Hi all and welcome back to the TLBO blog! After two days setup it was great to get back into the action and get our hands on some birds again. As always we were greeted upon arrival at 5:45am at the station with the spectacular view of the Niut range that lords over the west slope of the valley.
Opening round was quiet in the nets although we could hear birds in the bushes; an Alder Flycatcher calling free-bEER, Northern Waterthrush peek!, and a short snatch of a Yellow Warblers song. A Cedar Waxwing was on its nest less than 2m from net 18. Yesterday there were 3 very naked young and one egg. These guys nest later than most other songbirds in order to coincide with berry crops (here at TLBO that typically means Saskatoons).
As the sun crested over the rolling Potato range I set off on the morning census leaving Morgan to run the station. Every morning, 1.75hrs after sunrise between now and Sept. 28 (barring truly atrocious weather) we will complete this one hour bird census along a route that takes us from the station down to the northeast corner of the lake. En route we pass through aspen groves and Lodgepole Pine stands, brushy areas and open fields and along the edge of wetlands and a couple ponds giving us a sample of more or less every habitat type within the boundaries of the bird observatory.
This particular morning was quite active with 32 species encountered including our emblem bird the Clark’s Nutcracker, Cassin’s Vireo and two juv. Wood Ducks, the latter not a regular species here with only 3 previous records.
I arrived back at the station just in time for things to pick up as Morgan came back with 7 birds including a fine looking Cedar Waxwing!
Of particular note from this morning was our biggest day for American Redstarts that I can recall with 10 banded, well on our way to the record 85 banded in 2011. Activity remained decent right up until closing and we finished with 36 birds banded, not a bad day 1! After closing all the nets we set up one of our three new raptor nets. For those familiar with the net arrangement here we put it behind nets 12 and 17 near the river as this is an area that frequently gets Sharp-shinned Hawks hunting low through the aspen/willow. We’re looking forward to testing it out tomorrow!
As always, thanks for keeping up with the going-ons here at TLBO and we look forward to your comments and questions!
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