An integral part of this data collection is provided by the teams of bird banders and we always check in with Kevin Grundy and Ross Dickson before and after our walk. Here are Kevin and Ross busy at their banding station.
By the second half of August many warblers, flycatchers and thrushes are already migrating and several interesting species had just been retrieved from the nets when we arrived, including this Least Flycatcher Empidonx minimus.
The images below of a Northern Waterthrush Parkesia noveboracensis give a much better view of the bird.
None of these birds had any noticeable level of fat deposition, so they will still spend a little more time here before they embark on the final stage of their migratory journey.
For a while I was beginning to question the value of banding in an era when advances like satellite tracking of birds began to deliver such a wealth of information, often with more detail and precision than banding could ever do, and in real time. I mentioned this doubt to Phil Slade, a UK bander with whom I have regular internet contact, and he sent me this link to an article by Ian Newton, surely one of the finest ornithologists Britain has ever produced: http://britishbirds.co.uk/article/bird-ringing-still-necessary/ I think that it is convincing in its endorsement of the value of banding as an ongoing tool and it would make valuable reading for anyone interested in this practice.
While on our walk we saw a couple of Rose-breasted Grosbeaks Pheucticus ludovicianus including this male moulting into its drab winter plumage.
In addition to the birds we encountered this really impressive growth of bracket fungus, the largest I have ever seen. ( My good friend Janet Ozaruk advises that this fungus is Shelving Tooth Climacodon septentrionale. Thanks Janet!)
On Thursdays I monitor another route at rare. I wonder what new species will be found then.