Monday, April 20, 2009

Bird Migration Week 4

Ann retrieving a Sparrow from the mist net
Saturday was absolutely glorious with perfect weather for our class and the Hawk Festival. We met at Vista 2 but didn't spend much time there because it was the first day of trout season so the bay had more fishermen and boats than waterfowl. So our first stop was at the Niagara Boat Launch to check out the banding station. Sarah and the girls started banding this week so I finally got to meet Ann and Andrea the new interns for the season. This was the first time for most of the students to see mist nets and how the birds are caught and retrieved from the nets. I was excited for them seeing this for the first time.

Our next stop was the Great Horned owl nest and we think we saw a little head popping up. I'm sure we will get a better look next week. While at the Owl nest a Pileated woodpecker flew by and landed briefly in a distant tree. Now it was my turn to jump for joy because I have never seen a Pileated woodpecker before. Check one more bird off my life list.

Phoebe at Pine Tree trail
Yellow-rumped Warbler at Pine Tree trail (wanted you to see the yellow patch on the head)
We then headed for Pine Tree Trail where we saw several Phoebes, Yellow-rumped Warblers, Gold Crown Kinglets and Ruby Crowned Kinglets.

Mourning Cloak at Fry's Landing
Next was beach 11 to check out some remaining waterfowl and we also spotted Savannah Sparrows. Jerry and the rest of the class headed for the TREC for the Hawk Festival while I and three others decided to check out fry's landing. I am so glad we did because I spotted my first butterfly of the season. I had read on some blogs that the Mourning Cloaks were out and I danced as I saw one flitter by and land on a White Birch Tree. I posted my sketch of the Mourning Cloak on a group blog Sketching in Nature and on my blog next.

Here is our bird list from Saturday minus the Hawk Watch which you can get here and I updated that list to show the actual counts.

Canada Goose--several throughout
Wood Duck-- a pair in a tree next to the banding station
Gadwall--a few in Thompson Bay
American Wigeon--a few in Thompson Bay
Mallard--at least a couple off beach 11
Lesser Scaup--several off beach 11
Bufflehead--many off beach 11
Red-breasted Merganser--many off beach 11
Double-crested Cormorant--many at Gull Point
Great Blue Heron--four near the Great Horned Owls nest
American Coot--many in Thompson Bay
Ring-billed Gull--a few at various sites
Herring Gull--a few at various sites
Caspian Tern--at least a couple over Thompson Bay
Mourning Dove--a few at various sites
Great Horned Owl--one on the nest
Belted Kingfisher--one heard
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker--one at Fry's landing, seen by some of the class
Downy Woodpecker--a couple heard doing their territorial drumming
Northern Flicker--common everywhere
Pileated Woodpecker--one near the Great Horned Owls nest
Eastern Phoebe--three or four on Pine Tree trail
Blue Jay--a couple at beach 11 parking lot area
American Crow--several everywhere
Black-capped Chickadee--a couple on Pine Tree Trail
White-breasted Nuthatch--one near the Great Horned Owls nest
Brown Creeper--one on Pine Tree trail
Winter Wren--one heard singing along Pine Tree Trail
Golden-crowned Kinglet--a few on Pine Tree Trail
Ruby-crowned Kinglet--a few on Pine Tree Trail
American Robin--a few at various sites
European Starling--a few overhead at various sites
Yellow-rumped Warbler--a few along Pine Tree trail
Eastern Towhee--one heard along Pine Tree Trail and one at Fry's landing
Chipping Sparrow--five or six in beach 11 parking lot
Dark-eyed Junco--several at Beach 11 parking lot
Song Sparrow--several at various sites
Red-winged Blackbird--many around
Common Grackle--many around, especially overhead
Brown-headed Cowbird--a few mixed in blackbird flocks
Purple Finch--one on Pine tree Trail
Pine Siskin--8 or 10 on Pine Tree Trail

Jerry McWilliams (Instructor)

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