Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Metro Beach banding station report - May 3-6, 2012

Banding was conducted on three days in the past week, May 3, 5, and 6, and resulted in a fantastic total of more than 400 birds banded, including lots of warblers, one station first, and a station second (and third). The weather was great all three days, with only a trace of rain on May 3. A big push of warblers was evident on all three days, although flycatchers and thrushes seem to be late this year. A record for a single spring day was set at the station on May 5, which was the 10th highest number banded ever (all other dates are in fall). It also included a record number of Swamp Sparrows for a single day. Although fewer birds were banded, May 3 was the busiest day as we opened the nets in the middle of a fallout. We had so many birds by mid-morning that the nets had to be closed in order to catch up. Had I had another bander on-site, and a few more volunteers, we may have been able to keep up...or perhaps not.

Banding could not have been conducted on these three days without the excellent help of the following volunteers: David Boon, Diana Dugall, Wayne Hoch, Dave Lancaster, Tom Schlack, Edie Schmitz, Joan Tisdale, Jude Wade, Blanche Wicke, and Sue Wright.

Highlights of the 128 birds banded on Thursday, May 3 included only the second Solitary Sandpiper to be banded at the station, which was a personal first for me. The first was banded here in spring 1997 by Ellie Cox. Since 2004, Solitary Sandpipers have been seen in the banding area several times, and there was a very near miss when one was almost flushed into a net a couple years ago.

After second-year Solitary Sandpiper

After second-year Solitary Sandpiper

Despite few thrushes, it was a pleasant surprise to catch the season's first Veery today.

After hatch-year Veery

And not one, but two Wood Thrushes were a treat as we sometimes miss them entirely, and have never banded more than two in a spring season.

Second-year Wood Thrush

Rose-breasted Grosbeaks aren't captured very often here, so an adult male was very welcome.

After second-year male
Rose-breasted Grosbeak

The biggest surprise of the day was the station's first ever Clay-colored Sparrow. It was caught out in the Field Nets, which is basically a flooded field transitioning between a swamp woods and cattail marsh, a seemingly unusual habitat for the species.

After hatch-year Clay-colored Sparrow

Interesting birds observed but not banded included a Least Flycatcher, a singing Yellow-throated Vireo, a briefly seen Brown Thrasher, and several warbler species that may have been captured had we been able to keep the nets open longer including: Northern Parula, Chestnut-sided, Magnolia, Black-throated Green, Palm, Black-and-white, American Redstart, and Ovenbird. A male Scarlet Tanager flew over the banding area in mid-morning and an Orchard Oriole flew over near the golf course as we were leaving the park.

Highlights of the 174 birds banded on Saturday, May 5 included the first Ruby-throated Hummingbird of the season, as expected an adult male.

After hatch-year male
Ruby-throated Hummingbird

There was a clear influx of Least Flycatchers today, with a total of four banded. Normally this species arrives the last week of April.

After hatch-year Least Flycatcher

There was also an influx of Warbling Vireos which are typically banded in low numbers in spring.

After hatch-year Warbling Vireo

Swallows are infrequently captured most years, so in additon to one Tree Swallow, the first Northern Rough-winged Swallow of the season was less expected.

After hatch-year female
Northern Rough-winged Swallow

Another Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, this one a female, brought the season's total to two which has never been exceeded in any year.

After hatch-year female
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Today was the first day with any significant number of warblers seen or banded, and the 12 species banded included my favorite warbler, one Magnolia.

Second-year male Magnolia Warbler

Two Palm Warblers were more than we typically see in spring on a single day.

After hatch-year Palm Warbler

Four Black-and-white Warblers was a welcome increase from the low numbers of the past three spring season. All of them today were females, even though there were several males singing in the area.

After second-year female
Black-and-white Warbler

Most surprising was a very early male Wilson's Warbler.

After hatch-year male Wilson's Warbler

Sparrows were captured in good numbers today with a near-record of 11 Lincoln's, a record 68 Swamp, and the first White-crowned Sparrow of the season. White-crowns are very infrequent in the wet tangles in the banding area, preferring instead the open lawns and feeders near the nature center.

After hatch-year White-crowned Sparrow

And the first Baltimore Orioles of the season dropped into our nets, including five banded in previous years.

After second-year male Baltimore Oriole

Interesting birds observed but not banded included a Great Crested Flycatcher, an Eastern Kingbird outside the banding area, the season's first Swainson's Thrush singing right next to where we were parked, a Northern Parula, two Blackburnian Warblers, a Black-throated Blue Warbler and an American Redstart. A Rusty Blackbird was a little late, and after we closed the station I went to see a female Yellow-headed Blackbird which I found farther out on the point than where it was earlier in the day.

Highlights of the 109 birds banded on Sunday, May 6 included another male Ruby-throated Hummingbird and, most surprisingly, another Solitary Sandpiper.

After second-year Solitary Sandpiper

This one was more cooperative for photos, allowing good close-ups of its head pattern.

After second-year Solitary Sandpiper

It was another good day for banding warblers, with one very nice Black-throated Green following on yesterday's first of the season.

Second-year male
Black-throated Green Warbler

Three more Black-and-white Warblers today included two males.

After second-year male
Black-and-white Warbler

The 200th Swamp Sparrow of the spring was banded today, which is about 60 more than the previous record and there's three more weeks of banding to go!

Interesting birds observed but not banded included a flyover Green Heron, both Virginia Rails and Soras calling nearby, and the first local Red-eyed Vireo of the spring.

Banding Data
THURSDAY, May 3, 2012
Sunrise (E.S.T.): 5:25
Time Open (E.S.T.): 6:00
Time Closed (E.S.T.): 9:00
Hours Open: 3.0
No. of Nets: 4.0-13.5
Net Hours: 30.75
Temperature (F): 57-75
Cloud Cover: 80-40%
Wind: Calm-SE-SW @ 0-3-7 mph
Barometer: 29.38-29.32
Precipitation: Trace @ 8:45
No. Banded: 128 (plus 9 recaptured and 4 released unbanded)
No. of Species: 24
Capture Rate: 458.5 birds per 100 net hours
Volunteers (worked 10.0 hours, 5:00-15:00): David Boon, Wayne Hoch (2 hours), Tom Schlack.

[Northern Flicker - 1 released unbanded]
[Tufted Titmouse - 1 recaptured]
House Wren - 3
Veery - 1
Hermit Thrush - 2
Wood Thrush - 2
American Robin - 2
Gray Catbird - 9
Nashville Warbler - 1
Yellow Warbler - 2 (plus 2 recaptured and 1 released unbanded)
Black-throated Blue Warbler - 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler - 3
Northern Waterthrush - 1
Common Yellowthroat - 5
Lincoln's Sparrow - 4
Swamp Sparrow - 39 (plus 1 recaptured and 2 released unbanded)
White-throated Sparrow - 28
Rose-breasted Grosbeak - 1
Red-winged Blackbird - 15
Common Grackle - 1
Brown-headed Cowbird - 4 (plus 2 recaptured)
Baltimore Oriole - 1 (plus 1 recaptured)
American Goldfinch - 1 (plus 2 recaptured)

SATURDAY, May 5, 2012
Sunrise (E.S.T.): 5:22
Time Open (E.S.T.): 5:45
Time Closed (E.S.T.): 13:30
Hours Open: 7.75
No. of Nets: 4.5-13.5
Net Hours: 96.375
Temperature (F): 54-72
Cloud Cover: 100049%
Wind: NE @ 7-10 mph
Barometer: 29.39-29.44
Precipitation: None
No. Banded: 174 (plus 26 recaptured and 3 released unbanded)
No. of Species: 32
Capture Rate: 210.6 birds per 100 net hours
Volunteers (worked 10.5 hours, 5:00-15:30): Dave Lancaster, Edie Schmitz, Judi Wade, Blanche Wicke.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird - 1
Least Flycatcher - 4
Warbling Vireo - 4
Tree Swallow - 1 (plus 1 recaptured)
Northern Rough-winged Swallow - 1
House Wren - 1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet - 4
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher - 1
Hermit Thrush - 3 (plus 2 released unbanded)
American Robin - 1
Gray Catbird - 4
Nashville Warbler - 1
Yellow Warbler - 7 (plus 5 recaptured)
Chestnut-sided Warbler - 1
Magnolia Warbler - 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler - 13
Black-throated Green Warbler - 1
Palm Warbler - 2
Black-and-white Warbler - 4
Ovenbird - 1
Northern Waterthrush - 3
Common Yellowthroat - 6 (plus 1 recaptured)
Wilson's Warbler - 1
Lincoln's Sparrow - 11 (plus 1 released unbanded)
Swamp Sparrow - 68 (plus 3 recaptured)
White-throated Sparrow - 14
White-crowned Sparrow - 1
Northern Cardinal - 1
Red-winged Blackbird - 5 (plus 5 recaptured)
Brown-headed Cowbird - 1 (plus 5 recaptured)
Baltimore Oriole - 1 (plus 5 recaptured)
American Goldfinch - 6 (plus 1 recaptured)

SUNDAY, May 6, 2012
Sunrise (E.S.T.): 5:21
Time Open (E.S.T.): 6:00
Time Closed (E.S.T.): 13:45
Hours Open: 7.75
No. of Nets: 4.5-13.5
Net Hours: 96.375
Temperature (F): 50-70
Cloud Cover: 80-40-100%
Wind: WNW @ 3-5-7 mph
Barometer: 30.16-30.12
Precipitation: None
No. Banded: 109 (plus 36 recaptured and 2 released unbanded)
No. of Species: 31
Capture Rate: 152.5 birds per 100 net hours
Volunteers (worked 10.5 hours, 5:00-15:30): Diana Dugall, Joan Tisdale, Sue Wright.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird - 1
[Downy Woodpecker - 1 recaptured]
Warbling Vireo - 2
Tree Swallow - 1 (plus 1 recaptured)
Northern Rough-winged Swallow - 2
[Black-capped Chickadee - 1 recaptured]
House Wren - 4
Ruby-crowned Kinglet - 3
Hermit Thrush - 1
American Robin - 1 (plus 2 recaptured)
Gray Catbird - 2
Yellow Warbler - 10 (plus 5 recaptured)
Chestnut-sided Warbler - 1
Magnolia Warbler - 2
Yellow-rumped Warbler - 3
Black-throated Green Warbler - 1
Palm Warbler - 1
Black-and-white Warbler - 3 (plus 1 recaptured)
Ovenbird - 2
Northern Waterthrush - 2 (plus 2 recaptured)
Common Yellowthroat - 4 (plus 1 recaptured)
Song Sparrow - 1
Lincoln's Sparrow - 1
Swamp Sparrow - 30 (plus 13 recaptured)
White-throated Sparrow - 12
Red-winged Blackbird - 9 (plus 2 recaptured and 1 released unbanded)
Common Grackle - 4
Brown-headed Cowbird - 1 (plus 1 recaptured)
Baltimore Oriole - 3 (plus 6 recaptured and 1 released unbanded)
American Goldfinch - 1

1 comment:

hoalawman said...

Thanks again Allen for your efforts to get this data on the web. I find it very educational and helpful.