13 and 14 May 2017
Due to a prior commitment to lead a walk for the Bridgeport Neighbourhood Association at Bechtel Park I was unable to make it out to the mist nets on Saturday, but Kevin, Heather and Daina were there to handle everything so all went off as planned. In fact they had a great day with a variety of species reflecting the diversity of spring migration.
I have been trying to photograph every species that we trap in our nets so Daina remembered to photograph some of the recoveries on Saturday.
|Palm Warbler ("Western" race)|
We all assembled a little before 06:00h on Sunday morning and were delighted to be joined by Daina's young sister, Nicole, who got out of bed early in order to visit our mist nets at SpruceHaven. Kudos to Daina for bringing her and to Nicole for coming.
|Kevin, Nicole, Daina, Heather|
One of our first capture was a Wilson's Warbler Cardellina pusilla, shown here with its band securely attached.
Nicole did the round of the nets with us each time and we asked her if she would like to record one of the birds. Under careful directions from her big sister, Daina, she made her entry into the records.
And looked pretty satisfied with herself when it was all done!
An adult White-crowned Sparrow Zonotrichia leucophrys was captured, probably right around the end of this species' spring migration through southern Ontario.
Daina took over the scribing duties for a while.
Unlike Saturday we did not trap many birds, but a new species for the year was a Lincoln's Sparrow Melospiza lincolnii.
It had been very satisfying on Saturday to capture two Ovenbirds Seiurus aurocapilla and we were happy to net another one on Sunday.
As I post these pictures I am starting to wonder how many times Kevin's hands have appeared on the internet!
This Common Grackle Quisculus quiscula let Kevin know it was not happy until he released it.
The iridescence on this species imparts a beautiful quality to its plumage and when seen strutting in sunlight it is magical to watch the constant change of hues.
Grey Catbird Dumatella carolinensis is quite common from spring through fall and no doubt breeds at SpruceHaven. We just haven't located the nest.
Perhaps Kevin and Heather were checking the finer points of identification or aging as it relates to Grey Catbirds; in any event they were engrossed over some detail or other.
Our final bird of the day was a Common Starling Sturnus vulgaris, a non native species which is a problem bird, as it aggressively drives out native cavity-nesting species from suitable nest sites. It is implicated in the serious decline of some of these species.
In keeping with its feisty nature it screamed at Kevin the whole time it was in his hand.
We might have hoped for a little more active morning so that Nicole could have seen a wider range of species, but we had to close the nets early as the wind picked up substantially. Perhaps she will come out again.
All species 14 May: Grey Catbird (1), Common Starling (1), American Robin (1), Ovenbird (1), Wilson's Warbler (1), Song Sparrow (1), Lincoln's Sparrow (1), White-crowned Sparrow (1).