It was an odd sort of day but full of surprises as we got later into the morning. Conditions were ripe for any migrants to be passing through but it took a while to get any in the nets. We did start the morning with our first migrant: an Ovenbird.
We recaptured 2 Northern Cardinals during the day. One was a male banded last year and the other was a female we banded about 4 years ago. Both were in the same areas that they were originally caught so they seem to have their territories secure.
We took trips down the nets lanes and as we waited for new captures we watched the baby Barred Owl which is still hanging out in the middle of the property.
Later on, it did its best vampire impression.
Nearby, the Blackberry bushes that Richard planted last year bloomed and have started to produce a lot of fruit.
Caterpillars started coming out after the sun broke through the clouds.
The Painted Leaf plants are showing more color and appear to spread near Net 14. Fine by us.
Gray Catbirds are still around but not for much longer. They should be leaving for slightly more Northern climes where they breed.
Another nest along the river is now full of Red-shouldered Hawks testing their wings.
It is hard to get a clear view through the branches but we could see that there are two fledglings up there. The adults have been quietly searching for food during the day.
We finally got a Northern Waterthrush that Alease found in Net 21. They tend to head South along a point farther up the river but come back North by the mouth of the river at Lake Lotus.
Momma Barred Owl was not seen for most of the morning but she eventually flew in to snuggle with her offspring.
One of our best surprises of the morning was seeing the male Swallow-tailed Kite perching across the river in full view. Hopefully, we will continue to get more great shots as they continue to tend the nest and raise their brood.
Just a bit later, a Tricolored Heron was fishing along the bank just below the same location. They tend to stick to the lake so it was nice to see one near the banding table.
Before Lynn left, she brought back a couple of good birds. We don't catch Mourning Doves too often so it was another nice surprise for the day.
She also had a male Northern Parula. They breed here in the park but typically stay high in the treetops.
Our last run produced three birds. One was the female Cardinal shown above. the next net held a female Downy Woodpecker. Last week we caught a male. Pileated and Red-bellied Woodpeckers also are breeding in the park.
Two nets further revealed a male Black-throated Blue Warbler. This is the last push for this species and males come through first. Maybe we can net a female before migration ends.
Not a bad day. Average for this time of year. The month of May should see us catching hatched Carolina Wrens and Northern Cardinals before we shut down for June and July.
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, May 4th.
All nets will be opened by 6:15 A.M.