Sunday, September 20, 2009

Metro Beach banding report - September 17, 2009

The nice weather continues and no major cold fronts have passed through our area at all this month. But at least the wind direction did shift to the north, though very light, for a couple of days. This may have been the reason a new batch of warblers came in, along with an influx of thrushes and some sparrows. It has been a fairly good migration so far, but with some warblers yet to appear in the nets (Orange-crowned, Bay-breasted, Blackpoll, Yellow-rumped) and others still in very low numbers (Chestnut-sided, Black-and-white, and American Redstart).

Banding highlights on Thursday, September 17 included 4 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. The theme of the day, however, was Firsts of Season (FOS). There were six species in this category today, all of which are shown in photos below. We had our FOS Philadelphia Vireo (and only the third since 2004), Blue Jay, Brown Creeper, Gray-cheeked Thrush, Black-throated Green Warbler, Palm Warbler, and Lincoln's Sparrow.

Hatch-year Philadelphia Vireo

After hatch-year Blue Jay

After hatch-year Brown Creeper

Hatch-year Gray-cheeked Thrush

Hatch-year male Black-throated Green Warbler

Hatch-year Palm Warbler

Hatch-year Lincoln's Sparrow

One other highlight of the day was capturing not one but TWO Northern Parulas. This makes FOUR captured this fall (oddly, all of them hatch-year females), where I'd banded only two previously since 2004, one in spring 2007 and one in fall 2007. Between 1989 and 2001 a total of 8 Northern Parulas was banded, 2 in spring and 6 in fall. So this year is officially a "good" year for this species. As I've posted photos of both individuals below, you may well ask yourself; "is he really going to post a photo of every parula he bands?".  Yeah, probably.

Hatch-year female Northern Parula (1st individual)

Hatch-year female Northern Parula (2nd individual)

Interesting birds observed but not banded included the first Winter Wren and White-throated Sparrows (a few) of the season, as well as late-ish Eastern Wood-Pewee and Great Crested Flycatcher. Once again an American Woodcock flushed from "the usual spot" near the Field Nets when we arrived out there to set up, and a juvenile Great Horned Owl gave a couple begging calls near the road. A Veery was heard calling in the dark and a flyover American Pipit was also the first of the season.

I would like to thank Chris Charlebois for showing up at the last minute and making setup easier, Aaron Potts for coming all the way from Parma (100+ miles), and Tom Schlack for having a flexible schedule during the week. Banding today could not have been done without you.

Banding Data
THURSDAY, September 17, 2009
Sunrise (E.S.T.): 6:14
Time Open (E.S.T.): 5:45
Time Closed (E.S.T.): 13:00
Hours Open: 7.25
No. of Nets: 5.00-13.25
Net Hours: 88.563
Temperature (F): 50-72
Cloud Cover: 50-10%
Wind: N @ 1-3-5 mph
Barometer: 30.29-30.25
Precipitation: None
No. Banded: 86 (plus 9 recaptured and 4 released unbanded)
No. of Species: 28
Capture Rate: 111.8 birds per 100 net hours
Volunteers: Chris Charlebois, Aaron Potts, Tom Schlack

Ruby-throated Hummingbird - 4
Least Flycatcher - 1
Philadelphia Vireo - 1
Red-eyed Vireo - 2
Blue Jay - 1
Brown Creeper - 1
House Wren - 1 (plus 1 released unbanded)
Ruby-crowned Kinglet - 2
Gray-cheeked Thrush - 4
Swainson's Thrush - 11 (plus 1 released unbanded)
[American Robin - 1 recaptured]
Gray Catbird - 3 (plus 1 recaptured)
Tennessee Warbler - 1
Nashville Warbler - 7 (plus 1 released unbanded)
Northern Parula - 2
Magnolia Warbler - 4
Black-throated Blue Warbler - 2
Black-throated Green Warbler - 1
Palm Warbler - 1
Ovenbird - 2
Northern Waterthrush - 1
Common Yellowthroat - 12 (plus 2 recaptured)
Wilson's Warbler - 3
Song Sparrow - 9 (plus 4 recaptured and 1 released unbanded)
Lincoln's Sparrow - 1
Swamp Sparrow - 2
Red-winged Blackbird - 1 (plus 1 released unbanded)
American Goldfinch - 6

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