With the bunting numbers on the decline we waited for what the day would bring. It turned out to be a pretty exciting morning. Much variety and a couple of surprises welcomed us today. Our Bird-of-the-Day (BOTD) will be at the end but was actually captured first, before dawn. The second-place BOTD was our first Swamp Sparrow of the season. We captured two today.
Our usual suspects were still around including several House Wrens.
Indigo Buntings are still here but in lower numbers, which is expected. The grasses seem to be holding them around for a bit longer. We had two birds of that species this morning including a young female and an older male.
Another local was caught. A female Northern Cardinal we first banded a while ago. We provide a stick to avoid being bitten during the banding process.
A bird that has been on Greg's list to see up close was captured. An Ovenbird.
Our other new volunteer, Becky, was hoping for a Painting Bunting today. Near the end of the day we got a female near the end of the river. We first banded her a year and a half ago.
A White-eyed Vireo joined the stats today. A younger bird.
Eastern Phoebes have been very numerous this year. Their calls can be heard nearly anywhere there is open space.
Of course, Gray Catbirds can also be heard all over, too.
Always nice to see a returning bird from year to year. Today we captured a Hermit Thrush we first banded last January.
Finally, our BOTD. The very first bird we caught this morning was a gray-morph Eastern Screech Owl!
This is the second Screech Owl we have banded at Lake Lotus. The first was nearly 2 years ago and it was a red-morph. We released the owl by placing it gently on a stump. To our surprise, it didn't fly off for while. This provided many good photo opportunities before it eventually did return to the woods.
Andrew has another shot of the owl over at his bird photo blog: Drew's Birds.
You never know what will show up on any given morning. Today showed us many of the various species that use this space for migration and as their home.
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, November 11th.
All nets will be opened by 6:10 A.M.