Monday, September 13, 2010

September 10 - Fall Migration Monitoring

Mid-September seems to be the time for diversity. Early migrants such as Common Nighthawk, Willow Flycatcher and Wilson's Warbler were still being seen, albeit in low numbers. Late season migrants are also showing up in increasing numbers, such as White-crowned Sparrows, Pacific Wren, and Golden-crowned Kinglets. Today recapture numbers were up and it looks like the island may be a good stopover location for Yellow Warblers, but also Common Yellowthroats. It is interesting that we seem to be re-catching few Lincoln's Sparrows, Orange-crowned and Wilson's Warblers. It could be that the habitat isn't quite as appropriate for them, but its hard to say as its still the first season. There has also been small numbers of Bank Swallows present since mid-August, it would be nice to know if those have been the same birds or new ones constantly cycling through.

Speaking of swallows, more Purple Martins were seen today, but its tough to say where exactly they are from. There are few (but an increasing number) of colonies in BC and it seems like most of the birds in the Vancouver area have moved on further south, so perhaps these are from further north or just the last few lingerers from the local colonies.

Pectoral Sandpipers are increasing in number, but there has yet to be any Sharp-tailed Sandpipers found. This is the start of Sharp-tailed season, which typically lasts through mid-October. Checking the sewage lagoons at Iona is one of the best spots in North America for finding this Eurasian shorebird. So perhaps one of these days a lucky volunteer may spot one!

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