Saturday, September 20, 2008

Highlights: Peregrine Falcon
There were quite a few birders around today, and finding birds seemed to require a bit of work and a bit of luck. Warbler diversity picked up a bit from yesterday with sightings of Nashville, Northern Parula, Magnoilia, Yellow-rumped, Blackburnian, Palm, Blackpoll, Bay-breasted, and Common Yellowthroat. Sparrow numbers continue to gradually increase, with Chipping, Savannah, Lincoln's, White-throated, White-crowned, and the season's first Swamp seen today. Other sightings included; Philadelphia Vireo, Hermit, Gray-cheeked, and Swainson's Thrushes, Winter Wren, Ruby-crowned, and Golden-crowned Kinglets, and Blue-gray Gnatcatcher.

Northern Parula
WPBO board members Tom Wheeker and Jerry Ziarno led a tour today. Participants arrived for a powerpoint presentation and a visit to the owl banding last night. Thanks to Keith and Wendy they were treated to a close encounter with a Barred Owl in hand this morning. After spending the morning with Tim out at the waterbird shack they had the opportunity to view songbird banding. WPBO research chair Mike Bishop was here to do some banding with his Alma ecology students. The photos below are of tour participants viewing the banding of a young Hermit Thrush. Thanks to all the tour participants.
Things have been busy the last few weeks, and we have some belated thanks to give out. Board members Leonard Graff, Tom Wheeker, and Susan Clark recently visited to make repairs on our staff housing. Under Leonard's excellent guidance a new floor was put in, and much needed repairs were made to the roof. Not only did they make the repairs, but they did the work during the short gap between summer and fall owl banding. Since the owl banders sleep during the day, we greatly appreciated their thoughful scheduling. Thanks folks. We owe another thanks to Tom and his wife Lucy for loaning us their powerpoint projector for several months to give the owl presentations we ran this summer.
Leonard after a hard days work.
We also owe a big thanks to Theresa Grattan and her fiance Doc. They had us over to their house for a day of building our Saw-whet nest boxes and benches for our owl programs. We greatly appreciate their hospitality, their time, and the use of their tools. The money for the nest boxes was raised through the raffle a limited edition print of my Great Gray Owl painting (photo below). Thanks to all who purchased raffle tickets at this year's Spring Fling. Thanks to additional donations made to the nest box program, we will be able to make more boxes once the local mill has more rough sawn cedar. Lathe Claflin also made and donated a beautiful cedar nest box that puts those Nova and I have made to shame.

Great Gray Owl painting

Theresa, Doc, and some idiot in the background

benches and Saw-whet nest boxes

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