Timing was looking promising for a good day of banding. A cold front was dropping down and a large group of birds were on the move from the South. Add to that the birds were singing nearly 30 minutes earlier than usual and we were ready for action. However...
Despite the large amount of local birds calling well before dawn we only caught a few birds. First off was a new Northern Cardinal and then Becki found a Tufted Titmouse in Net 2.
Another Cardinal was in Net 12 next to a pair of Carolina Wrens. The female had a brood patch and the male was right next to her in the net. We first banded the female when she was a juvenile so it is nice to see here around and starting a family. The male was banded just a couple of months before the female.
Andrew grabbed his camera to do some looking around and found a Tussock Moth on the strap. Caterpillars are all over the place. When they are not being turned into bird food they sometimes fall from above and give us a quick visit.
The main reason we had such a slow day was the wind which rose a few hours earlier than forecast. At times it was gusting very strong, especially down near the lake.
Becky found a Blue-headed Vireo tucked away in the branches avoiding the windy conditions.
Out on the new sandbar in front of the pier, a Fish Crow picked up scraps on the sand.
To the right, a female Red-winged Blackbird stayed to the edges of the reeds while the males vied for territory.
Following a flock of Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) Warblers that were feeding high int he trees, Andrew traveled through the woods a bit to see if any thing interesting was within. Deep in the shade he found some red berries showing off to no one.
One of the recent branches that fell by Net 12, shell-shaped fungus rings most of the diameter.
Back in the woods, on a long-ago fallen tree trunk some umbrella-shaped fungus was sprouting on the shadiest side.
Interestingly, looking back at the same trunk from the other side we find a totally different type of fungus.
Bob found our final bird of the day in Net 9. A female Ruby-throated Hummingbird. She had a brood patch so she was heading either to or from a nearby nest.
Finally, near those first fungus we mentioned is a blooming Bartram's Airplant (Tillandsia bartramii) also attached to one of the fallen limbs.
A few more weeks of migration and hopefully we can get in some banding in around the increasing April Showers.
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, April 12th.
All nets will be opened by 6:35 A.M.