird of Autumn

Plenty of birders around this morning as there is to be a two-day meeting to discuss the technical aspects of the forthcoming Manitoba Bird Atlas project. We had the usual (for this week) early morning sparrow invasion. No new species today and everyone, it seemed, was on the hunt for Harris’s Sparrow with no luck.

Rather smart American Robin which is actually a thrush unlike a "proper" Robin of the sort we have in the UK!

Rather smart American Robin which is actually a thrush unlike a "proper" Robin of the sort we have in the UK!

Things quietened down so Ian set off on census – only to return for bags and his bike because when he got as far as nets 8 and 9 he found the birds flinging themselves in and we had a busy time for the next hour. Chris turned up and very kindly continued on census for us.  We ringed the 5,000th bird of the Autumn season – a White-throated Sparrow. We ended the morning with 100 birds.

No. ringed today: 100
No. of species today: 18
Ringed so far this season: 5060

Afternoon birding was pretty quiet but plenty of Snow, Canada and Cackling Geese on the fields in the evening. Popped into the ringing room to see if there were any owls, there weren’t but one of the atlas-eers was in there and he’d had Harris’s Sparrow down the ridge during the evening.

Season summary
At end of week 11: 5060 birds
Birds this week: 670
Species so far: 87
Best fall ever: 7390 (in 2006)

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