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October 2007 Sightings in the Windsor Area

Holmes Comet, Oct 28 © Paul Pratt

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We have a new web page on the grasshoppers, crickets and katydids of Ojibway. The page includes a checklist of local species and many photographs.

Also added to the web site is a pdf document describing all of our school programmes.

Monday, Oct 29: As the hours of daylight shrink towards the winter solstice it becomes easier to appreciate nocturnal events. This past week a comet that was only visible using high-powered telescopes suddenly became a million times brighter and can now be seen even in the light polluted skies of urban areas. Comet Holmes is visible in the northeast sky in the Perseus constellation. The above photo was taken with a digital SLR with a 420 mm telephoto lens. Binoculars are all that is need to see this bright fuzzy comet.

This is also the peak of the nocturnal migration of Northern Saw-whet Owls. 70 of these small owls were banded last night by the Holiday Beach Migration Observatory banders. This was a one day record for Holiday Beach! Most of these owls are young birds that were born this past spring. Banders age owls by looking at their flight feathers under a UV light. The relatively fresh flight feathers of young birds appear bright pink while older birds have a mix of old and fresh flight feathers.

Normal light

saw-whet being banded Oct 23 2007 © Paul Pratt
UV light
saw-whet under UV light © Paul Pratt

Monday, Oct 01: We had another excellent birding trip to Point Pelee National Park on Saturday (sept 30). The tip has grown from the stub of a few weeks ago and is now a broken chain of three islands stretching almost a kilometre into the lake. One highlight was watching an immature Peregrine Falcon that flew down to the beach and splashed around at the water's edge. Wild Turkey numbers continue to increase at Pelee. We saw 21 feeding along the edge of the Visitor centre parking lot.

 

Visit September 2007 sightings.


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