Sunday, September 21, 2014

Common Yellowthroats Break Through

A sure sign that we are approaching the peak of migration. A growing sting of captured birds by mid-morning.


For the past two weeks, storm fronts have capped the state and blocked our expected numbers of birds. Today, just after the latest front cleared overnight, Common Yellowthroats have flooded into the area. We were catching them all morning including juvenile and adult females...

Common Yellowthroat

...the expected juvenile males...

Common Yellowthroat

...and a good amount of adult males which typically arrive after the above groups.

Common Yellowthroat

Ovenbirds are still moving through in decent numbers, too.


It was nice to see some Northern Waterthrushes during the day. They are usually one of the earliest migrants and trail off about now.

Northern Waterthrush

All of this rain in the past few weeks is aiding the spread of fungi including all variety of mushrooms in many shapes and colors along the paths and into the surrounding woods.


Once the Sun rose high enough, dragonflies emerged to forage and Lynn found a couple of nice species. We seem to have a nice population of Georgia River Cruisers at certain times of the year.


We had to contact our local dragonfly expert and fellow birder, Paul Hueber, to ID this Great Blue Skimmer.

Great Blue Skimmer

Back at the table, Andrew pauses to search for the source of an overhead bird call as Avery, now a common face at the site (and an avid Nature explorer) helps to record data.


Meanwhile, a bug spent a long time cruising Andrew's notebook.


It took a bit longer to begin capturing local birds but we did capture a couple of Carolina Wrens along the way.

Carolina Wren

We have our share of spiders out in the wild but a beautiful Argiope (AR GEE OH PEE) caught our attention the most just below the banding table. Sometimes called a Black and Yellow Garden Spider, Wikipedia suggests "The etymology of the name (Argiope) is from a Greek name meaning "silver-faced.""


Another sign of migrating birds are the Red-shouldered Hawks foraging in almost complete silence today.

Red-shouldered Hawk

Down by the lake at Net 21, Andrew and Christine remove yet another Common Yellowthroat.

Net 21

Also in that net at the same time was a female American Redstart.

American Redstart

Always on the lookout for interesting photo opportunities, Lynn found a bug on one of the nets.


While Charles was fixing pole strings that we use to secure the nets, he extracted our first White-eyed Vireo of the Session. This is a prime time for them to move through. Local birds do exist here year-round but this bird was full of fat indicating it was a migrant.

White-eyed Vireo

Just after we were discussing that we had not captured any local Northern Cardinals today we wrapped up the day with a recaptured male that we first banded last October.

Northern Cardinal

If the fronts cooperate we should continue larger number of birds for a few weeks. Catbirds and Indigo Buntings should be upcoming soon and full weekend banding might be in order. Our favorite time of the year!
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, September 28th.
All nets will be opened by 6:45 A.M.

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