Sunday, September 27, 2009

Night Flights were tremendous!

If any of you were up before sunrise today I am sure you heard all the commotion! Thrushes burping and songbirds chipping as they flew over. I was wondering where they had been and where they were going to stop for the day.

Today was our highest catch of the fall 144 new banded birds and 25 recaptures. One of the recaptures was an Ovenbird who has been here for a couple weeks. I think it is liking it here. It is increasing its girth. It is now up to a 5 fat class on a 0-6 fat scale. Someday it may be too fat to fly. I doubt it; but sometimes I wonder how a really fat bird can fly! The fat or energetic condition of most of the birds captured this fall has been extremely lean as compared to other fall seasons. We have been getting lots of zero to maybe a two fat class on birds when we should be getting 3-6's. Hopefully that is turning around. These birds have a long way to go and to cross the Gulf of Mexico, they will need some fat.

Highlights of the day were a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker and some nice looking Cape May Warblers. I guess the Magee Wildlife Area Boardwalk had lots of Cape Mays as well.

Beach top specie:
Blackpoll Warbler -4

Main Inside top species:
Blackpoll Warbler - 67
Swainson's Thrush- 13
Gray-cheeked Thrush -11
White-throated Sparrow- 7
Winter Wren-5
Cape May Warbler- 4

Blackpoll Warbler on left with yellow pads to its feet and Bay-breasted Warbler with its gray legs and feet. Note the Blackpoll has fine gray streaks on its flanks unlike the Bay-breasted Warbler. That is the key for me to tell them apart in the fall. Use whatever field mark works for you. It may be something totally different.
Winds are to be strong out of the west for the next couple days with a good chance of rain. Raingear will be needed. Have a good day!

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