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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Teslin Lake update - August 15

Alder Flycatcher
During the period of August 11th to 15th, the weather was mostly simply wonderful. A few mornings were a tad on the cool side (+3) but we had almost no wind and lots of sun. It was a real treat to be banding birds under those conditions and there was plenty to band! Each day, except for the 15th, we banded over 100 birds with a high tally of 156 on the 11th. A total of 565 birds (0.838 birds/net hr) were banded and a vast majority (410) of them were Alder Flycatchers including 120 on the 11th! Yellow Warbler (51), Northern Waterthrush (18), Blackpoll and Wilson’s Warbler (17 of each) rounded up the top five for the period. This brought the season total to 930 birds (0.337 birds/net hr) banded of 36 species. The current season top five is Alder Flycatcher 513 (astonishing 55% of the current season catch!!), Yellow Warbler 85, Dark-eyed Junco 51, Blackpoll Warbler 49 and Northern Waterthrush 35. New species for the season this period were Varied Thrush on the 11th, Least Flycatcher on the 12th, White-crowned Sparrow on the 14th and Magnolia Warbler on the 15th. The banding highlights were three Yellow-bellied Flycatchers and two Red-breasted Nuthatches on the 12th, and of course the hatch-year Magnolia Warbler, which is only the second record for Teslin area, on the 15th.

Young Magnolia Warbler - our rarity of the week!
As the Alder Flycatcher movement was so strong there wasn’t much time for other migration monitoring besides banding. A few flocks of Greater White-fronted Geese were seen including one of 178 birds. There was also a good number of White-winged Crossbills on the move with a high count of 90 on the 12th. Most of the raptor sightings consisted of local Bald Eagles and Red-tailed Hawks. A Merlin was seen patrolling the shoreline for passerines and Spotted Sandpipers and the male of the “Ten Mile Creek Valley” Northern Goshawk pair appeared above the trees on a couple of occasions. The season 1st Peregrine Falcon sat atop of the highest rock of the gull island for a couple of hours on the 12th causing havoc among the gulls and excitement among the TLBO staff. All the regular Loon and Grebe species were seen with increasing frequency and numbers although the numbers were still rather low. Arctic Terns and Bonaparte’s Gulls have all but gone while juvenile Mew and Herring Gulls are frequenting the recently emerged sandbar by the creek mouth. The same area has also attracted a few Semipalmated Plovers and Least Sandpipers while Solitary Sandpipers have preferred the pond. Other season 1st‘s included a White-winged Scoter on the 12th and a Townsend’s Solitaire on the 13th.

Merlin patrolling the shoreline pre-dawn

Specklebellies coming!!!

Aug 15 view north - notice more exposed shoreline than 2 weeks ago

The complete list of birds banded at TLBO this season by Aug 15th (last five days in brackets):

Sharp-shinned Hawk – 6 (2)
Merlin – 1
Solitary Sandpiper – 3
Belted Kingfisher – 2 (1)
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker – 1
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher –8 (4)
Alder Flycatcher – 513 (410)
Least Flycatcher – 1 (1)
Hammond’s Flycatcher – 2
Dusky Flycatcher – 1
Warbling Vireo – 13
Black-capped Chickadee – 10 (2)
Boreal Chickadee – 4 (2)
Red-breasted Nuthatch – 4 (2)
Ruby-crowned Kinglet – 5 (1)
Swainson’s Thrush – 15 (4)
Varied Thrush – 1 (1)
Tennessee Warbler – 1
Orange-crowned Warbler – 11 (5)
Yellow Warbler – 85 (51)
Magnolia Warbler – 1 (1)
Yellow-rumped Warbler – 26 (8)
Blackpoll Warbler – 49 (17)
American Redstart – 15
Northern Waterthrush – 35 (18)
Common Yellowthroat – 7 (4)
Wilson’s Warbler – 27 (17)
Chipping Sparrow – 13 (3)
Savannah Sparrow – 6 (3)
Lincoln’s Sparrow – 2
White-crowned Sparrow – 1 (1)
Dark-eyed Junco – 51 (7)
Purple Finch – 2
White-winged Crossbill – 2
Common Redpoll – 3
Pine Siskin – 3
= 930 birds - 36 species - 0.337 birds/net hr (565 birds - 23 species – 0.838 birds/net hr)

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