Sunday, September 4, 2016

Migrants on the Uptick

Tropical Storm/Hurricane Hermine landed in the Big Bend this week and left us with a lot of extra rain this week but we were all cleared out for the weekend. Still left us with wet shoes all morning as we wait to Hopefully dry out in the next month. A promising start to the morning was Chris finding a small flock of Eastern Kingbirds along the river. A fairly rare sight here but they are migrating through.

Eastern Kingbird

Our first bird of the day was an Ovenbird. Nice to start with a migrant in the nets first thing.


Then we began to get the locals. We caught 5 Carolina Wrens including this new bird just by the banding table.

Carolina Wren

Just behind the table, we caught our first thrush of the season. A Veery. These are the first thrushes to move through and the earliest we have have on site in many years.


Our next migrant was a Northern Waterthrush. They are showing up all over the area right now.

Northern Waterthrush

We had a couple of visitors today and Angela and her mom Rori got to see a few birds banded before they left and Angela got to release the morning birds.


Another Veery was brought in soon afterwards.


We were literally stepping over a number of baby American Alligators today. With the waters on the rise, the baby gators were hanging close to the edge of the net lanes in the duck weed and out by the river. At one point, Andrew stepped on one palette bridge only to find a tail sticking out before the gator backed out and scurried into the marsh. Fortunately, no adult gator were nearby.

American Alligator.JPG

Just on time, Common Yellowthroats are beginning to move through and Christine got a beautiful adult male in Net 16.

Common Yellowthroat

A new capture from the nets. A Cicada was extracted and brought back to the table. We were not sure if this bug was truly dead or just beginning to molt but we placed it back into the woods letting it continue on in any case. With this high humidity, Cicadas are calling most of the morning.


We tried to lure in a Yellow Warbler down at Net 21. It was foraging in the willows but it would not get close enough for capture. Except for a nice photo.

Yellow Warbler

Despite not getting that yellow bird we were greeted with another. A Prothonotary Warbler was waiting in Net 18.

Prothonotary Warbler

Large flocks of Tufted Titmice were up and down the lanes today. Eventually, we captured a single bird behind the banding table.

Tufted Titmouse

As we began plans to close up for the morning, Chris returned to the table walking with a purpose to report a Carolina Wren in Net 16. We retrieved the recaptured juvenile and rolled up nets for the day.

Carolina Wren

Capture rates are on the upswing and we hope for bigger numbers in the coming weeks. If we can keep the tropics off of our backs.
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, September 11th.
All nets will be opened by 6:25 A.M.

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