Santa forced a change at the banding site. Our trusty Olympus Ultra Zoom had been declining so we asked for a replacement. Wish granted. Now we will be using a Nikon CoolPix which has some nice features in a slim package.
The door compartments began failing years ago and have been held shut by tape.
Worse, the media card has been cracking off piece by piece and it can hardly be taken out of the camera anymore and they don't sell this brand any longer.
It still takes nice pictures and this shot of a Ruby-throated Hummingbird 13 years ago right after it was being used. But most of the crew didn't learn to use it.
Seems like the Nikon will take a little getting use to, though.
Our first bird right after sunrise was an Ovenbird.
Maybe this camera just can't focus in very low light as this blurry Gray Catbird demonstrates. Practice, practice...no choice.
Ah, that's a little better. A Hermit Thrush was lurking by Net 18 before flying in.
MUCH better now that the light is out! It was still an overcast day as a strong cold front pushed through most of the day. A recaptured Northern Cardinal brightened the morning.
As we headed to the end of the net lanes we could hear the bird Susan and Christine were extracting way before we got there. Turned out to be the first-ever captured Yellow-bellied Sapsucker at Lake Lotus. Becki was thrilled to band it.
This is a female Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. Males have red on the throat. It is also a good view of their super-sharp talons.
They also have very interesting tail feather which help support them at they cling to trees.
Our final bird of the day was a recaptured House Wren we banded last month.
SO, a bit of a learning curve with the camera to deal with but a new species erases any disappointment from earlier in the day. We will continue to give the camera a workout with all of our new birds this New Year.
NOTE: We will not be banding next Sunday, January 17th, due to a forecast of morning storms.
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, January 24th.
All nets will be opened by 6:50 A.M.