National Roost Monitoring Pogram-3: Thursday, May 28, 2015 Update.
Before the third night - here are more reports for NRMP-2 on May 24:
- From Ken in Wasagaming comes news that 1 swift was flying around the Riding Mountain National Park Visitor Centre but no entries were observed; the previous night, 8 swifts were overhead.
- In Selkirk, the monitoring squad had 1 entry in the Merchant's Hotel; 6 swifts entered the Red Brick Chimney and 8 others disappeared in a "descent" trajectory nearby (another Harry Potter-esque moment!); 32 birds entered the Tall Stack; and 2 swifts roosted in the Yellow Brick Chimney.
- In La Broquerie, David saw an exit from the church chimney at 8:21 PM = daytime use; it is possible that nest building is underway; a pair roosted for the night.
- In Portage, Gord saw a larger group size of 9 swifts soaring about; 2 entered the chimney at the Women's Jail; rain descended before the roosting hour closed.
- In Selkirk, Ruby & Co. had 50 roosting swifts (an increase of 18 birds from NRMP-2) in the Tall Chimney and 2 in each of the Yellow and Red Brick chimneys (sounds like lyrics to a great song are embedded in those sites).
- In Carman, it was a frigid night for Matt who saw a couple of swifts on the wing but observed no entries at the Memorial Hall.
- PL and Rob were skunked again at Chancellor's Hall on the U of M campus but they reported the first sighting of Common Nighthawks. Thanks for hanging in tough there Pl and Rob - those data points of "0" are still valuable to have!
- Other nighthawks were seen on May 28 in La Broquerie, the Kenaston area of Winnipeg (afternoon sighting by Matt), Assiniboine School area, Fort Rouge, and near St. Adolphe. Congratulations to Tim who made his first entry of 4 nighthawks on his life list! Interestingly, on May 29, Lewis had one roosting on his backyard railing (Linden Woods) at 1040 AM!
- Nicole also had no entries at her Fleetwood Apt site but a couple of swifts were on the wing in Wolseley.
- Tim, in Fort Rouge, saw swifts hawking in the area and 2 roosted at the Leisure Centre.
In the St. James area of Winnipeg:
- Christian was in the high reward zone - swifts flew in the corridor around Hampton St. and a pair roosted for the night in the church chimney.
- Bob and Valerie had their pair return to the New Silver Heights Apt.
- Peter, Kathy, and Adolf recorded ~52 swifts entering the Assiniboine School (approximately the same as for NRMP-2); difficult viewing conditions prevented confirmation of entries into two other sites.
Thanks everyone for enduring some unpleasant conditions! It was a challenging, rainy, windy, cold, dark night for the swifts and the monitors alike. As I write this on the morning of May 30, frost has bitten the backside of many gardens throughout the province. For a second day, daytime temperatures will be at or below 12 C. Feeding conditions are not ideal for our swifts.
MONDAY JUNE 1ST IS NRMP-4 (TUESDAY JUNE 2ND is the ALTERNATE NIGHT). WE START MONITORING WITH "ROBUST ROOSTING HOUR" SESSIONS = 1/2 HOUR DAYTIME PLUS THE ROOSTING HOUR.
Moving beyond identifying which sites are active in 2015 and how they have "loaded up" with spring migrants, we now are interested in distinguishing nest sites vs. roost sites. Within the 1/2 hour of daytime viewing, we interpret exit/entry events as nest building in progress. I have monitored the cluster of 5 St. Adolphe nest sites for 8 years (2007 - 2014 inclusive). A successful nesting attempt has never occurred if the breeding pair has started nest building after June 6. Over the next week, I will be watching during the day for increased activity ~ crunch time is at hand for the 2015 breeding pairs...
All the best to you for Monday's monitoring, Barb.