Last winter morning at the banding station

Today (this is being written on 21 March) is the vernal equinox and probably our last day this winter managing the bird feeder array at the local bird banding station. There is a some snow forecast over the weekend but otherwise the spring thaw has finally started and the deep snow at the banding station is now a bit less deep but a lot more wet and soggy. Going up there once a week throughout the winter months is something we look forward to every year – even when the temperatures are -20C or colder we still enjoy the excuse to get out somewhere that doesn’t have anyone else about but is only ten minutes drive from home. Irregular banding activities have already stared on milder days and become regular at the end of the month.

A nice total of 11 species of birds were recorded (list on the right). Nothing uncommon, but with the very welcome presence of the first returned Red-winged Blackbirds and Canada Geese. The first wave of migration cannot be far away. That sound player above is of a single Red-winged Blackbird proclaiming his new territory – about 12 seconds. Same bird as the one in the photo gallery below.

We will miss our visits to the station – I am not going to say that we are already looking forward to next winter, but at least it has its attractions once it does return. Meanwhile, we hope to see our first snowdrops in the next couple of weeks.

Here are some photographs from this morning – click any thumbnail to open them all up at full size in a scrollable gallery …