Migrants finally started hitting the peninsula last week so we were hoping for some better activity at the banding site. Alas, the overcast skies didn't deliver as hoped and the winds picked up and reduced capture chances even more. One sign that migration is ramping up was the flocks of Cedar Waxwings scarfing down wild cherries near the banding table. When they hit that tree it is usually the last time we see them until they return near the end of the year.
At one point later in the day, the Sun broke through the clouds briefly as the birds settled on a snag for a break.
We eventually captured our first bird which was a female Downy Woodpecker. It was a recapture and was first banded almost the same day six years ago.
Next up was a new female Northern Cardinal. It has been a while since we have banded a new female. Typically it is males that are moving in.
The one notable migrant species on the property were American Redstarts. Males were feeding low in the shrubs and calling like crazy. One male kept feeding around Net 1 and eventually it flew straight in the net as we watched.
Nick spotted 4 Swallow-tailed Kites circling overhead near the pines where they nested a few years ago. We only got one shot but it appears this bird is holding a clump of moss which they use to build their nest. Fingers are crossed that they pick the nearby trees again. Just before this photo was snapped we had a quick fly over of a Roseate Spoonbill! Never had that before.
Christine and Susan were checking the nets and found a Green Treefrog, (Hyla cinerea), clinging to the pole at Net 21. Nice to find the native species instead of the Cuban invasives.
Our final bird of the day was a male Northern Parula. The males are super busy feeding the chicks which are begging all over the place.
Later in the day, Andrew checked the SD card from our trail cam. No Coyote or bear this week. Mostly is was Raccoons...
...and many Opossum.
Most of the shots triggered during the day were made as the wind tossed the shadows around but we did get a nice shot of a Raccoon strolling by.
But a couple of shots that caused and audible gasp were that of the critter we were hoping to get last week. Our Bobcat, (Lynx rufus). we have long surmised that this what was using the spot as its restroom for a couple of years and now we have our definitive proof.
Photos from the following day were even more awe inspiring. The Bobcat in the daylight! What a lovely creature. So amazing that all of this wildlife lives on the property and you never see them in person.
According to our records over the years, the next two weeks should yield some fun birds as the last of the migrants head North to their breeding locations. You never know what will show up but last year we captured several Connecticut Warblers. We shall see.
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, May 7th.
All nets will be opened by 6:10 A.M.