Thursday, April 30, 2009

There is never a bad day for birding after the first wave hits!

Usually spring starts out slow so we can get a footing on preparing for those “big” days but we have had to hit the ground running because the birds have been so numerous. Many thanks to the great volunteers who have kept up the pace. I sure hope they don’t wear out on me before June!

For a total of 4.5 hours with 23 mist nets, we captured 224 new birds and many recaptures from yesterday (54). The wind was not favorable to send them on their way so they stayed. The top two species White-throated Sparrow and Myrtle Warbler (Yellow-rumped) had substantial amount of fat. They were apparently hanging out for better winds. The wind is supposed to be southerly tonight and tomorrow so it may be the second pulse of birds from the first wave. Not that we have not had a lot of Myrtles already!

The highlights for the day were another Yellow Palm Warbler. Phil Chaon, our trusty intern said there was a Yellow Palm on the boardwalk yesterday afternoon too. Other highlights were Blackpoll Warbler (they are always good to see in spring!), Rose-breasted Grosbeak, and a female Rusty Blackbird. Sixteen species of warblers were observed on the Navarre Ridge site with nine species netted. It was interesting that none of yesterday’s Prothonotary Warblers were banded. We have 3-4 pair of them nesting on the banding site and those have not returned as of yet. Or if they have we have not netted them to check them in for another year! (It is like checking them into a motel. You have to make sure everyone is accounted for).

Top 6 species:
Myrtle Warbler - 79
White-throated Sparrow -55
Western Palm Warbler - 15
Swamp Sparrow - 9
Yellow Warbler - 7
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher - 7

Have a good Friday!

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