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Saturday, October 5, 2013

Teslin Lake update - September 30

In September Yukon turns Yellow!
The last third of September was very quiet time with the nets - even when we could operate them. The weather was very unsettled with lots of rain and especially wind, and on many days we had the nets open for just an hour or so and usually not all the nets either. As a result, only 107 birds were banded. 35 of those were Dark-eyed Juncos and 30 Ruby-crowned Kinglets. A Hammond's Flycatcher on the 23rd and an Alder Flycatcher on the 25th were both a little bit on the late side.
 
Most of the Bald Eagles seen as part of the record flights were immatures of various ages

One of the 51 Peregrine Falcons seen this season (a juvenile)

Ospreys were seen on most days but usually in small numbers
No rare or even uncommon birds were seen but there was lots of action in the sky especially early in the period. Most of the good flights were those of raptors. On the 21st 149 raptors were seen including a new observatory day-record of 30 Bald Eagles. The next day the raptor tally was 278 this time including 185 Sharp-shinned Hawks which also was a new day-record. Luckily most of the raptor movement was in the afternoon since in the morning we were almost overwhelmed by the flight of American Robins and other passerines. A total count for Robin/Varied Thrush (about 90% Robins) was 5900! 1700 other passerines, including identifications of 85 Bohemian Waxwings, 164 Rusty Blackbirds and 67 Pine Siskins, were also tallied and as if that wasn't enough somewhere in between we noticed almost 400 Canada Geese fly by. On the 23rd we counted 125 raptors, 800 Robins and 156 Rusty Blackbirds but the day will really be remembered from its 1025 Pacific Loons - a count far exceeding the previous record. A cold and strong northwest wind was blowing on the 24th and it brought another 253 raptors with it. Bald Eagles reached the count of 30 again while other good tallies included 118 Sharp-shinned Hawks and 46 Red-tailed Hawks. The day was also the first one of the fall with some swan movement (200) and two nice flocks of Snow Geese totalling 116 birds were seen as well. All this activity was followed by five days of pretty much complete nothingness until on the 30th birds were moving again. That day 280 raptors, including 44 Golden Eagles, 112 Sharp-shinned Hawks and 22 Rough-legged Hawks, were counted. Other big birds spotted heading south included 400 Tundra Swans and 111 Sandhill Cranes.


Pacific Loons, Pacific Loons!!

A flock of Snow Geese approaching
A small flock of Sandhill Cranes passing overhead


This late Townsend's Warbler on the 25th almost managed to slip by without being documented

On the morning of the 30th bear tracks led from the creek mouth through the banding site. This present was left at net #18!

Donald (R), a Scottish traveller, loved the site so that he spent two days with us. He had a wish list of two species, Golden Eagle and Peregrine Falcon, and he got to see both!
 
On the 28th we all headed to Whitehorse for the SOYBO annual get-together. It was a great party and thanks for Ted and Hollie for hosting it. The next morning we brought Abril to the airport and said good byes before heading back to TLBO. Thank you Abril for yet another great season!

The loony loon counter

Banding totals as of Sept 30 (the # banded since the last update in brackets):
 
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 6 (2)
Solitary Sandpiper - 2
Spotted Sandpiper - 1
Belted Kingfisher - 2
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker - 1
American Three-toed Woodpecker - 1
Northern Flicker - 3
Western Wood-Pewee - 4
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher - 11
Alder Flycatcher - 770 (1)
Least Flycatcher - 6
Hammond's Flycatcher - 12 (1)
Dusky Flycatcher - 3
Northern Shrike - 1
Warbling Vireo - 48
Black-capped Chickadee -31 (3)
Boreal Chickadee - 13
Red-breasted Nuthatch -6
Golden-crowned Kinglet - 1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet - 107 (30)
Gray-cheeked Thrush - 1
Swainson's Thrush - 55
Hermit Thrush - 1
American Robin - 4
Varied Thrush - 5
American Pipit - 2
Cedar Waxwing - 8
Tennessee Warbler - 1
Orange-crowned Warbler - 115 (6)
Yellow Warbler - 330 (3)
Magnolia Warbler - 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler - 150 (6)
Townsend's Warbler - 7
Blackpoll Warbler - 87
American Redstart - 33
Northern Waterthrush - 44
MacGillivray's Warbler - 1
Common Yellowthroat - 64
Wilson's Warbler - 115 (11)
American Tree Sparrow - 8 (2)
Chipping Sparrow - 20
Savannah Sparrow - 18 (2)
Fox Sparrow - 6 (1)
Lincoln's Sparrow - 9
White-crowned Sparrow - 16
Golden-crowned Sparrow - 1
Dark-eyed Junco - 321 (35)
Rusty Blackbird - 8 (3)
Purple Finch - 1
White-winged Crossbill - 3
Pine Siskin - 8
= 2473 (107) birds, 51 species

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