Dry shoes in the morning? Not yet. It did rain a bit but the river was lower and we can see the river bed again after a couple of months. Vegetation is still exploding but a pink sunrise was a nice start to the morning as we waited to see what migrants would be flying through.
There was a creature in Net 18 as we headed to set Net 21. An early bird? No, a bat. We seem to get a couple of bats this time if year and it is almost always in Net 18 on the edge of a swampy region before the lake.
Susan headed back to the table to get gloves but Andrew dared to use a bird bag to hold the bat as Lynn snipped a couple of net threads to fully release the bat. Most of the time we just open the net and the bat can easily fly free. We released it toward the opposite side of the river and moved along.
Our first bird captured was a Common Yellowthroat, our most numerous species of the day. They are traveling along the river and popping out from the grasses flying back and forth and hitting the nets.
Next up was an Ovenbird, our second most numerous species today.
We also captured two White-eyed Vireos this morning as they increase their migration through the property.
A juvenile Carolina Wren managed to get itself all kind of tangled in Net 6 but we eventually removed and banded it.
Lynn's Nature Time! Lynn began photographing things before the sunlight even hit the lanes and found some interesting finds. She got a great shot of a Wheel bug (Arilus cristatus), also called an Assassin Bug. They use their long snout to impale other insects.
Among the blades of grass, where the pollen is plentiful, a Honey Bee climbed up for some gathering.
We were hearing Brown Thrashers all morning so it was only a matter of time until we caught this beautiful adult.
Back at the table, a sweaty and seed-covered Andrew weighs the next bird.
Yet another Common Yellowthroat and they seem to be returning closer to the table after many years of only being captured closer to the lake.
Our final bird of the morning was a new Northern Cardinal out at Net 17. They were staying in the woods for quite a while but seem to be on the move again now that the youngsters are fledged and more on their own.
We are planning to band all weekend next week as we do every year. The first week of October is historically the peak of migration and we try to get in an extra day when we can. Last year we never had a real peak and it will be up to the weather, as always, but we hope to have a good day. Gray Catbirds should be back and often we start seeing some Buntings arriving early. We shall see!
Next (planned) Banding Days: Saturday and Sunday, October 3rd and 4th.
All nets will be opened by 6:50 A.M.