The first week of October is typically our busiest of the season. So we decided to open nets both days this weekend. Would the flood gates open on schedule or leave us wanting? The nets and volunteers were all ready at sunrise.
Common Yellowthroats continues to stream through but they have been doing that for weeks.
One species that is back right on time was a House Wren.
Much smaller than than Carolina Wrens, House Wrens are quite beautiful little birds. They will stay through the Winter and leave in early Spring.
Speaking of Carolina Wrens, of course we captured some of them today.
Another species we expect, actually a bit late, was our first Gray Catbird.
We usually joke that we only need to take one photo of a Catbird since they all look the same and we will get so many of them. However, this one was different. Almost overlooked was the fact that this Catbird had a white chin! New to all of us.
We had a visitor from the park over later in the day and she got to release another Gray Catbird after it was banded.
We have a few newer volunteers learning the ropes, er, nets. Another duty is helping to record data. Madison and Alease are learning some of the recording this morning.
While checking Net 2 back behind the table, Andrew heard a rustling sound in the leaf litter. Soon, the rhyme started repeating: "Red next to yellow, kill a fellow..."
A gorgeous Coral Snake was trying to remain hidden but we managed a few blurry shots. Coral Snakes are seen from time to time but they would rather be left alone and are not aggressive.
More of a danger are the Dragonflies. Even to other Dragonflies.
Did we mention Common Yellowthroats are still being caught?
We are beginning to catch a lot of White-eyed Vireos of late which is nice. However, this bird much think it stinks as it plugs up its nostrils for some reason.
We recaptured a male Northern Cardinal that was interesting in that we first banded it a year and a half ago when he was a fledgling. Looking big and strong. Love success stories.
Closing out with a bang was the Bird of the Day. Last year we only caught females but today we got a male Painted Bunting. It was captured in the same net we caught females and fledglings this time last year. Sure, they are interesting from the front...
...but when you see them from the side or back, wow!
While we were packing up Richard noticed something curious. Seems one of our support trees that holds up the rope that holds our bird in bags has done some growing. THis rope was tied up here about 5 years ago. He repositioned the rope to give the tree some relief.
We headed home to get a little rest before we have to be back out tomorrow morning.
So, did the peak miss us or is is right around the corner. Time will tell. Regardless, we should be seeing Indigo Buntings very soon.
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, October 13th.
All nets will be opened by 6:55 A.M.