The strong front that was draped above Florida for quite awhile finally cleared on Saturday and promised winds from the North. That usually means we see more birds and the day didn't disappoint. However, instead of clear skies a light fog formed through most of the morning.
We had been contacted by the Culbertson family a couple days ago and they arrived in time to see most birds captured today. Our first Gray Catbird hit the nets before dawn. A good sign. After the bird was banded Andrew demonstrated how to release a bird to our new visitors.
Brown Thrashers have been teasing us for weeks with adults flying next to a couple of nets. Today we started catching the new young birds.
Common Yellowthroats are still streaming through in good numbers.
Another species arrived right on schedule. We captured a lot of House Wrens today. More than is typical for us.
A nice adult male Black-throated Blue Warbler started the oohs and ahhs fairly early on.
We caught the two juveniles and later we caught one of the adult Brown Thrashers.
Releasing a big Brown Thrasher is a lot different than the smaller birds but it still brings smiles.
Christine extracted a thrush but wasn't sure which species she had brought back. Turned out to be a Gray-cheeked Thrush. We see very few of this species making it a very pleasant surprise.
This was a young bird which can be told by seeing the light tip on the wing coverts.
The Gray-cheeked Thrush was a Life Bird for many gathered around the table and Avery was more than happy to have the duty of releasing it back into the woods.
A juvenile Indigo Bunting was up next but we have not seen the peak of them yet.
A cigar smoking Northern Cardinal? No. It is just holding a stick to keep it from pinching fingers.
We managed to capture only one Ovenbird this morning.
All of the White-eyed Vireos we have captured in the past couple of weeks have had a fat rating of 3 which is the highest. These little birds are full of fat for their journey South.
Even if they are a little heavier from that fat they are still fast enough to escape the click of a camera.
We also had a very interesting recapture. We recognized this bird right away since it is the only Gray Catbird we have seen with a white chin! We first banded it a year and a half ago.
This House Wren was also a recapture from about the same time.
No recaptures of Common Yellowthroats. They are just zooming through.
Our 2nd Red-Eyed Vireo of the season was brought in from the end of the net lanes where most of the birds were congregating.
An American Redstart was a first for us this Fall. The bright orange under the wing indicate this is not a female but a juvenile male.
Our visitors had already left before our final few birds were brought in. Next up was a female Downy Woodpecker.
Bird-of-the-Day was awarded to this female Hooded Warbler. A nice splash of yellow at the end of the day.
On our final walk as we closed up for the day revealed an adult female Indigo Bunting in Net 13. We are hoping we get a lot of buntings in the next few weeks, especially since we have a lot of grass seed awaiting them.
A fun morning and glad to have a bunch of birds to show first time visitors. Next weekend are forecast to be a little windy so who knows what we will get.
Next (planned) Banding Days: Sunday, October 18th.
All nets will be opened by 7:00 A.M.