Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A drop out of warblers!!

I guess you can pretty much count on a nice day when I am away. I was talking to 4th graders all day about wetlands and birds while Mark ran the banding station. It would figure that he had a good day! Good for him.

Mark said there was a fallout of birds during the morning. At the 1030 net check, one of the back nets had 17 warblers in it to help add to the 100 total new birds for today. Apparently there was a flurry of warblers at the Observatory water feature around the same time, as reported by Kim Kaufman. There must have been something going on! Mark also said while conducting the point count survey this morning he had two Red-headed Woodpeckers fly over and a small flock of Rose-breasted Grosbeaks (8) flyover as well. Who knows what was going on in a light southerly wind. Maybe the birds just want to get south regardless of the winds. Maybe fall migration is just starting because the catch of the day was mostly adult Blackpoll Warblers leading us to believe the hatching year birds are still on their way. Or so I hope! We shall see what transpires.
Here is a nice adult Blackpoll Warbler male. See the nice black streaks on its throat?

Notice the dark black streaks on its upper tail coverts which is a characterstic of male Blackpolls and the adult shaped rectrices-nice and rounded -not pointed like a hatching year bird would be.

Highlights for the day were the grosbeaks and the Red-headed Woodpecker flyovers. Banding highlight includes a nice adult male Cape May Warbler. He is not bad looking for a fall plumaged warbler in my opinion. He has large white wing bars and a pretty well defined facial markings.

Since they had a good day I will split up the beach nets (5) from the main inside nets (23).
Beach top species:
Gray Catbird – 6
Blackpoll Warbler -5
Swainson’s Thrush -5
Gray-cheeked Thrush – 2

Main inside top species:
Blackpoll Warbler -34
Swainson’s Thrush -13
Gray-cheeked Thrush -10
Gray Catbird – 6
Magnolia Warbler -3
Common Yellowthroat -2
*we also caught 3 old banded Common Yellowthroats which were 3-5 years old.

Eleven species of warbler were observed or banded on site today. These included Tennessee, Nashville, Yellow, Magnolia, Cape May, Blackpoll, American Redstart, Ovenbird, Northern Waterthrush, Common Yellowthroat and Wilson’s.

Not a bad day I would say! I am sure it will be good tomorrow since I will be giving more programs to the 4th graders. That is okay they need to know how great the wetland ecosystems are around here. It is now officially fall so let the birds come!

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