Sunday, December 6, 2015

Two Firsts of the Season

Higher wind than usual today. We figured that we wouldn't catch too many birds but we did have a couple of surprises along the way. We even had two new bird species for the season. More on that later, but our Gray Catbirds were up before dawn with two of them in the brighting morning.

Gray Catbird

Down at Net 14, a Hermit Thrush was comfortably resting in a net panel.

Hermit Thrush

On the next run, Andrew found Richard extracting our first Eastern Phoebe of the season. They have been very vocal and visible and often have been seen perching on the net poles lately so it was nice to actually catch one.

Eastern Phoebe

A Great Egret flew to the sandbar across from the peir out at the lake and it was soon reproached by a Limpkin. Rangers say the Limpkins are preparing to nest nearby so probably a bit if a territory dispute brought them together.

Limpkin and Great Egret

Just across from the sandbar, a small flock of American Goldfinches dropped in to feed in the Primrose Willow.

American Goldfinch

Heading back to the nets away from the lake, a Western Palm Warbler teased us just across the river.

Western Palm Warbler

Becki and Killian brought in the Ruby-crowned Kinglet of the day, also in Net 21 by the lake.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

A male Pileated Woodpecker flew to the snag next to the banding table in search of food before flying off again.

Pileated Woodpecker

Most of the birds seen today were flying far overhead. Robins, ducks, and warblers were definitely on the move through the area but most failed to drop lower to Earth. At one point a flock of American Crows paused long enough to call loudly from the treetops near the table.

American Crow

As Andrew cleared a stand of Primrose Willow next to Net 21, a female Painted Bunting was trapped next to the river. This is our first of the season for this species and it has been quiet a while since we have captured one.

Painted Bunting

So, not as disappointing as was anticipated but we would like to see more Yellow-rumps in the area. We did hear a couple of Cedar Waxwings fly past so maybe we can up the totals for next week. Less wind would certainly help us out.
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, December 13th.
All nets will be opened by 6:35 A.M.

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