Sunday, May 24, 2009

Chuck-will's-widow seen again this morning

As expected another lake wind, however the winds were very calm during the night so some movement of birds came in. During the drive back to the research site this morning, the Chuck-will’s-widow was spotted about 100 yards from the site flying across the road out over the lake and coming back onshore just before the research site. So it is still around!

It was another nice day and the Observatory members got a treat by visiting the station today. Mark Shieldcastle, Research Director showed them birds that we had captured in the first net check. They were shown 14 species of warbler along with a nice looking Blue-headed Vireo. The members were quite in awe of all the birds they were shown today as well as the additonal information Mark provided them on what we are learning about these birds. This hands-on experience is one of the benefits members get for supporting the Observatory.
This time of year the flycatchers get a bad rap. However, the Yellow-bellied is a fine flycatcher if I do say so myself! There were still a variety of birds around. A Blackburnian Warbler was still singing! I have learned my new warbler song for the year and that is the Wilson’s Warbler. I try to learn one new one every year. I have a ways to go. They all seem to sound alike so I concentrate on one a year. It is what works for me. Learning bird songs can be daunting but if there is a bird you enjoy seeing, if you learn its song then you will enjoy it more often because you will not always get to see it. Or it will let you know it is around and you can look for it.
Today we had 125 new birds with 36 recaptures. I am still waiting on the Empidonax Flycatchers to really hit. We caught 400 of them one day a few years back. I do not wish for that to happen again but I know there are more of them to come!

Top 7 species:
American Redstart – 14
Common Yellowthroat – 13
Swainson’s Thrush – 13
Magnolia Warbler – 11
Red-eyed Vireo – 9
Blackpoll Warbler – 8
Traill’s Flycatcher – 8

Remember tomorrow is Memorial Day! Take time to remember those who keep us free to observe these wonders of nature!

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