Sunday, August 30, 2009

Ho Hum weekend for migrants on the beach ridge

Saturday and Sunday were sleepers for birds on the Navarre Beach Ridge. There were times I was wishing for cameras on the nets to tell me where to retrieve a bird and not have to walk to all the nets. Yes, I need the exercise but after a while it gets old or is that me? Okay for the combined total of 2 days we caught 30 new birds and 4 recaptures! Yippee!! There were some nice ones so I will share them with you. By the way, at least on the Navarre Beach Ridge I cannot predict good bird days in the fall even though I may try. I have said it before and will say it more times. You just have to go out and enjoy what is there. The peak of fall songbird migration is in a couple weeks. One cannot expect a big movement in August, right? And one cannot expect the temperatures to be in the forties at night in August either? Okay, the highlights of the weekend were: 6 species of warbler (Tennessee, Yellow, Prothonotary (another adult male!), Mourning, Common Yellowthroat, and Canada Warbler), Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Swainson’s Thrush-first for the fall, and a Cedar Waxwing (or as some say the bird wearing the wet suit!).

A few of the highlights were these two birds of the same species and sex but different ages. Can you tell which one is the hatching year bird and which one is the after hatching year bird? You don’t have to look at the primary coverts on these birds to see which one is the adult bird and which one was hatched a couple months ago. Note the breast streaks on the hatching year bird are smaller and black. A female would have gray streaks or spots.

Canada Warblers as I have said before are an early fall migrant so if it is your favorite bird get out and see it!

Enjoy the fall flycatchers as well! This one is quite yellow with a yellow eye ring and wing bars which makes it a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher!

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