Sunday, November 13, 2016

Pea Soup

A dense fog dropped into the area as we arrived at the banding site before dawn. It made for an eerie setting for putting the nets up. There was no sound save for occasional drips from the trees as the condensation gathered. Would the birds sleep in? Eventually, our Barred Owl pair called to each other before reconnecting.

We almost didn't see our first bird in the gloom. It was at the end of Net 6. This is not a terribly productive net but it paid off this morning. It captured only the third Wood Thrush we have banded here.

Wood Thrush

An Eastern Phoebe was brought in from Net 21 by the lake. They are still calling all over the property.

Eastern Phoebe

Back next to the woods in Net 4 was a recaptured White-eyed Vireo we first banded a month ago. They tend to nip.

White-eyed Vireo

Things remained pretty quiet. Time for a trip out to the lake. Did we mention it was foggy this morning?


In front of the fishing pier was a small flock of birds. A juvenile Wood Stork, Snowy Egret, White Ibis, and Common Gallinules were feeding side by side.

Wood Stork

A Great Blue Heron soon joined them. The river had deposited a lot of sediment in front of the pier. The water is getting more shallow here after every flooding rain.

Great Blue Heron

An Eastern Phoebe was taking advantage of Primrose Willow stalks to perch and hunt from.

Eastern Phoebe

Over in the cattails, a Marsh Wren played peek-a-boo. The Willow tree next to the Wren was later filled with birds once the fog began to burn off, including Orange-crowned, Prairie, Myrtle (Yellow-rump), and Palm Warblers, Blue-headed, and White-eyed Vireo, Common Yellowthroats, and House and Carolina Wrens. Northern Cardinals were busy eating Tallow seeds.

Marsh Wren

Even when Blue-gray Gnatcatchers drop down right in front of you they don't sit for long. Too many bugs to snatch!

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Bowl and doily Spider (Frontinella communis) are on property pretty much year-round but they are especially easy to see when the fog is around.

Bowl and Doily Spider

We captured a couple of House Wrens. This one was first banded 2 years ago.

House Wren

We have been waiting for the first Ruby-crowned Kinglet in the net and today was the day.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

We tend to capture more females than males so it was great to have that shock of red that gives the Ruby-crowned Kinglet its name in our hands.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

As we were taking the nets down we captured two more birds. Gray Catbirds were mewing in the vegetation all morning but were not flying around too much.

Gray Catbird

This is the third week we have banded Hermit Thrushes. They are definitely back in the neighborhood.

Hermit Thrush

Temperatures are slowly dropping as we head through the month. The upper 40s are forecast in about a week. Time to break out the jackets.
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, November 20th.
All nets will be opened by 6:15 A.M.

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