Monday, September 6, 2010

September 4 - Fall Migration Monitoring

It was a good ole fashion gusty day down at Iona. No nets were opened today with winds gusting up to 60 km/hr. We probably wouldn't have caught much either as most birds appeared to have hunkered down to wait out the storm.

I took this opportunity to walk out to the end of the south jetty to see what birds may be blown in by the westerly winds. With the tide out most of the birds were concentrated at the far end, however a few Caspian Terns, Great Blue Herons and a Spotted Sandpiper were seen en route. Once out at the tip I stationed myself against the side railing and began scanning the horizon for anything 'unusual'. It didn't take too long before two light morph adult Parasitic Jaegers came gliding in on the wind. Shortly afterward two dark morph adult Parasitic Jaegers also were seen flying by but this time closer to the water and harder to pick out. One thing that did stand out for when comparing the jaegers to the gulls was how much the jaegers used the wind when flying. Whereas most of the gulls appeared to have more difficulty with it and were having to flap more frequently and harder. Other notable birds seen were a Common Tern, several Common Loons, and a pair of White-winged Scoters flying by.

Now lets hope for a couple of calmer days so we can open the nets.

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