Sunday, November 29, 2009

We woke up for this?

At least we had some good company on this chilly morning. The birds decided to sleep in as maybe we should have. Only two birds were captured today and both were recaptures.

Fortunately our guests, Roy and Andy Thatcher, were there to see both of them. Seems whenever we have visiting ringers from the UK the birds stay out of the nets. We did share a lot of laughs and enjoyed the morning sharing stories.

Here, Roy checks out the House Wren before releasing it back to the woods.


This Wren was a recapture and was caught right before dawn.

House Wren

A bit later we recaptured a Gray Catbird. This bird was banded a few weeks ago and has been caught again the past two weeks. Must like us.

Gray Catbird

Charles brought his granddaughter, Anissa, out and she had a chance to pose with our Catbird.

Gray Catbird

Maria brought out her family. Some folks would definitely rather still be in bed!


Or maybe just somewhere warmer...


Next week will try an new experiment and show up later in the morning so the bugs have a chance to wake up and then hopefully we will have more birds flying around until noon. Take note of the new start time.
Next Banding Day: Sunday, December 6th.

We will open nets by 8:30 A.M.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Kinda Quiet

A good dawn chorus had us crossing our fingers but as has been the case the past few weeks we got most birds very early before the area grew very quiet. Right a dawn we did catch a Hermit Thrush.

Hermit Thrush

An interesting catch just before dawn was this Eastern Pheobe. Usually we catch them later in the morning and we did get another a couple of hours later. This one must have wanted and early start or trying to get the best perch before other birds.

Eastern Pheobe

One more early bird was this House Wren. Just noticed that the bill is a bit crossed.

House Wren

As Susan was walking down the trail she thinks she must have stepped on a branch near the edge of the net lane which caused a sharp snap. Moments later she began to hear a very loud buzzing and was greeted by many Bumble Bees!

Seems they have taken residence in the pile of dried Ceaser Weed stalks and burrowed out a hole within.

Bumble Bee

Tread lightly!

Next Banding Day: Sunday, November 29th.

We will open nets by 6:30 A.M.

Monday, November 16, 2009

A New Species for the Banding Site

Not an uncommon species at all around here, but we did catch a new bird for this banding site. More on that shortly. We did capture a few more locals and Winter visitors early on which appears to be the trend this month. We catch most birds in the first hour and then dig in to habitat cleaning.

We got one recapture Carolina Wren and a new addition to the growing list of the local families. Collect them all!

Carolina Wren

There was also a new Hermit Thrush for the season.

Hermit Thrush

At one point we did get two female Ruby-crowned Kinglets down the end of the net lanes.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

The Bird-of-the-Day, however, was the very first bird netted. Right at dawn there was a very loud, squawking bird in the tangerine tree. Moments later, this bird flew into net 13 right behind a waiting Andrew.

Our very first Northern Mockingbird captured at Lake Lotus!

Northern Mockingbird

Though a very common bird, Northern Mockingbirds are seldom seen around the river and it was very exciting to capture and band this bird today.

Now if we can get a more consistent day of captures beyond 7:30 AM...

Next Banding Day: Sunday, November 22th.

We will open nets by 6:25 A.M.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

More of the Same

Another morning with a good start and then quickly retreating into quiet. Interestingly, we recaptured 2 of the three Hermit Thrushes we banded last week. Can't recall this happening before.

Here, the crew starts processing the first captures of the day.


Many of us are big fans of the Brown Thrasher. We caught 2 today.

Brown Thrasher

Also snagged another House Wren.

House Wren

Susan got a nice shot of a White Peacock butterfly this morning. They are very common around the end of the net lanes.

White Peacock

However, the most interesting bird today was this Ruby-crowned Kinglet that we recaptures from last year.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

We ID'd this bird as a female last year based on plumage but here it shows and distinctive orange crest! Further reading shows that some females do, indeed, sport a few orange feathers from time to time. It will go on the list as a female for now.

Very curious. None of us has ever found a Kinglet with orange feathers before.

Storm Ida clears through this week and should usher in a new cold front. What shall we find next Sunday?
Next Banding Day: Sunday, November 15th.

We will open nets by 6:20 A.M.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Hermit Thrushes Return

The morning was looking very promising for bird captures as calls were being heard as soon as we got outside at 5 AM. The dawn chorus was very strong with birds calling on both sides of the river nearly non-stop. Even our first run at 6 AM was good with 5 birds netted.

Then, right after 7AM, all activity halted. Maybe the encroaching cold front played a part as clouds slid in overhead. We caught no birds after 7:30. There was a Cooper's Hawk gliding past the net lanes but other than that no visible signs of predators. The birds just disappeared.

The day was not a total loss. We did band 3 Hermit Thrushes. Last year we did not get a Hermit Thrush until the first week of December.

Hermit Thrush

One more, with feeling: "Tail, tail, tail!". More than one of us was thinking Swainson's Thrush in the predawn light until we turned it around. The reddish tail always gives the Hermit away.

Hermit Thrush

Up and down the river was the sound of Eastern Pheobes. This one was teasing us by sitting on the tree about 15 feet from net 3. Never went in the net.

Eastern Pheobe

Red-bellied Woodpeckers made their undulating flights around the area, as always.

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Once the place went quiet we settled in to study the other sights of Nature. In one net was a dragonfly, ID'd by friend Paul Hueber as a Blue-faced Darner.

Blue-faced Darner

Not in any net was one of the many White Peacock butterflies.

White Peacock

Along the trail is a nice Common Nightshade plant.

Common Nightshade

A bit further down, the Primrose Willow is still blooming.

Primrose Willow

Always something interesting at Lake Lotus!
Next Banding Day: Sunday, November 8th.

We will open nets by 6:15 A.M.