Monthly Archives: October 2017

Waterbird Count – 23 October

Upon reviewing the blog posts at the end of the season it appears that the original numbers I posted for this day were a duplicate of the count on the 22nd, so I’ve come back and edited it with the right set of data.

Redhead – 7

Aythya sp. – 35

Surf Scoter – 13

White-winged Scoter – 3

Long-tailed Duck – 47

Common Merganser – 5

duck sp. – 140

Horned Grebe – 6

Red-necked Grebe – 2

Double-crested Cormorant – 44

Ring-billed Gull – 7

Herring Gull – 2


Other species:

Sharp-shinned Hawk – 1

Bald Eagle – 2

Owl update: rain rain go away…

As October slowly winds down, we have noticed that our nightly average of Saw-whet captures has decreased. This makes sense as the peak movement for Saw-whet migration usually occurs mid-October. That being said, morale is still high here at the station and we are hoping that before the season is up that we can break 300 owls.

On the 21st we were expecting a big night after catching three owls by 8:30, however things slowed down and by the end of the night we only had 8 newly banded birds. The 22nd brought constant rain throughout the day and night and therefore were not able to open. Today also looks like rain may persist throughout the night but we will just have to wait and see. Season totals are as follows:

NSWO: 247



Total: 249 owls

One of our most recent Saw-whets.


Waterbird Count – 22 October

Another quiet day with light south winds and little bird movement. Near the end of the day the wind switched to west and brought rain with it. Hopefully the change will kick some ducks up for the count tomorrow. It was mostly Vultures, crows, and sharp-shins moving today, though a handful of ducks moved through in the morning. Looks to be the last warm day for some time, so I imagine the cold will make for a busier week coming up.

Mallard – 11
White-winged Scoter – 1
Long-tailed Duck – 10
Common Merganser – 6
Red-breasted Merganser – 1
Duck sp. – 20
Red-throated Loon – 1
Horned Grebe – 6
Red-necked Grebe – 1
Double-created Cormorant – 34
Ring-billed Gull – 7
Herring Gull – 1

Other species:
Turkey Vulture – 66
Northern Harrier – 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk – 23
Bald Eagle – 4
Red-tailed Hawk – 1
Blue Jay – 1
American Crow – 121
Red-breasted Nuthatch – 1
Dark-eyes Junco – 1

Waterbird Count – 21 October

Gorgeous weather today at the count, with almost no wind and warm temps. Not too many birds moving with the light south wind, but had decent species diversity nonetheless. Sharp-shins came over in small numbers in the afternoon, harassing the chickadees at the feeder. It was also another good day for Crow movement, with upwards of four hundred coming south throughout the day. The highlights of the day were a pair of Common Goldeneyes and a beautiful female Rough-legged Hawk that crossed over in the afternoon.

Canada Goose – 1
Redhead – 113
Surf Scoter – 1
White-winged Scoter – 11
Common Goldeneye – 2
Common Merganser – 6
Red-breasted Merganser – 6
Duck sp. – 21
Common Loon – 6
Horned Grebe – 6
Red-necked Grebe – 2
Double-crested Cormorant – 31
Ring-billed Gull – 65
Herring Gull – 2

Other species:
Northern Harrier – 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk – 14
Bald Eagle – 1
Rough-legged Hawk – 1
Downy Woodpecker – 2
American Kestrel – 1
American Crow – 444
Common Raven – 1
Black-capped Chickadee – 4
Tufted Titmouse – 2
Red-breasted Nuthatch – 1
White-breasted Nuthatch – 1
American Pipit – 2
Dark-eyes Junco – 1
Monarch Butterfly – 3

Owl Update: Still going strong

A quick update on what has been going on here at the owl banding station. October 17th turned out to be a nice cool, clear night and we were able to net 13 new Saw-whets. Unfortunately on the 18th and 19th we were not able to open due to  heavy winds that never seemed to die down.

After two consecutive nights of no owls or banding both Frances and I entered into a withdrawal over Saw-whets. Lucky for us we got our fix and were able to open on the 20th which brought 11 new Saw-whets and 1 foreign recapture. This puts us at 13 foreign recaptures for the season pretty amazing! We will be open again on the 21st and hope to keep catching more owls as we near the end of October and our season. The season totals are as follows:

NSWO: 239



Total: 241 owls

Stay tuned for what diurnal banding activities have been happening here at the station.

Hawk Count – Oct. 21

Today Ed Pike counted raptors. Tim Reed stopped by on his way to Hawk Ridge. Cloudy with light winds from the southeast becoming almost calm around noon. When the winds calmed and the sun came out for a little while the Red-tails and Sharp-shinned Hawks moved in numbers then around 2 pm the winds picked up a little and they stopped moving. At the end several immature Bald Eagles came south.
Saw one Golden Eagle and another dark morph Red-tailed Hawk today.
Made for a great day of Hawk watching.
Turkey Vulture 22
Golden Eagle 1
N. Harrier 1
sharp-shinned Hawk 53
Bald Eagle 7
Red-tailed Hawk 109
Merlin 1

Monarch Butterfly 5

Waterbird Count – 20 October

Quiet day with light south winds today. It was another good day for crow movement, but little waterbird activity to speak of. Ed mentioned this morning that the Redhead raft is well in place east of the bridge, with what he estimated as approximately 5,000 birds. Several songbirds joined me on the beach today that I haven’t seen much of yet this season, including some juncos, White-breasted Nuthatches, and Lapland Longspurs.

White-winged Scoter – 14
Surf/Black Scoter – 1
Common Merganser – 6
Red-breasted Merganser – 8
Duck sp. – 12
Common Loon – 1
Horned Grebe – 8
Red-necked Grebe – 2
Double-crested Cormorant – 11
Ring-billed Gull – 15
Herring Gull – 1

Other species:
Sharp-shinned Hawk – 5
Downy Woodpecker – 1
American Crow – 373
Black-capped Chickadee – 5
Tufted Titmouse – 2
Red-breasted Nuthatch – 1
White-breasted Nuthatch – 1
Lapland Longspur – 2
Dark-eyed Junco – 1

Waterbird Count – 19 October

Hardcore west winds today made for lots of duck activity and poor visibility with which to identify said ducks. Regardless, a few cool things did come close enough to be identified; most notably American Wigeons, a Black Scoter, and a Tundra Swan lagging behind a group of Mutes.

Canada Goose – 8
Mute Swan – 6
Tundra Swan – 1
American Wigeon – 3
Mallard – 2
Redhead – 22
Aythya sp. – 55
White-winged Scoter – 22
Black Scoter – 1
Surf/Black Scoter – 1
Scoter sp – 12
Long-tailed Duck – 1
Common Merganser – 22
Red-breasted Merganser – 9
Duck sp. – 133
Common Loon – 3
Loon sp – 11
Horned Grebe – 3
Red-necked Grebe – 1
Double-crested Cormorant – 6
Ring-billed Gull – 9
Herring Gull – 2

Other species:
Northern Harrier – 3
Bald Eagle – 2
American Crow – 68


Hawk count – Oct. 20

Ed Pike counted raptors today, which turned out to be a slow day. It was sunny and warm with light winds from the south then the winds switched to the southwest increasing to 8 to 12 mph and switching to the west. Some Sharp-shinned Hawks and Red-tails moved south across the Straits. A dark morph Red-tailed moved south (a different bird due to plumage differences from yesterday). A small group of Turkey Vultures moved south and the rest seemed to go west. 2 Rough-legged Hawks moved south in the early afternoon.

Sat. is predicted to be warm with more south winds which may keep migration slow.
Total Hawks
Turkey Vulture 70
N. Harrier 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk 91
Red-tailed hawk 39
Rough-legged Hawk 2
Am. Kestrel 1

Monarch Butterfly 1

Hawk Count – Oct. 19

Today Ed Pike counted raptor migrating south across the Straits. Steve Baker stopped by to help for 1.5 hrs. Visitors today included Al and Lucy Menk and Jack and Bev Kirby. It was very windy today at the Straits with winds from the west at 15 to 20 gusting to the 30. A large number of Raptors were present but few were crossing. Many nice looks at low flying Red-tails and Sharp-shinned Hawks were had by everyone. Some started across and then turned around coming back north. A dark morph Red-tail was seen again; probably the same one seen returning north yesterday afternoon. A few did manage to cross; totals below.
Turkey Vulture 11
Red-tailed Hawk 11