Our next to last Sunday for Session 9 was our last chance at finding any migrants but we could tell while setting nets that this might be more of an exploration day than anything else. It was awfully quiet. We soldiered on preparing for a slow set of walks.
Baby Barred Owl was up at dawn and skipping from branch to branch while other birds began to stir.
The only noise we really heard was the feeding family of Titmice and there was also a couple of Chickadees calling with them. Been a while since they strayed to this side of the property. Then, as Andrew began his next run, he noticed a couple of birds in Net 15. Then another. And another. The flock had moved near the ground and were hitting the net one by one. One of the birds was one of the Carolina Chickadees! Becki had stopped by for her first visit in a while and was given banding duty.
This marked the first Carolina Chickadee we have banded since 2010!
We do catch more Tufted Titmice and when we do it is usually most of a family at the same time. Once one goes in and starts sounding an alarm the others fly in to investigate and also get snagged. Two of the five were juveniles, noted by the yellow gape at the edge of the bill.
The other Tufted Titmice were all adults.
As we finished up with the flock, Christine walked up with a recaptured male Northern Cardinal first banded a year ago and captured in the same Net 7.
Then things got quiet again so we were left to photograph the Barred Owls. Momma was staying closer to where Baby was earlier near the nest tree.
Poppa Barred Owl was staying by the river at Net 18
Soon, we captured our second juvenile Carolina Wren of the Spring. Young wrens are more tan overall and have not yet molted into their wing spots.
Andrew jumped the river during the next lull in the action and walked out to the pier. One of the Limpkin pair was in the water probing for snails and mollusks while the other was standing on the railing. Hanging out with these two for nearly 10 years allowed a very close approach. Not bad for a cellphone shot from two feet away!
Momma Barred Owl was now eyeing the river herself as the morning drew to a close. Yet another shot from a few feet away as they are too used to us, as well.
As we closed up for the day, a female Northern Parula was found down in Net 21.
One more morning before we take the next months off. It will probably be just as quiet or more so.
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, May 28th.
All nets will be opened by 6:00 A.M.