The first cold front of the season was bearing down on us so we decided to add Saturday to our banding schedule this week. Good call! The weather was a bit more crisp and it was a joy to not sweat all day long. This could have been the first big push we were waiting for and our very first haul was growing every minute. Here is the first row of bags and more were streaming in not far behind.
One of the first birds we captured was a new Ovenbird. It was just after dawn so the photo isn't that great but good enough.
Common Yellowthroats were calling from one end of the river all the way down to the lake. They made up our largest count for any species but we did end up with 12 species which is nice to see.
We caught some Gray Catbirds which have arrived right on schedule but did not take photos. There will be plenty of them all the way through April. Also on schedule were the House Wrens.
Among the local birds we caught were a couple of Blue Jays. Andrew was wearing his Jay Watch shirt on this unscheduled day instead of the standard uniform of choice.
This one insisted on this pose for a while before being released.
Somewhere along the way we discovered a snake hanging out by the table. O.K., it was just a rubber version brought by Richard and Christine. No actual snakes were seen today.
Though not often captured here, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers often swarm the trees so it is nice to capture one along the way.
In the net right next to the Gnatcatcher was an American Redstart. Only seeing females right now.
Susan found this caterpillar along the net lanes. any clues? We are still searching for an ID. Pretty, though.
Adding to the species list, we caught a White-eyed Vireo. We have a local group that never seems to get the true white eye, even as adults, so we have to take a bit more care on aging them by examining their mouth lining which changes as they age.
Always a favorite, Black-throated Blue Warblers are among the most beautiful migrants we get to band.
Throw in some recaptures and a few more local birds and we had a pretty good day. Indigo Buntings and Blue Grosbeaks were seen near the lake and we hope to catch them soon. We shall see tomorrow if this was the big wave or if more are on the way.
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, October 2nd.
All nets will be opened by 6:50 A.M.