Sunday, April 10, 2011

Duh! Migrating!!

After last week's dismal catch rate and a blog full of landscapes and bugs we are thrilled to have 100% birding content this week! We believe this is the highest single-day April banding morning since we began this project 2 1/2 years ago. With a skeleton crew and our old point and shoot camera it felt like the good ol' days.

The radar looked promising the night before and at 5 AM. Fingers crossed. First birds began hitting just before sunrise and they were good ones. Two male Common Yellowthroats, our first of the season.

Common Yellowthroat

With them was one of our many Gray Catbirds of the day. This shot was from another caught later on.

Gray Catbird

The morning continued and so did the birds. In fact we only had one dry-run all morning. Next up were some Northern Cardinals. First a male, which was actually a recapture. We initially banded this bird on our very first day at Lake Lotus!

Northern Cardinal

He was followed up with a new female.

Northern Cardinal

Along with the Cardinals was a bird we see often but rarely catch. A Blue Jay. Packed quite a bite with that hooked bill!

Blue Jay

We captured several Brown Thrashers today. In the past we get 1 or 2 a month. This was a banner day for Thrashers (4) and was the most Thrashers ever caught in a single day. Better yet, most were new birds! They differed in age. Younger birds can be told by their duller yellow eyes.

Brown Thrasher

Compare that to the bright yellow eyes of an adult.

Brown Thrasher

We also captured many Carolina Wrens, both new and recaps. All but one (a male) had brood patches.

Carolina Wren

Our other Wren species was a recaptured House Wren. Won't be here much longer.

House Wren

Another new migrant for the season was caught in Net 10. A Northern Waterthrush. It was not the best at keeping still for the camera.

Northern Waterthrush

Finishing up the birds for the day was a beautiful male Black-throated Blue Warbler. A nice trifecta of new migrants in our flurry of a banding day.

Black-throated Blue Warbler

Next week is the annual Earth Day Event so no banding on 'our' side of the river.
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, April 17th.

This is the annual Earth Day event we have been giving banding demos at for several years.
Event runs from 8:30 A.M. to 3:30 P.M.
Trams are available from the parking lot across from the park. I have been told you can also park there and walk on the new path they completed that runs under the highway.

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