Thursday, September 16, 2010

September 13 - Fall Migration Monitoring

The weather did not look too pleasant at the start of the day, with rain, followed by drizzle lasting until about 830am. But when we were finally able to open the nets, boy were we hit by an amazing fall out of birds! Walking down the pathway to net one and two you could hear chirps and calls coming from every bush, when opening up nets eight and nine I watched a flock of 30 Yellow-rumped Warblers fly off to the east and a constant stream of Orange-crowned and Yellow Warblers flying to the woodlot. We weren't quite sure how busy we'd be, but when we did our first net round and caught about 30 birds we knew it was going to be a busy day. I ended up spending the entire morning at the banding table, so I wasn't able to get the best sense of what was around. But the noise from all the birds around you constantly chirping was quite exciting, and every time I looked up another flock of birds was either arriving at or leaving the woodlot. The corridor of shrubbery along the west side of the woodlot was funneling birds to the north along it all morning, mostly sparrows but warblers and kinglets mixed in as well.

Several interesting or notable birds were seen over the morning. The most unusual was a Dusky Flycatcher, our second bird this fall, which is quite good as there were only two previous records. The first Hermit Thrush of the fall was seen near net one at opening, three Bank Swallows were still seen in the swallow flock, two Townsend's Warblers and five Purple Martins were seen on census, a Western Tanager banded, and the first Common Mergansers of the fall were also seen. High counts of 150+ Orange-crowned Warblers, 300+ Yellow Warblers, 200+ Yellow-rumped Warblers, 150+ Savannah Sparrows and 70+ White-crowned Sparrows were noted.

Our final total was 166 birds caught in just over 3hrs of having our nets open. Its not too often you have a chance to witness an amazing fall out like this, so we were quite thankful that we were able to make it out this morning!

No comments:

Post a Comment