+Myrtle Warbler in netThe closest bird banding station is 90 minutes south of us and the nets go up in predawn darkness. In April and May, it means arriving very early but during fall migration, dawn arrives around 7 AM rather than 5:30 AM. If the weather is very rainy or windy, banding is off, so setting a date in advance for a visit can be tricky. I have been checking the long term weather forecasts, which seem to be about 50% accurate three or four days ahead of time, and made a decision to visit the station yesterday.
Rick Ludkin, had time to explain things and I had more time to look at the birds which were captured, examined and released. On a busy day he told me there is no time for chit-chat.
Highway 54 is a scenic route which follows the Grand River’s banks closely and as I travelled north in the afternoon, I came across a recovery operation at the scene of the crash of a small plane in the river. I felt sick as I watched the rafts in the river and saw the underside of the submerged airplane in the water. The plane had crashed shortly after take off when one of the strong wind gusts caused a down draft. It seemed a sad ending to my perfect morning.
Winds can buffet and hinder, or they can be favourable and push in the right direction. Winds hindered airborne operations today for birds and planes but all was not lost. I will share some pictures from the bird banding station in the next few days.