Making up for lost time after Hurricane Matthew flooded half the banding site, we set nets on Saturday and Sunday this weekend. Good choice. Saturday was a nice mix of birds. As usual, we began the day with Common Yellowthroats.
What we were really hoping to get were Indigo Buntings and they cooperated right at dawn.
All age ranges of Common Yellowthroats were caught again today. The top photo is a female and this is a juvenile male.
Making a slightly delayed appearance were Gray Catbirds. They were our highest total of species captured this morning.
At one point we caught three Indigo Buntings in one net. A female, a juvenile male, and this male. Perhaps a traveling family?
A Black-throated Blue Warbler female joined the festivities.
Ovenbirds are fewer than earlier in the month but we managed to band one today.
Another female Black-throated Blue Warbler was banded. Last year we caught mainly males but this year we have more females.
One House Wren escaped early in the day but this one stuck around long enough for a photo and some jewelry.
Nice to have an American Redstart in the nets. They usually stay higher in the canopy but occasionally they chase an insect lower to the ground.
Did we mention we had a lot of Gray Catbirds? Nice to have them back and mewing from the bushes.
We were glad for Saturday's birds. Sunday turned out to be only a third as busy. Fortunately, the very first bird of the morning was the Bird-of-the-Day. The very first Marsh Wren we have ever had the pleasure of banding! You might think we would catch them by the lake but this bird was halfway up the river.
Marsh Wrens are the size of House Wrens but have an eyebrow like a Carolina Wren and a distinctive white pattern on their nape.
Only one Indigo Bunting caught and only a couple others heard calling.
All bird numbers were down today, including the Common Yellowthroats.
Becki showed Connie how we age most of our Gray Catbirds. Young birds have a white to pink interior roof of their bills which turn solid black as they become adults. Thankfully, most Catbirds like nipping your fingers so you can easily see inside.
Christine found a Black Racer sunning by the front gate...
...while Becki spotted a pair of Royal River Cruisers mating near the river.
Good thing we added the extra day of banding. Our first of the season Ruby-crowned Kinglet was seen and cooler weather is predicted next weekend. Going to feel like Fall. Might even hear the first Robins flying over by then, too.
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, October 23rd.
All nets will be opened by 7:00 A.M.