Monday, April 20, 2009

Metro Beach Banding - April 17 & 18, 2009

Ten degrees above normal and sunny skies made for very pleasant conditions on Friday, April 17 and Saturday, April 18. The net setup was changed slightly on these two days because a deer ran through one of the Field Nets last week and ruined it, requiring me to buy yet another net (the 8th one since banding began in 2004). Three enthusiastic and very helpful first-time assistants came out on Friday, and four cheerful and hard-working assistants came out on Saturday, including Neil Gilbert who was visiting from California. In the photo below, Neil is helping Renee with the "photographer's grip".

And here Neil holds a Swamp Sparrow for Joan to photograph while Frank looks on.

A total of 110 new birds was banded over the two days, a very good number for so early in the season.

On Friday, April 17, highlights included four Hermit Thrushes, the first Yellow-rumped Warbler of the spring (record early for spring banding), the first Swamp Sparrow of the spring, the first Dark-eyed Junco, and possibly the last, and two American Tree Sparrows. Perhaps of more interest today were two recaptures, one of a female Black-capped Chickadee that was banded in 2005 as a second-year bird, which now makes her a 6th year female. And, a female Hairy Woodpecker was recaptured that was banded in 2004 as an After Third Year, making her an After EIGHTH Year female. Interestingly, I took photos of her when banded in 2004, as well as today. These photos are below, with the 2004 photo above and the 2009 photo below.

Interesting birds observed but not banded today included a Wilson's Snipe winnowing at sunrise over the marsh, an American Woodcock that flew across the road while we were driving in, both Caspian and Forster's Terns on the beach but visible and audible from the banding area, an Osprey perched near the beach, the first Northern Rough-winged Swallows and Ruby-crowned Kinglets of the spring, a Field Sparrow out among the Field nets, and a flyover Pine Siskin.

On Saturday, April 18, banding highlights included the first Ruby-crowned Kinglets of the spring, 9 Hermit Thrushes (a record for spring banding), two Yellow-rumped Warblers including the nice adult male shown below, a very late American Tree Sparrow (tied late record for spring banding), and the first White-throated Sparrows of the spring.

Interesting birds observed but not banded included a Common Loon flying overhead, two Cooper's Hawks engaged in courtship flight, a calling Virginia Rail, a Sora (Neil only), a winnowing Wilson's Snipe at sunrise, two Blue-winged Teal (Joan only), a Belted Kingfisher, a Pine Warbler found by Neil which sang only briefly, and another flyover Pine Siskin. A Yellow-bellied Sapsucker was reported along the "trail" on the fence along Cherry Lane, which was refound by Joan, though she was too close for comfort when a big 30-foot multi-trunked tree fell down near her! We all heard and saw this amazing sight! An odd non-avian highlight of the day was an early afternoon bat sighting. Suddenly, a bat was flying back and forth over us in the bright sunlight. At the time, I thought it was a Red Bat, but after looking at my photos more carefully, it appears that it is actually a Big Brown Bat (based on tail shape, leg placement, and ear size), which is also somewhat migratory. I believe that I can see an insect in the bat's mouth in the photo.

Many thanks to the volunteer assistants who made banding on these two days possible: Chad Geurts, Jean Gramlich, Frank Lautner, Gisela Lendle King, Renee Render (half day), Joan Tisdale, and especially Neil Gilbert who came all the way from California to help out. Well, not really, he was here anyway. Here is a final photo of Neil "hypnotizing" a Golden-crowned's amazing how easily amused these California guys are!


Banding Data:

FRIDAY, APRIL 17, 2009
Sunrise (E.S.T.): 5:48 a.m.
Time Open (E.S.T.): 6:00
Time Closed (E.S.T.): 13:15
Hours Open: 7.25
No. of Nets: 5.00-13.25
Net Hours: 88.563
Temperature (F): 36-70
Sky: 0% cloud cover
Wind: Calm-SE @ 0-5-7 mph
Barometer: 30.46 - 30.36
Precipitation: None
No. Banded: 61 (plus 18 recaptured and 4 released unbanded)
No. of Species: 16
Capture Rate: 93.7 birds per 100 net hours
Assistants: Chad Geurts, Jean Gramlich, Gisela Lendle King

[Downy Woodpecker - 1 recaptured]
[Hairy Woodpecker - 1 recaptured]
[Black-capped Chickadee - 3 recaptured]
Brown Creeper - 4
Winter Wren - 1
Golden-crowned Kinglet - 3 (plus 1 recaptured)
Hermit Thrush - 4 (plus 1 released unbanded)
Yellow-rumped Warbler - 1
American Tree Sparrow - 2
Fox Sparrow - 1
Song Sparrow - 6 (plus 6 recaptured)
Swamp Sparrow - 3
Dark-eyed Junco - 1
Northern Cardinal - 1
Red-winged Blackbird - 23 (plus 2 recaptured and 2 released unbanded)
American Goldfinch - 11 (plus 4 recaptured and 1 released unbanded)
Sunrise (E.S.T.): 5:47 a.m.
Time Open (E.S.T.): 6:00
Time Closed (E.S.T.): 13:30
Hours Open: 7.50
No. of Nets: 5.00-13.25
Net Hours: 93.000
Temperature (F): 48-77
Sky: 0-20% cloud cover
Wind: SW-WSW @ 3-5-10 mph
Barometer: 30.19 - 30.10
Precipitation: None
No. Banded: 49 (plus 8 recaptured)
No. of Species: 15
Capture Rate: 61.3 birds per 100 net hours
Assistants: Neil Gilbert, Frank Lautner, Renee Render (half day), and Joan Tisdale

Eastern Phoebe - 2
Brown Creeper - 1
Golden-crowned Kinglet - 1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet - 2
Hermit Thrush - 9 (one-day spring record)
American Robin - 2 (plus 3 recaptured)
Yellow-rumped Warbler - 2
American Tree Sparrow (tied record late)
Fox Sparrow - 2
Song Sparrow - 2 (plus 2 recaptured)
Swamp Sparrow - 5
White-throated Sparrow - 2
Northern Cardinal - 1 (plus 1 recaptured)
Red-winged Blackbird - 4
American Goldfinch - 13 (plus 2 recaptured)

1 comment:

Cathy Carroll said...

Allen, Neil has really grown up. I'm glad you guys could get together for banding. Nice day. Cathy