4 December 2016

Dave and Jan Wendelken spent part of the evening with me but not one  saw-whet  joined us. Almost eerily quiet up at the nets. Strange ending to a rather strange season.  It started off great but slowed to a quick stop.  Of course we had a lot of bad weather toward the end but that’s always the case.  We caught very few of the birds that (we banded this year) a second time … especially toward the end of the season.

Unofficial totals at this point suggest that we banded 120 Northern Saw-whet owls.  We caught 8 birds that were already banded, including one that we banded in 2014.  The banded birds were mostly banded in previous years, although we do not information on two or three of them yet.  One-hundred-sixty-four of you signed our guest list and I suspect there were a number of you who didn’t. So let’s say, at least 164 visitors.  The owls lose again.  Oh well, wait until next year.

Clair Mellinger






3 December 2016

I am planning to open the nets tonight.  Probably it will be the last time we are open this year … although Zig or I may check at least with the lower nets occasionally later in the month.

Clair Mellinger

2 December 2016

Well, I  caught no owls last night but I did learn a lot about Atlantic Puffins, Razorbills, Black Guillemots, and Arctic Terns.  That is a very fair trade-off in my opinion.  Thank you, Joanna.

Tonight the winds are forecast to be between 7-12 mph all evening, so I think that I will make the next try on Saturday evening.  That could be the last night of the season if the current trend continues.  I see that there is a chance of (wet) snow on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday next week.  (I just realized that “snow” is an anagram of NSWO, which is the banding lab’s code for the Northern Saw-whet Owl.  As with all anagrams, there is no significance to this … I’m sure.)


Tonight, Friday, 2 December – Closed

Saturday, 3 December – Open

Sunday, 4 December – Probably closed; rain


The weather has cleared up more than I expected this afternoon.  It is also clear north of us, so I think that I will give it a shot tonight, especially since this is one of the few nights that I will be able to get out this week.  Unless things change for the worse quickly, I will plan to open the nets at the regular time this evening.

Clair Mellinger

29 November 2016

We need the rain.  I guess we will just enjoy the next few days for that reason and forget the saw-whets that we might have banded.  Although it doesn’t look like it will be raining tonight, winds will be from the south and the rain could begin again around midnight.  I doubt that intelligent owls are going to be migrating tonight. I don’t see a good night for banding until Saturday.  We will see.

Tuesday, 29 November – closed

Wednesday, 30 November – closed

Thursday, 1 December – closed for RBC meeting

Monday, 28 November 2016

We caught only one saw-whet last night and I am beginning to think that the migration season is over.  I thought that it would maintain some strength into early December from the earlier reports from stations north of us.

We will not open tonight.  The winds in the early evening will be higher than I like and the rain might start before midnight.  Tomorrow we will be between rains but I doubt that conditions will be favorable for migration in our area or north of us.  I doubt that we will open.  Wednesday night looks like more rain; and Thursday night both of us will be at the Rockingham Bird Club meeting to hear Joanna Morelli’s (our faithful assistant over the past three years) talk about her summer research with Atlantic Puffins in Maine.


Tonight, Monday, 28 November – closed

Tuesday, 29 November – ?????

Wednesday, 30 November – probably closed

Thursday, 1 December – closed for RBC meeting