Thursday, October 1, 2009

First Golden-crowned Kinglets and Hermit Thrushes of the season

The first day of October and you would think it was the last day of October with the cold temperature. Freeze and frost warnings were forecasted for the morning. Yes, it was in the 30’s this morning and clear. A good night for all those banded Blackpoll Warblers to leave town and thankfully most of them did. Before I forget again, yesterday we caught an old female Common Yellowthroat that we had banded in 2001 as an adult. So she was at least 9 years old! She was one sharp looking yellowthroat. Some of these birds have seen more of the world than I. She only weighs the equivalent of a couple quarters. The miles she has tallied is unfathomable to me.

One hundred fifty-two new birds banded with 44 recaptures. I am so glad the banded Blackpolls have moved on. The Blackpoll Warbler tied second place with White-throated Sparrow behind Swainson’s Thrush today as the top species banded. Highlights for the day were a female Sharp-shinned Hawk, and the first Golden-crowned Kinglet, Hermit Thrush, and snowbird for the fall season. I guess it was appropriate to have the chilly birds here on this morning. We had an increase in Swamp Sparrows today as well. The sparrow guild will be increasing in the next several weeks. Fox Sparrow is yet to come. Yay! Eleven species of warbler were seen today including Tennessee, Nashville, Magnolia, Cape May, Black-throated Blue, Myrtle, Blackburnian, Blackpoll, American Redstart, Ovenbird, and Common Yellowthroat.
Beach top species:
Blackpoll Warbler-5
Swamp Sparrow-4
Swainson’s Thrush-3

Main Inside top species:
Swainson’s Thrush-30
White-throated Sparrow-16
Blackpoll Warbler-13
Gray-cheeked Thrush-12
Brown Creeper-9
Hermit Thrush-5

Quiz bird for you: Here is the back.(You never see the whole bird sometimes so give it a guess!)
Here is an interesting looking bird. It looks like it had lost its original facial feathers to mites of something and they grew in without pigment on this Common Grackle. Doesn't htis bird look evil?! One of the highlights of the day:
A hatching year Sharp-shinned Hawk with its vertical breast streaks and yellow eye.

A front view of the quiz bird! Note the pink bill. The outer tail coverts on the back view should have given you the clue it was a snowbird. That is what my mother calls the junco. Since in banding we need to differentiate from all the subspecies of juncos in case the others become more common, banders call this bird Slate-colored Junco. This is a female. Tomorrow is forecasted for rain so we shall see if the weather persons know what they are talking about. The weekend should be good once the rain leaves Saturday morning.

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