The Moon was just past full but could not light the way completely as nets were set this morning. It was still beautiful to view 15 minutes before official sunrise.
While the dawn chorus was quite active, it took us awhile to catch our first bird, a Gray Catbird, around 8 AM. This was a new bird for the season.
A recaptured Hermit Thrush came in form the end of the net lanes soon afterwards. We first banded this bird last November.
Once the Sun was up a bit in the sky the winds increased steadily form the direction of the lake and birds in the area were mainly feeding high in the trees. Wild Radish are blooming in their typical spots along the paths.
Fresh stalks of Cattails are reaching form the marshy ground at the mouth of the river.
Lake Lotus was soon rippled by the winds that made their way up river and billowed the nets more and more as the morning wore on. At least most of the leaves have fallen so we weren't picking them out of nets constantly.
Willow have past and left only fluff and seed to spread through the air with the breeze.
Barred Owls were calling well before dawn today and right by the nest tree. Once the male found his resting spot he ignored us completely.
Richard and Christine checked the nest boxes and found, naturally, a Flying Squirrel family in one.
Ranger Frank came over and urgently wanted to talk to us about something. Seems Public Works doesn't like a tree that fell quite some time ago as they fear it is blocking the flow of the river. Actually, it is just making a bridge across the river as the water here is over 10 feet deep in this spot. Still they plan to right the stump next week so Frank warned us so we could move some poles aside just in case they are not too careful while they bring in trucks. We will have the 'after' picture next week.
We later recaptured a Gray Catbird banded last Fall and a House Wren but our day was over thanks to the wind and the time it would take for us to remove poles.
Birds are making a turn back North now. If the weather is right we should start catching returning migrants.
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, March 15th.
All nets will be opened by 7:05 A.M.