CHIP FMM: September 8th –September 15th
By the second week of September bird activity picked up; we had mixed Sparrow flocks moving through and large flocks of Yellow-rumped Warblers. The Sparrow groups mainly consisted of Lincoln’s Sparrows, White-crowned Sparrows, Song Sparrows and the newly arrived White-throated Sparrows. Chipping sparrow and Clay-colored sparrow numbers seemed to increase and we saw large groups of Chippings in the Spruce trees on our census walks. Pine Siskins and White-winged crossbills returned to the station in large numbers but the Red crossbills seem to have moved on to another area. The leaves on the Balsam Poplars were beginning to turn and fall, the winds in the park continued to pick up and we had a few cold fronts move through bringing large groups of “Myrtle” Warblers to the station. We had mornings that we caught more than 50 birds before 10am. The “Myrtle” Warblers are very vocal and their numbers continued to grow throughout the week. We saw and banded quite a few Orange-crowned warblers and Wilson’s Warblers but rarely caught Yellow Warblers. The Common Yellowthroats remain at the station and seem to enjoy the marshy area in the yellowing Cat tails. We stopped seeing the high numbers of raptors but the Red-breasted Nuthatches, Black-capped Chickadees and Kinglet groups remain in the area. The Red-breasted Nuthatch numbers at the station seem very high; some days we saw more than 50 of the birds creeping all over the Spruce trees. We saw another movement of Ovenbirds at the station mid week but didn’t band any of the birds. In the afternoons we had a burst of hundreds of these small, black flies with long, narrow bodies and dainty wings. There were also large numbers of butterflies in the afternoon if the winds weren’t too high. The winds at the station this past week were both strong (over 30km per hours) and variable in their origin. To make matters worse, there were multiple fires in the park in both provinces. The haze from the fires could be seen through the town site most of the evening. The large flock of White-winged Scoters that we had on the lake for a few weeks dwindled but was slowly replaced with a flock of Buffleheads. There are still resident Red-necked Grebes on the water with their streaky faced juveniles and we saw a few Pied-billed Grebes around as well.