Monday, September 24, 2012

Metro Beach banding station report - September 21 & 22, 2012

Another cold front brought good numbers of birds into the banding area this week. Banding two days in a row can sometimes result in numbers being lower on the second day, especially after more than 100 birds were banded on Friday, September 21. And the morning of Saturday, September 22 looked like the predicted rain would arrive sooner rather than later, but it turned out that only very light rain for about 10 minutes was all we'd get. And eventually, Saturday turned into a good day too but only after a very slow morning with the biggest net runs being the last three of the day!

Thanks again to the following volunteers who made banding on these two days possible: Rebecca Blundell, Paul Bowling, Terri Chapdelaine, Dave Lancaster, Kathy McDonald, Joe Midgett, Tom Schlack, Edie Schmitz, and Blanche Wicke.

Highlights of the 116 birds banded on Friday, September 21 included 11 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds plus two recaptured hummingbirds, which rarely happens at this site which is primarily a migration corridor for the species. The recaptured hatch-year male was banded on September 15 and weighed 3.3 grams then, but was up to 4.3 grams today! The recaptured hatch-year female was banded on September 9 and weighed exactly the same today. I attempted once more to take a photo showing the pollen transfer mechanism of the Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis) flowers. The location of the pollen is shown by the arrow in the photo below.
Hatch-year female Ruby-throated
Hummingbird and Jewelweed.

An Empidonax flycatcher was a bit unexpected today, especially as it was not one of the later migrating species (Least and Yellow-bellied), but was a Willow/Alder type, and it keyed out to Willow. Another Winter Wren was right on schedule and four species of thrush were banded today including another Wood Thrush. The Hermit Thrush today would have been the first of the season had we not caught one way back in mid-August, much earlier than normal.

Most of the highlights today were warblers, including the second Connecticut Warbler of the fall found on the first net run. This is only the third season ever that more than one has been banded, the others being fall 2008 and spring 1990. This species has only banded in about half the years since 1989.
Hatch-year female Connecticut Warbler

And after seeing several over the past week or more, the first Northern Parula of the fall was banded today.
Hatch-year female Northern Parula

And the first Black-throated Green Warbler of the season was captured, perhaps a little late for the first one, but not at all particularly late.
Hatch-year male Black-throated Green Warbler

A little on the early side was the first White-crowned Sparrow of the fall.
Hatch-year White-crowned Sparrow

Interesting birds observed but not banded today included an apparently migrating American Kestrel, several Chimney Swifts, several Red-breasted Nuthatches that hung out right next to the banding area all day, and a couple Yellow-rumped Warblers.

Highlights of the 102 birds banded on Saturday, September 22 included four more Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. Another highlight was the weather, which had been predicted to be rather poor (70% chance of rain). But as the photo below, taken by volunteer Paul Bowling shows, it was a glorious day...eventually. The morning was slow, but later on (perhaps after the official arrival of fall with the Autumnal Equinox at 10:48 a.m.!) it got much better.
Volunteers extracting birds at the
Field Edge net.

The first Yellow-rumped Warblers of the fall were banded today, after being in sighted in the park in small numbers for more than a week.
Hatch-year female Yellow-rumped Warbler

And Black-throated Green Warblers were captured again today, with three total which is a very good number for this locale. 
After hatch-year male
Black-throated Green Warbler

At one point, two were in-hand at the same time and volunteer Paul Bowling has generously allowed me to use his photo of the side-by-side comparison of an adult male and a hatch-year female Black-throated Green Warbler.
After hatch-year male (left) and
hatch-year female (right)
Black-throated Green Warblers

Interesting birds observed but not banded today included a flock of Chimney Swifts overhead at one point, continuing Red-breasted Nuthatches, three species of wren (Carolina, Winter, and Marsh), an Orange-crowned Warbler and 3 Wilson's Warblers. Two of us (Terri and I) decided to walk the beach after the banding station was closed as we'd gotten a report (thanks Joanna!) of a Buff-breasted Sandpiper. We got brief looks before it took flight...there was a fair amount of activity along the beach including goose hunters.

Banding Data
FRIDAY, September 21, 2012
Sunrise (E.S.T.): 6:18
Time Open (E.S.T.): 5:45
Time Closed (E.S.T.): 13:00
Hours Open: 7.25
No. of Nets: 4.5-13.5
Net Hours: 89.625
Temperature (F): 52-72
Cloud Cover: 80-50%
Wind: SW-SE @ 3-5-10 mph
Barometer: 29.94-29.94
Precipitation: None
No. Banded: 116 (plus 4 recaptured and 2 released unbanded)
No. of Species: 30
Capture Rate: 136.1 birds per 100 net hours
Volunteers (worked 10.00 hours, 5:00-15:00): Dave Lancaster (1.0 hrs), Kathy McDonald (5.5 hrs), Tom Schlack (1.0 hrs), Edie Schmitz, Blanche Wicke.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird - 11 (plus 2 recaptured)
Willow Flycatcher - 1
Red-eyed Vireo - 2
Winter Wren - 1
Gray-cheeked Thrush - 2
Swainson's Thrush - 9
Hermit Thrush - 1
Wood Thrush - 1
Gray Catbird - 1
Tennessee Warbler - 2
Nashville Warbler - 5
Northern Parula - 1
Magnolia Warbler - 3
Black-throated Blue Warbler - 6
Black-throated Green Warbler - 1
Bay-breasted Warbler - 1
Blackpoll Warbler - 3
Black-and-white Warbler - 1
American Redstart - 2
Ovenbird - 3
Northern Waterthrush - 1
Connecticut Warbler - 1
Common Yellowthroat - 7 (plus 1 recaptured)
Wilson's Warbler - 2
Song Sparrow - 18 (plus 2 released unbanded)
Swamp Sparrow - 2
White-throated Sparrow - 4
White-crowned Sparrow - 1
Northern Cardinal - 1
American Goldfinch - 22 (plus 2 recaptured)

SATURDAY, September 22, 2012
Sunrise (E.S.T.): 6:19
Time Open (E.S.T.): 5:45
Time Closed (E.S.T.): 14:15
Hours Open: 8.50
No. of Nets: 4.5-13.5
Net Hours: 107.75
Temperature (F): 54-62
Cloud Cover: 50-100%
Wind: SW-NW @ 5-7-10 mph
Barometer: 29.79-29.89
Precipitation: Trace rain
No. Banded: 102 (plus 8 recaptured and 5 released unbanded)
No. of Species: 22
Capture Rate: 106.7 birds per 100 net hours
Volunteers (worked 10.5 hours, 5:00-15:30): Rebecca Blundell, Paul Bowling, Terri Chapdelaine, Joe Midgett (4.0 hrs).

[Mourning Dove - 2 released unbanded]
Ruby-throated Hummingbird - 4 (plus 1 recaptured)
[Downy Woodpecker - 1 recaptured]
[Black-capped Chickadee - 1 recaptured]
Gray-cheeked Thrush - 1
Swainson's Thrush - 3
Tennessee Warbler - 1
Nashville Warbler - 13
Magnolia Warbler - 3
Black-throated Blue Warbler - 3 (plus 1 recaptured)
Yellow-rumped Warbler - 2
Black-throated Green Warbler - 3
Palm Warbler - 1
Blackpoll Warbler - 7
American Redstart - 1 (plus 1 recaptured)
Ovenbird - 3
Common Yellowthroat - 10
Song Sparrow - 9 (plus 1 recaptured and 3 released unbanded)
Swamp Sparrow - 2
Northern Cardinal - 1 (plus 1 recaptured)
Red-winged Blackbird - 1
American Goldfinch - 34 (plus 1 recaptured)

No comments: