Time to bundle up! Temps dropped to 45 degrees for the first time this season and a light wind made it feel just a bit cooler as we set nets well before dawn. Hey, at least we didn't have to worry about bugs for most of the morning. Most of the volunteers slept in longer than expected but we got nets up by 6:30 and found that most o the birds were sleeping in, too.
Several Gray Catbirds were heard calling before 7 AM and we caught one fairly quickly. Andrew's camera was on the fritz for a bit so we share a shot from the same time last year. Know what? They all look about the same all year.
The second bird of the morning was our first Swamp Sparrow of the season. They are a week late but that is OK. Still having camera issues so this one is also from exactly a year ago. Swamp Sparrows also almost always look the same.
The cold, clear morning didn't provide much for us to band today and we only saw two Warbler species. Palm and Yellow-rumped. But of these spent more time yards from the nets but we eventually caught an Eastern Phoebe. We hear them most of the day and hope they will drift through the net areas.
The Belted Kingfishers were very vociferous this morning. They were calling in different spots and even sitting next to one another and calling back and forth for quite awhile before beginning their patrols up and down the river. Eventually, we caught and banded our second Kingfisher ever at Lake Lotus. An adult female,
The day grew very quiet so we closed up a bit early. While getting Net 2 down we discovered another bird in waiting. A female Indigo Bunting. Not a bad way to end the morning.
So, strong winds probably kept most bird aloft for the morning but we are seeing more Ruby-crowned Kinglets and Myrtles in the area so captures should increase again, soon. On the way out of the banding area, Andrew swung by a local office park and found the first Hooded Mergansers of the season foraging in a retention pond.
Here is to catching the first Myrtle Warblers next week when it will be about 10 degrees warmer!
!!!UPDATE!!! No banding on November 9th. Rains are forecast to begin Saturday night and possibly last through most of Sunday.
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, November 16th.
All nets will be opened by 6:15 A.M.