Monday, 1 October 2012

Raven at Turkey Point, Owl Banding at Cayuga

Over the weekend the Long Point Basin Land Trust held its third annual hawkwatch at Long Point Eco-Adventures located on Front Rd just west of Turkey Point. Sunday was my turn to man the count and I scanned the skies from 10:00 until 3:00. While the flight wasn't crazy we had a nice diversity with many regular species being found. Of course I was secretly hoping for a Swainson's Hawk to go over for the 50 days of rare competition. Two peregrines were nice to see and we counted up to 11 Bald Eagles although several were probably local birds. The highlight of the count was a Raven that I spotted making it's way east. It didn't call, and it wasn't soaring around on thermals so I was a bit lucky to look in its direction as it went by. It really stood out by it's massive size, slow wingbeats, and wedge-shaped tail. Oddly enough we had a Raven on last years count as well! I guess these guys are coming from the escarpment, but we aren't very far from birds in the Appalachians either. I wonder how much they intermingle.

Later that night I went to Ruthven Park near Cayuga. It's a historic site on the Grand River that does bird banding. My brother Matt was running the Owl nets that night so I tagged along to help process the birds. We caught 3 Saw-whet Owls between 8:00 and 2:00. Not exactly overwhelming but it's better than getting skunked! The light looks a little harsh in some of the photos below, but it really isn't that bright in the banding lab. We try and keep as much light off the birds as possible to minimize stress and to not bother their eyes.

 Me and the little monster

Birding plans for the week include getting out to Long Point to look for passerines at least a couple mornings. Van Wagner's is on my "to-do" list but the wind doesn't seem to be cooperating... we'll see if that changes. Maybe Port Burwell?..


  1. Winds are looking good for VWB tomorrow afternoon!
    Good luck if you go!

  2. Winds were weird..they said they were stronger than they appeared to be. Anyways, jaegers came in around 4:00 - glad I went. See Brandon's blog for details.