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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Teslin Lake update - July 31 2016





The Teslin Lake Bird Observatory opened for the fall season on the 25th of July. The site was unusually dry as the lake water level is lower than on any other year at the time of the season opening. That, of course, is due to the very low snow pack this past winter.


This Rufous Hummingbird was only the second sighting of the species at the observatory

 As one can expect, most of the birds seen at the observatory are local or nearby nesters and their off-spring. Common species include Yellow,  Yellow-rumped and Blackpoll Warbler, Black-capped Chickadee, Warbling Vireo, and this year White-winged Crossbill which have had a great summer in the Yukon and are everywhere! The early part of the season is usually slow with migration and exciting observations but we did have one exception - the observatory's second ever Rufous Hummingbird was first seen on the 27th and then caught on the 29th! Other notable sightings include 33 Bohemian Waxwings on Jul 26 (high count this early), 58 Arctic Terns and a Red-winged Blackbird on Jul 28 and a migrating flock of 37 adult Mew Gulls on Jul 30.

A pair of White-winged Crossbills

An adult Yellow-bellied Flycatcher was a nice surprise as we usually only get young ones

The banding season has started very well and our season total in the end of July was 252 birds - the second highest for the date in the observatory's history! The banding top five is as follows: Yellow-rumped Warbler 63, Yellow Warbler 32, White-winged Crossbill 16, Blackpoll Warbler 13 and Wilson's Warbler 13. We've also caught unusually high number of Hammond's Flycatchers and Orange-crowned Warblers for the time of the year. Some of our banding highlights include a Spotted Sandpiper and a  very early Golden-crowned Kinglet on Jul 25, an adult Yellow-bellied Flycatcher and a Red-breasted Nuthatch, White-crowned Sparrow and Pine Siskin, all early captures for the site even if they nest nearby, on Jul 27, and three Northern Flickers on Jul 31. 

Three Northern Flickers - they make deafening racket to the extent it feels one's head is pulsating when they scream!!


The banding totals as of July 31:

Spotted Sandpiper - 1
Belted Kingfisher - 3
Northern Flicker - 3
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher - 2
Alder Flycatcher - 12
Least Flycatcher - 2
Hammond's Flycatcher - 10
Warbling Vireo - 6
Black-capped Chickadee - 5
Boreal Chickadee - 1
Red-breasted Nuthatch - 1
Golden-crowned Kinglet - 1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet - 5
Swainson's Thrush - 5
American Robin - 1
Tennessee Warbler - 2
Orange-crowned Warbler - 6
Yellow Warbler - 32
Yellow-rumped Warbler - 63
Blackpoll Warbler - 13
American Redstart - 8
Northern Waterthrush - 11
Common Yellowthroat - 5
Wilson's Warbler - 13
Chipping Sparrow - 11
White-crowned Sparrow - 2
Dark-eyed Junco - 10
White-winged Crossbill - 16
Pine Siskin - 2

= 252 birds of 29 species


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