Brrrr...as predicted last week. Winds were up and temps were down as we set nets in the pre-dawn darkness. We began to wonder about our folly as the gusts rose off and on with some good stretches of no winds. sometimes the winds bring a potential for loosing a caught bird by opening the net panels they are lying within and allowing them to escape more easily.
Soldier on we do...
With pretty good results, however! One of our visitors made the first capture of the day. A noisy House Wren that was hanging out in the grasses near Net 11 decided to make a move for it and was quickly gathered up.
We later ended up with one of the many sightings of the morning by capturing a Common Yellowthroat.
The main birds of the day were Ruby-crowned Kinglets that finally began to settle lower in the trees. We captured several today, all females. Making her photo debut to the blog, Grace brought her camera to get some shots like this one of Maggie, given the bulk of the banding today as Andrew took GPS readings, selecting a band for our newest Kinglet.
Graces Dad gets a shot of his daughter working the camera.
Tiny and prone to get the chills worse than other birds Ruby-crowned Kinglets are our top priority for banding during the Winter sessions so as not to stress them too much before release.
Always a joy to see up close.
We have banded a lot of the Titmouse flock over the years and can see the bands on the previously captured birds as they revisit and it is nice to get a new bird every now and then.
This bird was particularly fussy and biting at every chance.
We love these birds. Especially since they often signal a feeding flock of birds in the trees. Hear a Titmouse and you start scanning for anything else joining them in relative silence.
The gang gets a shot of the newly banded Titmouse as it rests on a nearby branch before rejoining the main group.
Hard to pick a Bird of the Day so there has to be two. First up, a late male Black-throated Blue Warbler was captured. Note: most birds captured today were in a similar area and mostly retrieved from Net 11. Interesting.
By this time of year, most Black-throated Blues are farther along in their trip to the South. Glad we all got good looks today.
BOTD Number 2: A gorgeous male Myrtle Warbler! Our first rare capture here, even though they frequent the park across the river, it is one reason we have planted many Wax Myrtles on which they feed and one reason they were given their name. We expect more captures of this species in the future.
Most folks simply refer to them as Yellow-rumps. For good reason as illustrated here. We band and have to report by their correct name (there is a subspecies called an Audubon's Warbler) so we still call them Myrtles. A great capture.
Suppose to be a little warmer next week. Winter birds are settling in. Robins overhead. Can't wait.
Next Banding Day: Sunday, November 14th.
All nets will be opened by 6:20 A.M.