Sunday, December 19, 2010

Curse You, Forecasters!

Well, it was suppose to be a good day.

Fog was reported to be in but clearing by 7 AM. Nope. Was hard and heavy all morning. Was suppose to be clear and sunny all morning. Nope. Skies never cleared all day. Thanks, forecasters! We pulled up stakes by 8:30 as clouds remained and began misting all morning.

We did manage to recapture a male Ruby-crowned Kinglet we banded a few weeks ago.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

It was next to an Eastern Phoebe in the same net (16) just a few inches away. Probably chasing the same bugs at the same time.

Eastern Phoebe

Other than that, we got a new Northern Cardinal but the weather turned for the worst soon afterwards.


We will hope for a better start for the New Year. In fact, we will be back out the 2nd of January as we take a break for next week. We had a good Fall, the best ever in the past few years, so hopefully we can get some great birds in 2011.

Next Banding Day: Sunday, January 2nd.

All nets will be opened by 6:45 A.M.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

No New Visitors

We headed out on Saturday today to try and avoid the weather forecast for Sunday. Arctic blast is on the way with rain and high winds. So, we head out while we can.

It was fairly quiet as we got things set up while a heavy fog dropped in but eventually birds woke up and began to move around. Mostly on the wrong side of the river. However, the first bird we caught was a House Wren we first banded on Nov. 7th.

House Wren

Soon after we got another recapture. A male Northern Cardinal we first banded Nov. 14th. In fact, all of the birds captured today were recaptures. Not a new bird in the bunch. Again, they were all across the river or high overhead.

We have been hearing Gray Catbirds every weekend but for some reason they have not been moving around much. They stay in the woods hunting down Beauty Berries in the shade. Fortunately, we did get one today. This bird was first banded October 31st.

Gray Catbird

Finally, we recaptured a Carolina Wren that we banded August 15th.

Carolina Wren

Now we huddle down around the heat as the strong front approaches but things should return to normal, temperature-wise, next week.
Next Banding Day: Sunday, December 19th.

All nets will be opened by 6:45 A.M.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Short But Sweet

A weak front was forecast to drive through this morning but all of the 'professional' weather folks swore it would bring no rain to us. Wrong. We got rained out before 9 AM! However, we did record a couple of very interesting birds before rushing to get the nets down in the rain. I will go backwards in order of importance...

Last up was a recaptured Carolina Wren. We band plenty so what makes this bird so interesting? This was the 6th time this bird was captured. Still around and still thriving.

Carolina Wren

The first bird was caught in Net 8. This net held a lot of hope for us as it sits right next to the woods but it is rarely productive. This morning it held a Whip-poor-will.


We just banded a WHIP a couple weeks ago, our second, and figured it was that bird. So, we brought it back to the table with that thought and began the processing. Same bird from then? No!


This is actually the first WHIP we banded over a year ago!!! Caught just 20 yards from where we first got it. Nice data. We even finally managed to get a shot of the gaping maw of this beautiful Nightjar.


After bagging the WHIP, Maggie held another bird in a bag. A surprise. Turns out that Andrew had a dream about this species just a few hours earlier. Coincidence? For the first time ever at Lake Lotus and only the 2nd in the basin that we can recall we caught a White-throated Sparrow! Paul got a shot showing how we were still in need of light just before dawn.

White-throated Sparrow

Paul had heard White-throated Sparrows in the area in the past but they are hard to see in the brush. Glad that we all got good looks today.

White-throated Sparrow

Now, you can all get a good look right here! Hoping for many more sparrows this year. Swamp Sparrows are down by the lake and Chipping Sparrows are all over the place right now.

White-throated Sparrow

Check the date! We will be banding Saturday instead of Sunday ahead of predicted bad weather associated with a new cold front charging this way that might take us all into below freezing temperatures by next Tuesday.
Next Banding Day: Saturday, December 11th.

All nets will be opened by 6:35 A.M.