Field Trip Report: River Point Bird Banding, Sept. 30, 2017

Sunday, October 15th, 2017

Field Trip Report: On September 30th, a Merrymeeting Audubon group met at the Brunswick Hannaford for a field trip to the bird banding operation at River Point Conservation area in West Falmouth despite an “unsettled” weather forecast. While still in the Hannaford parking lot, we put 6 birds on the checklist including several Fish Crows and a Merlin

Merlin (Falco columbarius) Hannaford Parking lot, Elm St., Brunswick, ME

that entertained us by harassing several crows. (The crows seemed more annoyed than frightened.) An intermittent light rain started as we drove to the River Point Conservation area, but the banding team, headed by Patrick Keenan from the Biodiversity Research Institute (http://www.briloon.org/riverpoint) had put out the mist nets to catch birds for banding. The birds are measured, examined for age and health parameters, weighed and banded inside an old barn, so the rain did not interfere with our observations of the birds and the banding process. We got good close-up views of both male and female Northern Flickers, several Gray Catbirds, Swamp Sparrows, Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, and Ruby-crowned Kinglets. Later the rain stopped and most of us, led by Gordon Smith, then went on a walk around the River Point trail system, which goes through old fields, woods, and along the river. We saw quite a few birds including more Kinglets, Sapsuckers, and Flickers, but the best bird was probably a Black-throated Blue Warbler. The trip checklist for River Point totaled 27 bird species. Patrick Keenan and the BRI team deserve a special thanks for making the experience very interesting and informative.
The Hannaford Parking Lot checklist is available at: http://ebird.org/ebird/me/view/checklist/S39482847
The River Point eBird Checklist is at: http://ebird.org/ebird/me/view/checklist/S3948284

 

Swamp Sparrow (Melospiza georgiana) being measured at River Point Preserve, West Falmouth, ME.

Swamp Sparrow (Melospiza georgiana) applying the bird band at River Point Preserve, West Falmouth, ME.

Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus), yellow-shafted, having bird band crimped on at the bird banding station at River Point Preserve, West Falmouth, ME.

On the trail at the River Point Preserve, West Falmouth, ME.

Blue-headed Vireo (Vireo solitarius) at River Point Preserve, West Falmouth, ME.

Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias on the Presumpscot River at River Point Preserve, West Falmouth, ME.

Black-throated Blue Warbler (Setophaga caerulescens) at River Point Preserve, West Falmouth, ME.

Virginia Creeper in Fall color with Equisetum at River Point Preserve, West Falmouth, ME.

Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) in the hand at the bird banding station in River Point Preserve, West Falmouth, ME.

Patrick Keenan with Cat Bird in the bird banding station at River Point Preserve, West Falmouth, ME.

White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys) caught in the mist net for banding at River Point Preserve, West Falmouth, ME.

White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys) in the hand for banding at River Point Preserve, West Falmouth, ME.