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Saturday, September 17, 2016

Teslin Lake update - September 10, 2016

Cool clouds at sunrise


The first ten days of September offered a lot of exciting birding and banding. Pretty much every day there were sightings of interest and good southward movement of various species. The main movement of Greater White-fronted Geese happened on Sep 1 when we tallied over 1600 of them, actually a low number for a peak for them.  Also a Swainson's Hawk was seen that day. The first signs of raptor migration occured during the next two days with a few tens of both Sharp-shinned and Harlan's Hawks seen. More impressive was the flight of Yellow-rumped Warblers on Sep 3 with 225 of them identified and a further over a thousand unidentified passerines counted flying past TLBO. Lapland Longspur and Three-toed Woodpecker that day were both new for the season. On Sep 4 the season firsts Sanderling and Long-billed Dowitcher were noticed while a group of three Golden-crowned Kinglets at the tip was unusual. The same day we counted 75 Rusty Blackbirds. On Sep 5 we had two season firsts - Hairy Woodpecker and Black-billed Magpie.

A group of Harlequin Ducks, an uncommon sight at TLBO

Juvenile Sharp-tailed Sandpiper - a new species for TLBO!
In the other end of the migration spectrum, a Bank Swallow on Sep 6 was quite late and likely the last sighting of the season. Also that day over 1800 passerines were counted flying by including 280 Varied Thrush, 180 Yellow-rumped Warblers and 110 White-winged Crossbills plus plenty of unidentifieds. The season first Golden Eagle was seen on Sep 7. Sep 8 was the day of quality as first a group of four Harlequin Ducks was spotted followed by juvenile Sharp-tailed Sandpiper - a new species for the observatory! Finally, the period had a great ending with a really nice flight of over 400 Sandhill Cranes and over 650 raptors on Sep 10! The raptors were a good selection of most common Yukon species and included the following - Harlan's Hawk 368, Sharp-shinned Hawk 141, Northern Harrier 54, American Kestrel 38, Bald Eagle 14, Osprey 13, Peregrine Falcon 10, Merlin 9, Golden Eagle 8 and the season first Rough-legged Hawk one. 

The first Hermit Thrush of the season

We banded three Downy Woodpeckers early September - a high count for us

Banding was really quite busy as we banded  847 birds in nine mornings (Sep 10 was a rain day). Each of the first four days of the period had over 100 birds banded, including 207 on the 1st. We had no particularly rare or uncommon birds but two season firsts - Grey-cheeked Thrush on Sep 1 and Hermit Thrush on Sep 8. Both Yellow-bellied Flycatcher and Orange-crowned Warbler reached a new season record. The period top five was Yellow Warbler 209, Orange-crowned Warbler 179, Wilson's Warbler 117, Dark-eyed Junco 92, and Alder Flycatcher 78. The current season top five is Alder Flycatcher 494, Yellow Warbler 443, Orange-crowned Warbler 342, Yellow-rumped Warbler 249, and Wilson's Warbler 163.

Orange-crowned Warbler reached a new season record in early September. This bird is a young female showing a rare greater covert molt limit (this info for the bird nerds)

The banding totals as of September 10th (the number in brackets indicates the number banded since the last blog entry):

Sharp-shinned Hawk - 8 (3)
Merlin - 1
Least Sandpiper - 1
Spotted Sandpiper - 1
Wilson's Snipe - 1
Belted Kingfisher - 4
Downy Woodpecker - 4 (3)
Northern Flicker - 3
Olive-sided Flycatcher - 1
Western Wood-Pewee - 3 (1)
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher - 16 (3)
Alder Flycatcher - 494 (78)
Least Flycatcher - 7
Hammond's Flycatcher - 18 (1)
Western Flycatcher - 1
Say's Phoebe - 2 (1)
Warbling Vireo - 23 (1)
Black-capped Chickadee - 13 (1)
Boreal Chickadee - 23 (18)
Red-breasted Nuthatch - 3
Golden-crowned Kinglet - 1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet - 50 (30)
Townsend's Solitaire - 2
Gray-cheeked Thrush - 7 (7)
Swainson's Thrush - 80 (42)
Hermit Thrush - 1 (1)
American Robin - 3
Tennessee Warbler - 13 (1)
Orange-crowned Warbler - 342 (179)
Yellow Warbler - 443 (209)
Yellow-rumped Warbler - 249 (48)
Blackpoll Warbler - 130 (22)
Townsend's Warbler - 2
American Redstart - 15 (1)
Northern Waterthrush - 34 (10)
Common Yellowthroat - 51 (20)
Wilson's Warbler - 163 (117)
American Tree Sparrow - 13 (12)
Chipping Sparrow - 31
Fox Sparrow - 6 (3)
White-crowned Sparrow - 15 (2)
Dark-eyed Junco - 133 (92)
Savannah Sparrow - 16 (4)
Lincoln's Sparrow - 11 (3)
Song Sparrow - 1
Rusty Blackbird - 5 (2)
White-winged Crossbill - 46
Pine Siskin - 3

= 2493 (847) birds of 48 (2) species


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