MAPS Visit 2 – Rock Ridge (2010)

Spruce Bog at RRID

After a quiet first visit on June 11th, the Rock Ridge station returned to form on June 20th as 23 birds were captured during the morning. We thought last summer was unusually wet but this season has been even more drenched with rain seeming to fall consistently on a semi-daily basis. Fortunately, we have completed all of our visits within the intended periods but only by a thin margin and with thanks to a bit of luck. The photos accompanying this update are all landscapes as Seabrooke had a Canon malfunction, which erased all of the avian portraits from the day. This week, on our way in and out of the station, we paddled past this bog/fen habitat with Black Spruce, Tamarack, Sundew and Pitcher Plants. Common Yellowthroat, Wilson’s Snipe, Swamp Sparrow and Red-winged Blackbird are a few of the species nesting within the wetland complex below the steep cliffsides of the site.

The morning started off slow with an eery dawn silence and nothing captured on the first net check. For a second I considered that winter survivorship may have been particularly poor for our resident breeders but this was instantly erased with a net round at 730am when fourteen birds were extracted – nine coming from a single net! We were also pleased to finally recapture some birds banded in 2009, three in all. The full summary of the birds captured is provided below. The list represents a good sample of the breeding birds present at the station with some notable exceptions. Scarlet Tanager, Pine Warbler, Purple Finch and Myrtle Warbler are also common but tend to stick to the high tops of conifers that line both sides of the gorge, making them difficult to catch for banding. These species will move down with fledged young in search for better feeding areas so hopefully we will band a few before the season wraps in early August.

Mixed forest along the ridge

Rock Ridge – Visit 2 of 7

New birds banded (20 of 11 species)
.
Field Sparrow – 2
Black-capped Chickadee – 6
Red-eyed Vireo – 2
Hermit Thrush – 1
White-throated Sparrow – 1
Red-breasted Nuthatch – 1
Common Yellowthroat – 1
Chipping Sparrow – 1
Eastern Towhee – 2
American Robin – 2
Common Grackle – 1

Recaptures (3 of 2 species)
.
Black-and-white Warbler – 1
Black-capped Chickadee – 2

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