Saturday, September 16, 2017

Bird Banding at Oak Hammock Marsh

This August and September I've been very fortunate to volunteer at the Delta Marsh Bird Observatory which is stationed at Oak Hammock Marsh.

 It has been a very interesting and exciting season of banding, with all sorts of neat birds being caught.

Earlier on in the season there were always tonnes of Barn Swallows flying around the area, and therefore quite a few of them ended up in our nets.
Barn Swallow
Marsh Wren
American Redstart
 We only caught a few Bank Swallows, which are really adorable and have tiny legs.
Bank Swallow
A vicious chickadee. Chickadee aren't very common at the marsh
Nashville Warbler

One day a Solitary Sandpiper managed to find its way into the nets, a station first!
Solitary Sandpiper
Many birds after a busy net check
House Wren, uncommon at the marsh
 Sparrows are big at Oak Hammock.
Le Conte's Sparrow
Harris' Sparrow
Lincoln's Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow (juvenile)
So that is a few of the highlights from the banding at Oak Hammock Marsh, I am still going two times a week until the end of September, so I'm sure we'll still catch some great birds.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Fall Update

Hi all! Sorry for such a long while without posted. I was attending the Young Ornithologist Workshop at Long Point earlier for the first half of august, and after that I was on a road trip to Nebraska for a few days to see the solar eclipse, which was spectacular.

I have lots to post about, including my trips to Europe, Churchill, Long point, and the fall birds I've seen recently.

I've also been volunteering at the Delta Marsh Bird Observatory at Oak Hammock Marsh, helping out with bird banding. It has been a lot of fun, and we've caught some interesting birds.

American Redstart

I've been doing a lot of birding, both around my house and out for fall warblers, which I hope to make one or two posts about as well. So stay tuned, there's lots of posts to come. :)

American Redstart

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Europe (Part 4)

This is a continuation of the series of posts about our trip to Europe, posted automatically. By this time I will be in Long Point attending the Young Ornithologist Workshop.

This post is a continuation from the last post about our first day in Hortobagy National Park. We took a small boat tour out onto Tisza lake and through little rivers and channels into a heron and cormorant nesting ground.

Around every corner there were herons and egrets. Some of the types we saw was Grey Heron, Black-crowned Night Heron, Squacco Heron, Great Egret, Little Egret, and Purple Heron. Tonnes of all of them!
Grey Heron

Grey Herons

Reed Warbler


Mute Swan

Mute Swan
 There were also many, many Whiskered Terns which darted around through the air and dove to the water, making themselves extremely difficult to photograph.
Whiskered Tern

Common Cuckoo 
Eurasian Coot

Black-crowned Night Heron

Black-crowned Night Heron

Black-crowned Night Heron

When we returned from the three hour boat tour we saw a variety of birds including White Wagtail, Green Woodpecker, Linnet, and Goldfinch.
White Wagtail 

Overall it was a very successful and extremely fun day. To see the many different types of herons and egrets in their natural habitat was very special.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Off to Long Point!

In the Spring I was chosen to participate in the Doug Tarry Young Ornithologist Workshop at the Long Point Bird Observatory in Ontario. It is a week long workshop training six young aspiring Ornithologists with hands on work and bird banding in a research-oriented setting.

I am flying out early tomorrow morning to Toronto where I will get a ride to Long Point, which is two hours away. Long Point is a point that juts out 35km into lake Erie and is famed for its  bird life and research. Only six people are chosen to attend the workshop, so I am very excited to learn all I can and even see some new birds!

"Since the creation of the Doug Tarry Young Ornithologists' Workshop in the mid-1970s, it has been the jumping-off point for many of Canada's best and brightest scientists, field biologists, and naturalists. Thanks to the keen foresight and generosity of humanitarian and naturalist Doug Tarry, the workshop is offered free to selected applicants. The program has trained over 150 young people since 1991."

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Europe (Part 3)

After the visiting the nature reserve in Ostia (see previous post) we headed to the airport, and after a two hour flight we landed in Budapest, where we stayed with relatives for a day or two.

Eurasian Jay

Hooded Crow

We walked around the city center of Budapest for a while, there weren't too many birds to be seen, but lots of incredible buildings!
Magnificent parliament of Budapest

Wood Pigeon

After our visit in Budapest we drove out to the smaller town of Eger on the beautiful Hungarian countryside. It has a population of 50,000 and is situated at the foot of the Bukk Mountains. Almost as soon as we got out of the car on the overcast day we were greeted by a lovely Song Thrush.

Song Thrush

I enjoyed walking around the small town. You could walk from the edge to the center of town in only a matter of minutes. We frequently walked to a nearby park to look for birds. Some of the birds we saw there included Chaffinch, Nuthatch, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Song Thrush, Hawfinch and Eurasian Tree Sparrows.
A special treat was two Scops Owls which we heard while walking in the park at night. When we first heard them we had no idea what they were. We thought it sounded sort of like a funky car alarm, but we knew car alarms don't move quickly about in the trees. We suspected an owl, and our thoughts were confirmed when we looked up the different owl sounds when we returned.

A frog in a small pond at the park

Eger at night

Eger is known for its vineyards and wine cellars, and this is where my great grandfather owned some vineyards 

One of our plans for birding in Hungary was to visit Hortobagy National Park, a prime birding wetland. It was very fruitful, bringing many new birds and a really fun day!

Black Redstart

Black-crowned Night Heron

Black-headed Gull
 One of the highlights in the park was seeing numerous pairs of beautiful Great-crested Grebes.
Great-crested Grebes


Beared Reedling

Great-crested Grebes

Great Reed Warbler

White Wagtail

Barn Swallow

Grey Heron

Thanks for reading, stay tuned for the next post, which will be more amazing birding in Hortobagy National Park.