Sunday, September 26, 2010

Buntings Are Back!

After thanking Karl last week we had to suffer the capping of the next weather front which pretty much shut us down bird-wise for the weekend. It was initially predicted that the Gulf weather would form into a storm and thump us but instead we got just a shield of clouds keeping things quiet for us.

As usual, the birds woke before sunrise. We recaptured a Carolina Wren which was born earlier this year and is almost into its full adult looking plumage. We have been recapturing it since just after it was born so it is nice to see the progression into a more mature look.

That capture was our first and Maria got a shot of the Moon opposite the sunrise as we finished setting nets not long before.


Things grew quite soon afterwards and we worried if the strange front had shut us out for the day. However, another Ovenbird was captured. This time an adult. Always a good looking species.


Near the end of the day we had a nice recapture of a female Cardinal. It appears it is the largest Cardinal ever captured as...wait. It is being held by Maggie.

Northern Cardinal

And here she is in the bigger view.

Northern Cardinal

One of the more interesting captures was that of a Northern Waterthrush. Not because of it being captured but for being captured way up near the table. They have been prevalent near the pier every week so it was more exciting to get one captured close to the table.

Northern Waterthrush

One great change was that we finally caught an adult male Common Yellowthroat. Younger males and females head here first so it was nice to finally get the adult males about now. A good looking boy, too.

Common Yellowthroat

Making our day, though, was the capture of a Painted Bunting.

Painted Bunting

This young female is the youngest we have ever banded in the basin. We have had a few adult females and males over the years but it is very rare that we catch a very young bird. She was very tired.

Painted Bunting

She was set free after being banded and headed off into the park. Soon, however, she found her way back into the same net where she was first captured. We extracted her and set her free back toward the park proper.

Painted Bunting

This let us get some photos before it was released, again.

Maria was around as we set out to make decisions of where to put new plants this year. We are close to making the net lanes a birders visual hangout. One change this year was letting the Guineagrass grow to see if we could bring back some buntings. It seems to be helping as the crew had great earlier looks at a male Painting Bunting feeding on the seeds near the river.

Painted Bunting

Good enough birds on a tough day to band (weather was not too helpful today) but we did find something interesting on the way out of the area. Hanging in the edges of the Guineagrass along the net lanes was a bunch of eggs laid by Lady bugs.


They seem to be as enticing as the seeds along the stalks all around the lanes.

Peak is peaking soon...
Next Banding Day: Sunday, October 3rd.

All nets will be opened by 6:50 A.M.

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