September 27th – “Summer” Is Drawing To A Close

This was the last day of the protracted Summer we’ve been experiencing. It was hot early but a wind picked up halfway through the morning, cooling things off, and then some heavy cloud rolled in, which helped even further. Tomorrow could be a very different day….or not (I’m giving up on predicting…..).

Ruby-crowned Kinglets are beginning to percolate through Ruthven. -NRF

At Ruthven: Anticipating a Change
Despite the lower temperatures, it was still a hot/hazy day for the end of
September. Once again, a slow day for the number of birds handled but, I
was happy to have a few birds for a banding program with a lovely group of
seniors. Large numbers of Cedar Waxwings and Red-winged Blackbirds were
observed today. Other birds of interest included one Yellow-throated
Vireo, one Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, nine Tree Swallows, and a number of
White-throated Sparrows singing.

With the change in the weather forecast for tomorrow we anticipate a
change in temperature and movement of birds.

Banded 26
1 House Wren
1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
1 American Robin
14 Cedar Waxwings
2 American Robins
2 Common Yellowthroats
2 Northern Cardinals
2 Song Sparrows
1 White-throated Sparrow

ET’S: 38 species

Katherine demonstrating to a pretty keen audience.

At Fern Hill Oakville:
Something has happened to our chickadees. In the first half of the year, we had a large population of them coming to our feeders. And they brought a good number of other species with them. But since the return of school in September we have not seen a single chickadee at the feeders and only one or two in the far reaches of the bordering forest. This is highly unusual. I’m wondering if they have been hit by West Nile or some other avian malady. The result is that we are not seeing many birds in the feeder area, which is the “wildest” part of the campus and, consequently, are catching numbers are down. Still we did manage to get our first Dark-eyed Junco of the season – surely Winter can’t be far behind!! I must say that I’m looking forward to cooler temperatures.

Harbinger of Winter: the first Dark-eyed Junco of the season (an older female).

Blue Jays were on the move all morning across the campus on a broad front, usually in 1’s or 2’s, although I did see a small flock of 9. Also, Monarch Butterflies were quite noticeable, even though the 44 tallied doesn’t compare to the 330 we saw last Monday or the 189 on Friday. Still, it’s nice to see them in good numbers.

Banded 5:
1 Chipping Sparrow
3 Song Sparrows
1 Dark-eyed Junco

A young Chipping Sparrow, getting ready to head south.

ET’s: 30 spp.
More photos:

The Grade 3’s releasing a Song Sparrow. -KAP

One of 6 Song Sparrows caught today. -KAP

Need some help here: what is the name of this intriguing fungus?


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