The end of the week had all eyes to the East as Hurricane Joaquin churned next to the Bahamas. Forecast was that it would take a sudden turn to the North but it was so close that even if it did turn, which it did starting Friday night, it would impact our weather. In our specific case, it ended up stalling the migrating birds we were expecting during this weekend.
Common Yellowthroats did make it through and they made up the highest count, species-wise, today.
Most of the Common Yellowthroats were female but an adult male flew through early on.
Killian watched on as Becki banded yet another Common Yellowthroat early in the morning.
Our last featured Common Yellowthroat was a juvenile male showing its black mask just starting to appear.
Christine's friend Anne was in the States for a while and joined us from Gloucestershire and got to release some of our banded birds this weekend.
Our second highest species count today was the local Northern Cardinals.
As expected, we captured our first of the season Gray Catbird. They will be here through next April.
Unexpected was a Black-and-White Warbler captured in Net 12. Not the usual spot for them but we will take it.
Richard and Anne recored another adult male Northern Cardinal soon afterward.
As we closed the nets this Saturday we captured one more Northern Cardinal. This time a female.
With the skies overcast and misty/sprinking we were glad for the birds we did get today but not many migrants in yet. The next day was our usual planned Sunday and the skies were expected to clear as Joaquin moved out to sea. Maybe more birds would arrive...?
Alas, Sunday was not much better. The trailing storms breaking away from Joaquin settled in South Carolina and blocked other migration routes to the South. Most migrating birds veered to the West, instead. But, we did have some interesting captures today. Please forgive some of the shots. The camera was acting up today.
Our first bird of the morning was our first of the season Indigo Bunting. We expect a lot more of them as the month continues.
More Gray Catbirds are arriving right on time and we saw them flying overhead most of the morning.
Common Yellowthroats are also still arriving. All that we banded today were new so the others we banded yesterday most have already moved farther South.
Females young and old are following through with the adult males.
We heard one Ovenbird yesterday but caught none but today we did manage a single bird.
Migrating White-eyed Vireos are increasing in numbers and we caught a pair of new ones this morning.
Carolina Wrens are calling all around us but not many are coming out of the woods. Probably because they are molting right now as evidenced in this bird which is growing in an entire tail right now.
Not as many Northern Cardinals were caught today but a few made it into nets including this juvenile female. Note the dark splotches on the bill. Cardinal bills are black when they first hatch and soon turn into the familiar orange as they age.
Nearby, a male Northern Cardinal was captured, maybe the father of the younger bird. The nets they hit were next to one another.
Though not our last bird of the day, this Belted Kingfisher is voted Bird-of-the-Day.
Back at the table, Andrew needed both scales to weigh the bird.
Since this is only our third Belted Kingfishers we still use the band gauge to make sure we are applying the proper size. Here, Andrew secures the band to the birds short leg.
Time for your close-up! We released the bird next to the river and it silently flew to the park side before resuming its foraging.
So, no record numbers today but the front should clear before next weekend and the migration should be making its way in our direction for a while. We shall see!
Next (planned) Banding Days: Sunday, October 11th.
All nets will be opened by 6:55 A.M.