Sunday, November 17, 2013

TTP Last Day: Other Blogs

Well, our last day of banding did not turn out as eventful as we may have hoped...but we had a really great season ending off with over 4,700 birds being banded.  With all the high winds and slight rain there was barely a peep from anyone outside, though we did manage to catch a belted kingfisher and recaught a Downy Woodpecker.

If our day could be summarized in one would probably be this one:

Marina at TTP
I was super excited having to make my way from watching the banding, to becoming an extractor of birds, to eventually banding my first two: a mallard duck, and a Belted Kingfisher (our only new bird for the last day)!

Kingfisher...not really as happy as his smile leads on!


 Since there were very few birds, I was able to take a little walk around the paths at the banding station and took a peek at the very empty cormorant colony.  The empty cormorant nests looked pretty eerie in the distance with no birds on them.  This area is now open to the public to walk around in, and I must say that I am very tempted too!! From far away it reminds me a little of the scenes in the Lion king of the elephant graveyard, except instead of bones scattered everywhere it’s dead trees. I think it would be certainly an interesting site, and hopefully not too stinky!

One of my best friends, Emma, was able to come out with me on the last day and experience banding.  I did feel really bad that we didn’t get more birds for her, and instead she mainly helped us out with the take down. I must say…she’s a natural at getting rebar out of the ground!!  We were able to see some pretty awesome birds throughout the day still. The family of Trumpeter Swans are still out and about, the babies still being harassed by the Mutes (will be a later post!).  Quite a few ducks were also in the area last weekend (and probably still this weekend!)  Buffleheads, long-tailed ducks, hooded mergansers, gadwall, American widgeon, and shovelers were all in fairly large numbers, while Pintail, wood ducks, green-winged teal and a few coots (not waterfowl tho) were in smaller numbers.  We were also incredibly excited to have seen a few long-eared owls flying around the park in the wee early hours of the morning!!

Emma excited about some hard labour!
Despite the less than flattering weather we had gotten this weekend, the always..was wonderful.  The group of people who run the banding station have such a great chemistry that you never feel like the "newby" in the group, which is what I was.  I have to thank them SO much for letting me come out with them every weekend and for everyone of them teaching me so much about these wonderful creatures and sharing their passions (or as come call it obsessions) with me.  I encourage everyone to check out the station once the springtime comes around as they will be back up and running with beautiful birds in full breeding plumage!  

There are two fantastic people who were at the station (one working and one a regular visitor) who have amazing blogs that I would like to share!

The first is from Debbie, a mom, writes about how to enjoy nature in an urban setting that is Toronto.  It is a great blog with tons of ideas of how you can enjoy nature either by yourself, or with your family!  To read, please visit: Wild City

The second is a blog by Jay, a regular visitor to our station and the Park.  This is a great place to keep up to date on what critters are visiting Tommy Thompson Park throughout the weeks the station is closed.  To read his blog visit: Northershrike

Happy Naturing!!

Me and the awesome Kingfisher

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