Monday, September 19, 2016

Lake St. Clair Metropark bird banding report - September 4-14, 2016

Migration clearly improved during this period, with good numbers and species diversity captured. Banding was conducted on four days, although on September 10 rain in the morning and afternoon bracketed only a few dry hours when only hummingbirds were targeted for a public program sponsored by the Nature Center. The weather was good on September 4 and 11, and on the 14th there was rain when we arrived, which delayed opening a bit, and there were a few brief sprinkles until noon.

One of the highlights of late August that I did not mention in my previous posting was the presence of good numbers of dragonflies and butterflies. The photo below, taken by volunteer Stevie Kuroda, is of a Mottled Darner (Aeshna clepsydra) that we removed from the mist nets. This species was not known from Macomb County until a few years ago when we started catching them in our nets, and have encountered them every year since. We also "rescued" Lance-tipped Darner (Aeshna constricta) and several Green Darners (Anax junius).
Mottled Darner (Aeshna clepsydra)

Highlights of the 54 birds banded on Sunday, September 4 included 7 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. As with the Point Rosa Marsh station, most individuals have been hatch-year, but unlike that site the majority so far have been females.
Hatch-year female Ruby-throated Hummingbird

It was a good day for flycatchers, and perhaps the most interesting was this Great Crested Flycatcher.
After hatch-year Great Crested Flycatcher

After hatch-year Great Crested Flycatcher

Always very uncommonly captured, and the first of the season, was this Philadelphia Vireo.
Hatch-year Philadelphia Vireo

Hatch-year Philadelphia Vireo

The short bill, rounded head, large eye, and lack of black above the pale supercilium distinguishes the Philadelphia from Red-eyed Vireo. Many young Warbling Vireos can be quite yellow on the underparts, but they do not show yellow on the throat as the Philadelphia does, and also lacks distinctive dark lores.
Hatch-year Philadelphia Vireo

Today was the first good thrush day of the season, and the 4 Veeries banded was more than in any fall season day back in Point Rosa Marsh
Hatch-year Veery

A little later than expected was the first Tennessee Warbler of the fall.
Hatch-year Tennessee Warbler

Hatch-year Tennessee Warbler

A view birders often get of migrant warblers is a "vent view", which is hard to obtain on a bird in hand without fingers getting in the way, but I have tried to show how the bright white under tail coverts on the Tennessee Warbler really stands out.
Hatch-year Tennessee Warbler

The first Black-throated Blue Warbler of the season, a female, was captured last month. The first male was captured today...always a photo highlight.
Hatch-year male Black-throated Blue Warbler

The young males tend to have white mottling on the chin, which can be retained into the following spring.
Hatch-year male Black-throated Blue Warbler

Another species very uncommonly captured here is the Blackburnian Warbler. It tends to be an earlier migrant, so this might be the only one we catch this fall.
Hatch-year male Blackburnian Warbler

Hatch-year male Blackburnian Warbler

Interesting birds observed, but not banded, included a Merlin that sat in a tree near the banding station with prey (a bird) in its talons. An Olive-sided Flycatcher and Red-breasted Nuthatch gave us good views right above the banding table. Warbler species observed, but not banded, included Cape May, Black-throated Green, Palm, Bay-breasted, and Blackpoll.

On Saturday, May 10 only 3 nets were open for 3 hours in the morning in the Meadow, and a single trap was open for an hour at the Nature Center, targeting hummingbirds for the public program. I worked alone on this day, but 9 hummingbirds were netted and one more was captured in the trap. The photo below was not taken today, but is one of few that shows the band on a hummingbird as it paused briefly on a volunteer's hand before flying off.
Hatch-year female Ruby-throated Hummingbird

The Merlin (presumably the one from last week) flew past in the morning and landed in the same tree again, this time with an American Redstart in its talons.

Highlights of the 93 birds banded on Sunday, September 11, included 8 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, and 11 flycatchers of 4 species. The season's second Philadelphia Vireo was appreciated by all the volunteers. It was definitely a good day for thrushes, with a total of 5 Gray-cheeked captured.
Hatch-year Gray-cheeked Thrush

And a one-day record of 20 Swainson's Thrushes banded allowed for good comparisons with Gray-cheeked.
Swainson's (top) and Gray-cheeked Thrushes

It was also a good day for warblers, with 31 individuals of 10 species banded. Warbler firsts for the season included Black-and-white, Chestnut-sided, and Blackpoll.
Hatch-year male Black-and-white Warbler

Hatch-year male Chestnut-sided Warbler

Hatch-year Blackpoll Warbler

A "vent view" of the Blackpoll shows the bright white undertail coverts, which helps distinguish it from Bay-breasted which tends to be buffy there.
Hatch-year Blackpoll Warbler

Interesting birds observed but not banded included a somewhat late Eastern Kingbird, Tennessee, Palm, and Bay-breasted Warblers, and Indigo Bunting.

Highlights of the 51 birds banded on Wednesday, September 14 included 7 Ruby-throated hummingbirds. one of the hatch-year males had a much more boldly spotted throat than average.
Hatch-year mal Ruby-throated Hummingbird

A Veery captured today had more retained juvenile wing coverts than average.
Hatch-year Veery

Among the warblers banded today was the second Northern Waterthrush of the season. A photo is included here because that first one escaped as I was reaching for my camera.
Hatch-year Northern Waterthrush

Some hatch-year waterthrushes (and ovenbirds) show narrow pale tips on their tertials, potentially allowing them to be aged in the field with good views. And the first Lincoln's sparrow of the season was captured today.
Hatch-year Lincoln's Sparrow

Hatch-year Lincoln's Sparrow

I greatly appreciate all the volunteers who helped make banding possible on these four days: Terri Chapdelaine, Jacob Charlebois, Stevie Kuroda, Dave Lancaster, Bruce Watson, and Blanche Wicke.

Bird Banding Results

September 4, 2016

Time open (E.S.T.): 5:30
Time closed (E.S.T.): 12:15
Hours Open: 6.75
Net Hours: 109.062
Temperature (F): 57-79
Cloud Cover: 0-20%
Wind Direction: Calm-NW-NE
Wind Speed (mph): 0-5
Barometer: 29.60 - 29.63
Precipitation:  None
No. Banded: 54 (plus 2 recaptured)
Species Captured: 26
Capture Rate (#/100 net hours): 51.3
Banding Assistants (7.0 hours worked): Terri Chapdelaine, Stevie Kuroda, Bruce Watson, Blanche Wicke.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird - 7
Downy Woodpecker - 1
Eastern Wood-Pewee - 1
Alder Flycatcher - 1
Least Flycatcher - 2
Great Crested Flycatcher - 1
Warbling Vireo - 3
Philadelphia Vireo - 1
Black-capped Chickadee - 1
House Wren - 1
Marsh Wren - 1
Veery - 4
Swainson's Thrush - 10 (plus 1 recaptured)
American Robin - 2
[Gray Catbird - 1 recaptured]
Tennessee Warbler - 1
Nashville Warbler - 2
Magnolia Warbler - 2
Black-throated Blue Warbler - 1
Blackburnian warbler - 1
American Redstart - 2
Ovenbird - 1
Common Yellowthroat - 2
Wilson's Warbler - 1
Song Sparrow - 4
Northern Cardinal - 1

September 10, 2016

Time open (E.S.T.): 7:30
Time closed (E.S.T.): 10:30
Hours Open: 3.00 (only 3.75 nets open, targeting hummingbirds)
Net Hours: 11.25
Trap Hours: 1.0 (11:45 - 12:45 at Nature Center)
Temperature (F): 70-75
Cloud Cover: 100-90-100%
Wind Direction: NE-SW
Wind Speed (mph): 1-3-12
Barometer: 29.13
Precipitation: Rain in a.m.
No. Banded:  10
Species Captured: 1
Capture Rate (#/100 net hours): 80.0
Capture Rate (#/ trap hour): 1.0
Banding Assistants (6.5 hours worked): Allen Chartier only. . 

Ruby-throated Hummingbird - 10


September 11, 2016

Time open (E.S.T.): 5:45
Time closed (E.S.T.): 12:30
Hours Open: 6.75
Net Hours: 109.062
Temperature (F): 59-73
Cloud Cover: 20%
Wind Direction: WNW
Wind Speed (mph): 3-5-10
Barometer: 29.46 - 29.56
Precipitation: None
No. Banded: 93 (plus 8 recaptured, 2 released unbanded)
Species Captured: 27
Capture Rate (#/100 net hours): 94.4
Banding Assistants (9.0 hours worked): Stevie Kuroda, Bruce Watson, Blanche Wicke. 

Ruby-throated Hummingbird - 8
[Northern Flicker - 1 recaptured]
Eastern Wood-Pewee - 2
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher - 4
Least Flycatcher - 2
Alder Flycatcher - 1
"Traill's" Flycatcher - 2
Warbling Vireo - 1
Philadelphia Vireo - 1
Black-capped Chickadee - 1 (plus 1 recaptured, 1 released unbanded)
Tufted Titmouse - 1
House Wren - 4 (plus 1 recaptured)
Gray-cheeked Thrush - 5
Swainson's Thrush - 20 (plus 1 recaptured)
[American Robin - 1 recaptured]
[Gray Catbird - 2 recaptured]
Nashville Warbler - 1
Chestnut-sided Warbler - 1
Magnolia Warbler - 4
Black-throated Blue Warbler - 3
Blackpoll Warbler - 1
Black-and-white Warbler - 4
American Redstart - 8
Ovenbird - 5
Common Yellowthroat - 1 (plus 1 released unbanded)
Wilson's Warbler - 3
Song Sparrow - 7 (plus 1 recaptured)
American Goldfinch - 3

September 14, 2016

Time open (E.S.T.):  6:00
Time closed (E.S.T.): 13:00
Hours Open: 7.0
Net Hours: 112.375
Temperature (F): 63-75
Cloud Cover: 100-30%
Wind Direction: NW
Wind Speed (mph): 3-5-10
Barometer: 29.50 - 29.61
Precipitation: Intermittent Light Rain in a.m.
No. Banded: 51 (plus 5 recaptured)
Species Captured: 20
Capture Rate (#/100 net hours): 49.8
Banding Assistants (10.0 hours worked): Jacob Charlebois, Dave Lancaster. 

Ruby-throated Hummingbird - 7
Downy Woodpecker - 1
Least Flycatcher - 2
Black-capped Chickadee - 2
House Wren - 2 (plus 1 recaptured)
Veery - 1
Gray-cheeked Thrush - 5
Swainson's Thrush - 6 (plus 2 recaptured)
Gray Catbird - 3 (plus 1 recaptured)
Nashville Warbler - 3
Tennessee Warbler - 1
Magnolia Warbler - 3
Blackpoll Warbler - 2
Black-and-white Warbler - 1
Ovenbird - 2
Northern Waterthrush - 1
Common Yellowthroat - 5
Wilson's Warbler - 2
Song Sparrow - 1 (plus 1 recaptured)
Lincoln's Sparrow - 1

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