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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Update from Teslin Lake - July 23 to 31, 2012

As July turns into August it is still summer at Teslin Lake. Very few birds are on the move and both the nets and the banders are eagerly waiting for the busier times. The station opened on July 23rd and by the end of the month 144 birds of 23 species had been banded for just 0.135 birds/net hr. The current top three looks as follows: Dark-eyed Junco 33, Alder Flycatcher 17 and Yellow Warbler 15. Most of the birds caught are local breeders and their offspring but adult Alder Flycatchers have clearly started moving already. Other birds caught that don’t nest at the site include Sharp-shinned Hawk, Solitary Sandpiper, Hammond’s Flycatcher, Blackpoll Warbler and Chipping and Savannah Sparrow. The two most surprising birds banded so far, a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker and a Common Redpoll, have both been presumably fairly local juveniles. While the sapsucker is a common nesting bird in the area it has over the years been a mysteriously rare sight right at TLBO.

On the lake the three common species of Loons have been seen in small numbers alongside a few Mergansers and locally nesting Herring Gulls. Bald Eagles and Spotted Sandpipers have been present almost daily and several Solitary Sandpipers have stopped in the pond. So far the only passerines overhead have been a few small flocks of both White-winged and Red Crossbills. A Western Tanager was noticed on the 29th.

At the start of the season the lake was very high but with the help of nice, sunny and warm (up to +27°C), weather it has been coming down for a rate faster than 5cm/day and at the moment we are only one net short of the full set-up. Pretty soon one may not even need rubber boots for completing the net run...

Even though the season has just begun many individuals have already been working and helping at the observatory. Ben Schonewille did the set-up and Ted Murphy-Kelly acted as the bander-in-charge for several days in the absence of yours truly. The Jordan family, visiting from Finland, played a major part in setting up the canopy net and Y2C2 crew Veronica Huggard, Marie Boucher and Will Parker spent two days clearing net lanes and trails. Thank you all!


The full list of birds banded at TLBO this season (Jul 23-31):

Sharp-shinned Hawk – 1
Solitary Sandpiper – 3
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker – 1
Alder Flycatcher – 17
Hammond’s Flycatcher – 2
Warbling Vireo – 10
Black-capped Chickadee – 8
Boreal Chickadee – 2
Ruby-crowned Kinglet – 2
Swainson’s Thrush – 5
Orange-crowned Warbler – 1
Yellow Warbler – 15
Yellow-rumped Warbler – 11
Blackpoll Warbler – 10
American Redstart – 9
Northern Waterthrush – 3
Chipping Sparrow – 2
Savanah Sparrow – 2
Lincoln’s Sparrow – 1
Dark-eyed Junco – 33
Purple Finch – 2
Common Redpoll – 1
Pine Siskin – 3
= 144 birds / 23 species

Y2C2 crew Will, Veronica and Marie. Still smiling after two days at TLBO - must be a great place !

The lakeshore looking north as of August 1st.

Capture of the week - Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

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