Thursday, September 29, 2016

Lake St. Clair Metropark bird banding report - September 18-25, 2016

The last half of September was very productive, especially for thrushes with record numbers banded, and a fair but somewhat disappointing number of warblers. A fourth day of banding the last week of the month was scheduled, but was rained out by a stationary weather system; all this rain would have been welcomed during our very dry summer.

Highlights of the 78 birds banded on Saturday, September 18 included 4 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds and 2 Yellow-bellied Flycatchers. As noted above, thrushes were a major component of the migration, which allowed the photo below of 3 species (Veery, Gray-cheeked, and Swainson's) to be taken by one of our volunteers. The number of Swainson's Thrushes was also a single day record, breaking last week's record of 20, with 40 today!
Hatch-year Veery, Gray-cheeked, and Swasinson's thrushes

It was an OK day for warblers, with 16 individuals of 7 species banded, including Nashville, Magnolia, Blackpoll, American Redstart, Ovenbird, Northern Waterthrush, and Common Yellowthroat.

Interesting birds observed but not banded included a first-year Bald Eagle flying over, a Red-breasted Nuthatch that has been hanging around the banding station for a couple weeks, a flyover American Pipit, and additional warblers including Yellow-rumped and Black-and-white.

Highlights of the 58 birds banded on Thursday, September 22 included 3 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds and a Hairy Woodpecker; a species uncommonly captured at this site.
After second-year female Hairy Woodpecker

Although very few sparrows have been captured so far, an indication that the migration is shifting away from warblers was the season's first Brown Creeper.
After hatch-year Brown Creeper

After hatch-year Brown Creeper

And thrushes continued strong today, with a record of 14 Gray-cheeked Thrushes; the old record was 12 at the previous Point Rosa site.
The 14th Gray-cheeked Thrush (HY) of the day

The season's first Yellow-rumped Warbler was a further indication that the warbler migration is more than half over, although several later migrating species should continue into early October.
After hatch-year female Yellow-rumped Warbler

Interesting birds observed, but not captured today included Black-throated Green, Palm, and Bay-breasted Warblers, and the season's first White-throated Sparrow.

Highlights of the 70 birds banded on Sunday, September 25 included 1 Ruby-throated Hummingbird, and a very infrequently captured species, a hatch-year Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. I'm pretty sure it can be called a female as it only had a single red feather on its forehead, but did not show any white (or red) feathers on the throat, so maybe should be left as sex unknown?
Hatch-year female Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Hatch-year female Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Hatch-year female Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

The peak of Blue Jay migration in this area is from about September 20 - October 15, so it wasn't surprising that we caught the first one of the season today.
Hatch-year Blue Jay

Hatch-year Blue Jay

Other later season migrants were also captured today for the first time this fall, including Eastern Phoebe and Ruby-crowned Kinglet.
Hatch-year Eastern Phoebe

Hatch-year Eastern Phoebe

After hatch-year female Ruby-crowned Kinglet

It was another good day for thrushes, with 13 Gray-cheeked and 30 Swainson's, both of which would have been record days only a couple weeks ago! And right on schedule (though eBird thinks they were late), my near-annual capture of Wood Thrushes in late September, with two today.
Hatch-year Wood Thrush

Right on schedule were two Orange-crowned Warblers.
Hatch-year male Orange-crowned Warbler

And a bit overdue, though some years we don't capture any, was a Bay-breasted Warbler.
Hatch-year Bay-breasted Warbler

Compare this undertail shot of the Bay-breasted, showing buffier flanks and undertail coverts, with the undertail shot of the Blackpoll Warbler I included in the last post which shows yellower flanks and bright white undertail coverts.
Hatch-year Bay-breasted Woodpecker

Interesting birds observed, but not banded, included an Osprey that circled over the banding area and adjacent parking lot ponds most of the day.

There was also a modest hawk migration today, with 3 Sharp-shinned, 3 Cooper's (together), 20 Broad-winged, and at least 2 Red-tailed Hawks. Also seen were the season's first Golden-crowned Kinglets, a Brown Thrasher, Yellow-rumped Warblers, American Redstart, and a couple of Rose-breasted Grosbeaks.

Banding could not have been done on any of these days without the capable assistance of the following volunteers: John Bieganowski, Terri Chapdelaine, Mike Charlebois, Stevie Kuroda, Gary Ladowski, Robin Ladowski, Dave Lancaster, Ava Lau, Harry Lau, Tim Mann, Bruce Watson, and Blanche Wicke.

Bird Banding Results

September 18, 2016

Time open (E.S.T.): 5:45
Time closed (E.S.T.): 12:15
Hours Open: 6.5
Net Hours: 107.938
Temperature (F): 64-75
Cloud Cover: 90-10-50%
Wind Direction: WSW-SW
Wind Speed (mph): 3-5-7
Barometer: 29.30 - 29.35
Precipitation:  Fog in a.m.
No. Banded: 78 (plus 3 recaptured, 1 released unbanded)
Species Captured: 19
Capture Rate (#/100 net hours): 76.0
Banding Assistants (8.5 hours worked): Mike Charlebois (1.0 hr), Stevie Kuroda, Gary Ladowski, Robin Ladowski, Tim Mann (1.0 hr), Bruce Watson, Blanche Wicke.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird - 4
[Downy Woodpecker - 2 recaptured]
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher - 2
Least Flycatcher - 1
House Wren - 2
Veery - 1
Gray-cheeked Thrush - 6
Swainson's Thrush - 40
American Robin - 3
Gray Catbird - 2
Nashville Warbler - 4
Magnolia Warbler - 3
Blackpoll Warbler - 4
American Redstart - 2
Ovenbird - 1
Northern Waterthrush - 1
Common Yellowthroat - 1
[Wilson's Warbler - 1 released unbanded]
Song Sparrow - 1 (plus 1 recaptured)

September 22, 2016

Time open (E.S.T.): 6:00
Time closed (E.S.T.): 12:45
Hours Open: 6.75
Net Hours: 109.062
Temperature (F): 64-81
Cloud Cover: 50-70%
Wind Direction: Calm-SSW
Wind Speed (mph): 0-5
Barometer: 29.49 - 29.44
Precipitation: None
No. Banded: 58 (plus 6 recaptured)
Species Captured: 19
Capture Rate (#/100 net hours): 58.7
Banding Assistants (9.5 hours worked): John Bieganowski, Mike Charlebois, Dave Lancaster, Ava Lau, Harry Lau.. 

Ruby-throated Hummingbird - 3
[Downy Woodpecker - 1 recaptured]
Hairy Woodpecker - 1
[Black-capped Chickadee - 1 recaptured]
Brown Creeper - 1
House Wren - 1
Gray-cheeked Thrush - 14
Swainson's Thrush - 20 (plus 1 recaptured)
American Robin - 1
Gray Catbird - 4 (plus 1 recaptured)
Nashville Warbler - 3
Magnolia Warbler - 1
Black-throated Blue Warbler - 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler - 1
Ovenbird - 1
Common Yellowthroat - 1
Wilson's Warbler - 1
Song Sparrow - 2 (plus 1 recaptured)
Northern Cardinal - 1 (plus 1 recaptured)

September 25, 2016

Time open (E.S.T.):  5:30
Time closed (E.S.T.): 12:30
Hours Open: 7.0
Net Hours: 112.375
Temperature (F): 54-70
Cloud Cover: 20-60%
Wind Direction: NE-SE
Wind Speed (mph): 3-5-7
Barometer: 29.55 - 29.55
Precipitation:  None
No. Banded: 70 (plus 7 recaptured, 1 released unbanded)
Species Captured: 22
Capture Rate (#/100 net hours): 69.4
Banding Assistants (9.0 hours worked): Terri Chapdelaine, Stevie Kuroda (7.0 hrs), Bruce Watson (7.0 hrs), Blanche Wicke. 

[Sharp-shinned Hawk - 1 released unbanded]
Ruby-throated Hummingbird - 1
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker - 1
Downy Woodpecker - 1 (plus 1 recaptured)
Eastern Phoebe - 1
Blue Jay - 1
[House Wren - 1 recaptured]
Ruby-crowned Kinglet - 3
Gray-cheeked Thrush - 13 (plus 2 recaptured)
Swainson's Thrush - 30 (plus 2 recaptured)
Wood Thrush - 2
Gray Catbird - 1
Orange-crowned Warbler - 2
Nashville Warbler - 3
Magnolia Warbler - 1
Black-throated Blue Warbler - 2
Bay-breasted Warbler - 1
Ovenbird - 1
Wilson's Warbler - 1
Song Sparrow - 1
Northern Cardinal - 2 (plus 1 recaptured)
American Goldfinch - 2

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