October 11th – 20th, 2012
Migration activity was up-and-down at the Point from October 11th – 20th due in part to persistent southwest winds and some rainy days towards the end of the summary period. At the same time, the PIBO crew enjoyed a few busy mornings following some north winds on the 12th and 16th. In all, 75 species were recorded over ten days and 392 birds of twenty-nine species were captured in in 321 net-hours, for an average catch-rate of 1.22 birds/net-hour. Seven fall ‘firsts’ were noted including Common Loon, Wilson’s Snipe, Eastern Bluebird, Field Sparrow, Vesper Sparrow, and Pine Siskin.
A quiet start to the summary period on October 11th was followed by an active morning on the 12th, with 54 species tallied on the day including 123 Yellow-rumped Warblers, 63 Golden-crowned Kinglets, 20 Hermit Thrushes, 4 warbler species, and a late Rose-breasted Grosbeak. Sixty-eight birds of fourteen species were banded. The 13th was busy as well – 52 species were noted during the official count period and 115 individuals of sixteen species were captured. Highlights included a station-high 88 Pine Siskins on census, 5 raptor species, 110 Yellow-rumps (50 banded), 158 kinglets of both species, and eight sparrow species.
The wind returned to the south and there was little to report on October 14th and 15th apart from moderate numbers of Blue Jays (155) and 5 Blue-headed Vireos on the 14th, and a few Fox Sparrows and a Peregrine Falcon on the 15th. The winds veered back to the north on the evening of the 15th, however, which produced a significant fallout of birds the next morning. In all, 51 species were documented in the official count area and 154 birds of sixteen species were banded in 45 net-hours (3.42 birds/net-hour). Yellow-rumped Warblers were active, with 223 individuals recorded on the day, including 71 banded, followed by good numbers of American Crows (142), Golden-crowned Kinglets (139), White-throated Sparrows (84), Ruby-crowned Kinglets (45), Hermit Thrushes (44, including 31 banded), and Winter Wrens (25). Blackbird numbers started to build as well, with up to 4000 individuals tallied heading south off the tip, including 3222 Red-winged Blackbirds. Nine sparrow species were documented on the 90-minute census.
The weather took a turn for the worse on October 17th and strong south and southeast winds put a damper on migration activity right through to the end of the summary period. Steady rain on three of the four days didn’t help. Nevertheless, a moderate number of birds continued filtering through the area each day, with another Peregrine Falcon spotted on the 17th along with small numbers of kinglets, Red-breasted Nuthatches, creepers, and Winter Wrens on October 18th. The 19th saw an exception to the rather low-key pace when a station-high 508 American Robins were counted flying south on census along with 13 Greater Yellowlegs. The final day of coverage was uneventful apart from 3 Eastern Screech-Owls banded during the first of PIBO’s four public owling nights.
PIBO’s next summary will be posted on November 3rd.
Photo: Sumiko Onishi