Monday, October 5, 2009

First Orange-crowned Warbler of the fall season

Westerly winds and I was hopeful for a good day. It was a good day in that the sun came out and we caught 13 species of warblers (Tennessee, Orange-crowned, Nashville, Magnolia, Cape May, Black-throated Blue, Myrtle, Bay-breasted, Blackpoll, Ovenbird, Connecticut, Mourning, and Common Yellowthroat). Notice the new warbler listed? Does it look like this bird? It is the first for the fall. Not the best looking specimen for an Orange-crowned Warbler but that is what it is. Just remember I gave you the name of this bird. A picture of this species may appear in a later posting so take note of the field marks. Best of all, make sure they are the field marks that work for you to identify the species. I use the split eye ring, and yellowish breast with the faint gray streaks. Of course it has yellow undertail coverts which definitely differentiates it from the Tennessee Warbler which has white undertail coverts. Some think the O-C has a line through its eye not seeing the split eye ring. It is a pretty bland looking bird because it has no wing bars or tail spots. Otherwise it is a nice looking green color if I do say myself. Whatever you do, please do not rely on seeing the orange patch on its head. The orange patch is more prevalent on a male and then it is not so obvious on most. Use other characteristics to help you ID the Orange-crowned.
Eighty-five new banded birds including 36 recaptures were today’s catch.
Another highlight of the day besides the O-C was another Connecticut Warbler. Yes, you probably thought it was a typo above but it was not. There are not many kinglets around yet. My predictability for fall movements is slim but from my experience, larger kinglet movements have occurred in the southwestern shore of Lake Erie on calm nights. Maybe tomorrow will be a good kinglet day.
Beach top species:
Blackpoll Warbler -5
Gray Catbird-3
Red-winged Blackbird-2

Main Inside top species:
Blackpoll Warbler-18
Swainson’s Thrush-10
Myrtle Warbler-7
Gray-cheeked Thrush-6
White-throated Sparrow-6
Get outside if you can and enjoy the sights and sounds of fall. This morning a Great Horned Owl was serenading me as I put up the nets. You never know what you will find.

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