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Monday, August 29, 2016

Teslin Lake update - August 20, 2016





Lovely pastel-coloured sunrise
The mid-August period was overall a quiet one. Some of our most expected signs of fall, the season first records, were made of Greater White-fronted Goose on the 17th and of Thayer's Gull on the 19th. The highlight was the observatory's first, a long overdue, Great Blue Heron on the 12th when a juvenile bird was spotted walking on the gull island! On the same day the observatory's 3rd ever Western Sandpiper, a juvenile, touched down briefly.

Great Blue Heron on the gull island

The observatory's 2nd Song Sparrow was of one of the dark coastal subspecies
The banding was really quite slow during the period as we only banded 381 birds. It picked up a little towards the end with 84 birds banded on the 18th and 66 on the 19th. The top five for mid-August was  Alder Flycatcher 194, Yellow-rumped Warbler 36, Blackpoll Warbler 33, Yellow Warbler 24, and Orange-crowned Warbler 20. Three new species for the season were caught: Western Wood-Pewee, the observatory's 4th ever banded Townsend's Solitaire on the 19th and a Song Sparrow on the 18th - only the 2nd record for the observatory! The current season top five is as follows: Alder Flycatcher 282, Yellow-rumped Warbler 140, Yellow Warbler 98, Blackpoll Warbler 70, and Wilson's Warbler 46. 

Townsend's Solitaire


Brenna Kelly, undoubtedly our keenest volunteer, holding a pair of White-winged Crossbills

The banding totals as of August 20th (the number in brackets indicates the number banded since the last blog entry):

Sharp-shinned Hawk - 2 (1)
Least Sandpiper - 1
Spotted Sandpiper - 1
Belted Kingfisher - 4
Downy Woodpecker - 1
Northern Flicker - 3
Olive-sided Flycatcher - 1
Western Wood-Pewee - 2 (2)
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher - 10 (3)
Alder Flycatcher - 282 (194)
Least Flycatcher - 5 (1)
Hammond's Flycatcher - 17 (2)
Western Flycatcher - 1
Say's Phoebe - 1
Warbling Vireo - 19 (7)
Black-capped Chickadee - 9 (1)
Boreal Chickadee - 3 (1)
Red-breasted Nuthatch - 3
Golden-crowned Kinglet - 1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet - 9 (3)
Townsend's Solitaire - 1 (1)
Swainson's Thrush - 18 (4)
American Robin - 3
Tennessee Warbler - 9 (2)
Orange-crowned Warbler - 34 (20)
Yellow Warbler - 98 (24)
Yellow-rumped Warbler - 140 (36)
Blackpoll Warbler - 70 (33)
Townsend's Warbler - 2
American Redstart - 13 (4)
Northern Waterthrush - 17 (2)
Common Yellowthroat - 13 (4)
Wilson's Warbler - 46 (9)
Chipping Sparrow - 28 (4)
White-crowned Sparrow - 9 (5)
Dark-eyed Junco - 21 (3)
Savannah Sparrow - 8 (6)
Lincoln's Sparrow - 3 (1)
Song Sparrow - 1 (1)
White-winged Crossbill - 44 (6)
Pine Siskin - 3 (1)

= 956 (381) birds of 41 (3) species


Monday, August 15, 2016

Teslin Lake update - August 10, 2016

Purple sunrise!


The first ten days of August offered some warm temperatures and sunshine combined with pretty mediocre banding. However, we had highlights too biggest one of which was a juvenile Northern Rough-winged Swallow on the 4th that flew a couple of loops around the creek mouth offering great binocular views! Unfortunately no photos were obtained of this exciting first record for TLBO.

Juvenile American Golden-Plover
 Other sightings of interest included a juvenile American Golden-Plover and two early Say's Phoebes on the 3rd, the first good count (55) of Red-necked Grebes on the 4th, three Red-breasted Nuthatches on the 5th, and Red-necked Phalaropes on the 6th (1) and the 7th (3).

Western (Pacific-slope) Flycatcher - the 2nd record for TLBO


The biggest banding highlight was the observatory's second ever Western (Pacific-slope) Flycatcher on the 4th. Other banding highlights included the observatory's first banded Least Sandpiper and the fourth ever banded Olive-sided Flycatcher, both on the 10th!

Juvenile Least Sandpiper
Otherwise banding was steady but rather slow. The total for the period was 323 birds, the top five being Alder Flycatcher 76, Yellow Warbler 42, Yellow-rumped Warbler 41, and Blackpoll and Wilson's Warbler both 24. The current season top six is Yellow-rumped Warbler 104, Alder Flycatcher 88, Yellow Warbler 74, White-winged Crossbill 38, and again both Blackpoll and Wilson's Warbler 37. 

Olive-sided Flycatcher
  
The banding totals as of Aug 10 (the number in brackets indicates the number banded since the last blog entry):

Sharp-shinned Hawk - 1 (1)
Least Sandpiper - 1 (1)
Spotted Sandpiper - 1
Belted Kingfisher - 4 (1)
Downy Woodpecker - 1 (1)
Northern Flicker - 3
Olive-sided Flycatcher - 1 (1)
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher - 7 (5)
Alder Flycatcher - 88 (76)
Least Flycatcher - 4 (2)
Hammond's Flycatcher - 15 (5)
Western Flycatcher - 1 (1)
Say's Phoebe - 1 (1)
Warbling Vireo - 12 (6)
Black-capped Chickadee - 8 (3)
Boreal Chickadee - 2 (1)
Red-breasted Nuthatch - 3 (2)
Golden-crowned Kinglet - 1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet - 6 (1)
Swainson's Thrush - 14 (9)
American Robin - 3 (2)
Tennessee Warbler - 7 (5)
Orange-crowned Warbler - 14 (8)
Yellow Warbler - 74 (42)
Yellow-rumped Warbler - 104 (41)
Blackpoll Warbler - 37 (24)
Townsend's Warbler - 2 (2)
American Redstart - 9 (1)
Northern Waterthrush - 15 (4)
Common Yellowthroat - 9 (4)
Wilson's Warbler - 37 (24)
Chipping Sparrow - 24 (13)
White-crowned Sparrow - 4 (2)
Dark-eyed Junco - 18 (8)
Savannah Sparrow - 2 (2)
Lincoln's Sparrow - 2 (2)
White-winged Crossbill - 38 (22)
Pine Siskin - 2

= 575 (323) birds of 38 (9) species


Big hornet nest near net #2

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