Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Lake St. Clair Metropark banding report - September 17-29, 2017

The last half of September continued to be good for migrant warblers and thrushes, while sparrows remained scarce.

Highlights of the 80 birds of 22 species banded on September 17 included a Hairy Woodpecker, which is very infrequently banded at this site.
After hatch-year male Hairy Woodpecker

The warblers were the highlight of the day, with 15 individuals of 9 species banded. Adult male American Redstarts are not often captured at this site in fall.
After hatch-year male American Redstart

Any day when a Northern Parula is captured is a good day, and this day we had two of them. Both were hatch-year birds, one a female with a clear yellow breast and the other a male with a lot of chestnut mottling on the breast.
Hatch-year male Northern Parula

Hatch-year male Northern Parula

Hatch-year female Northern Parula

 Additional interesting captures this day included 3 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, a Philadelphia Vireo, a somewhat late Veery, and 3 Wilson's Warblers. A somewhat late Eastern Kingbird was observed but not banded, and a somewhat early Brown Creeper stayed in the big cottonwood tree next to the banding table most of the day.

Only 12 species were banded on September 23, but 78 individuals was still a good number although American Goldfinches accounted for 41 of them. The nets were closed early today due to the heat (84 degrees) and humidity. The "rarity" of the day was a Brown Thrasher, which is captured every year but only one or two individuals.
After hatch-year Brown Thrasher

It was interesting to view this bird from below. Its eyes are adapted to see downward into the leaf litter that it often forages in, making it look a little bit like an American Bittern!
After hatch-year Brown Thrasher

Good numbers of Gray-cheeked and Swainson's Thrushes were banded today, as well as a few warblers. An Eastern Screech-Owl was heard calling while we were opening the first nets, and another White-throated Sparrow was heard, but not captured.

Highlights of the 12 species and 52 individuals banded on September 24 included the first Ruby-crowned Kinglet of the fall.
After hatch-year female Ruby-crowned Kinglet

One of today's 11 Swainson's Thrushes was the 143rd of the season, which breaks last year's record of 142, which was more than double the previous record. It appears that this new site is consistently better for thrush migration in the fall.
Hatch-year Swainson's Thrush

The biggest surprise of the day was a beautiful adult male Golden-winged Warbler, which was only the 4th banded in the park since 2004 and the first in fall. September 24 is also rather late for this species in Michigan.
After hatch-year male Golden-winged Warbler

After hatch-year male Golden-winged Warbler

It was another hot and humid day, with the temperature reaching 86 degrees by the time we closed the nets early. The first Yellow-bellied Sapsucker of the fall was seen in a dead cottonwood most of the day.

Temperatures returned to normal on September 29, although the nets had to be closed for 30 minutes early in the morning during a brief rain shower. Highlights of the 98 birds of 30 species banded included a somewhat late Ruby-throated Hummingbird.
Hatch-year male Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Also somewhat late was a Least Flycatcher that initially looked more like a "Traill's", which would be even more unusual this late. But the overall proportions, bill size and shape, and details of the measurements of the primaries, pointed toward Least Flycatcher.
Hatch-year Least Flycatcher

The season's first Blue-headed Vireo and Winter Wren were banded today.
Hatch-year Blue-headed Vireo

Hatch-year Winter Wren

Hatch-year Winter Wren

A couple pairs of Carolina Wrens have nested in the park for years, but as at other locations, they move around a lot from year-to-year, making them difficult to capture consistently. Both of those captured today were previously banded.
After hatch-year Carolina Wren

After hatch-year Carolina Wren

Numbers of Gray-cheeked and Swainson's Thrushes were down today, and the first two Hermit Thrushes of the season were banded.
Hatch-year Hermit Thrush

It was a pretty good day for warblers, with 21 individuals of 10 species banded, including the first Orange-crowned and Yellow-rumped Warblers of the fall.
Hatch-year male Orange-crowned Warbler

Hatch-year female Yellow-rumped Warbler

 Somewhat late were the two Indigo Buntings caught in the same net on the same net run today.
Hatch-year female Indigo Bunting

And somewhat overdue were the first White-throated Sparrows of the fall.
Hatch-year White-throated Sparrow

Other interesting captures today included two Eastern Phoebes, a somewhat late House Wren, and two more Northern Parulas, bring the season total to 4, which ties the previous record set at the marsh station. A single Pine Siskin was an interesting flyover today.

Banding on these four days would not have been possible without the capable assistance of the following volunteers: Jenifer Benke, John Bieganowski, Terri Chapdelaine, Mike Charlebois, Guadeloupe Cummins, Stevie Kuroda, Hannah Pelkey, Anne Ross, Michelle Serreyn, Bruce Watson, and Blanche Wicke.

Detailed Bird Banding Results

September 17, 2017

Time open (E.S.T.): 5:45
Time closed (E.S.T.): 12:30
Hours Open: 6.75
Sunrise (E.S.T.): 6:14
Net Hours: 112.75
Temperature (F):  63-79
Cloud Cover: 20-0%
Wind Direction: Calm-SSE
Wind Speed (mph): 0-5-10
Barometer: 30.16 - 30.12
Precipitation:  None
No. Banded: 80 (plus 18 recaptured, 4 released unbanded)
Species Captured: 22
Capture Rate (#/100 net hours): 90.5
Banding Assistants (8.5 hours worked): Mike Charlebois, Stevie Kuroda, Hannah Pelkey (7.5 hrs), Bruce Watson, Blanche Wicke (6.5 hrs).

Ruby-throated Hummingbird - 3 (plus 1 released unbanded)
Hairy Woodpecker - 1
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher - 1
Philadelphia Vireo - 1
Black-capped Chickadee - 1 (plus 2 recaptured)
Veery - 1 (plus 1 recaptured)
Gray-cheeked Thrush - 4 (plus 1 recaptured)
Swainson's Thrush - 7
Gray Catbird - 1 (plus 2 recaptured)
Nashville Warbler - 1
Northern Parula - 2
Chestnut-sided Warbler - 1
Bay-breasted Warbler - 1
Blackpoll Warbler - 3
Black-and-white Warbler - 1
American Redstart - 2
Ovenbird - 1
Wilson's Warbler - 3
Song Sparrow - 1 (plus 5 recaptured, 2 released unbanded)
[Northern Cardinal - 1 recaptured]
House Finch - 2
American Goldfinch - 42 (plus 6 recaptured, 1 released unbanded)

September 23, 2017

Time open (E.S.T.): 5:45
Time closed (E.S.T.): 11:30 (closed early due to heat & humidity)
Hours Open: 5.75
Sunrise (E.S.T.):  6:20
Net Hours: 95.25
Temperature (F): 66-84
Cloud Cover: 80-0%
Wind Direction: Calm-SE
Wind Speed (mph): 0-3-5
Barometer: 30.11- 30.19
Precipitation: None
No. Banded: 78 (plus 9 recaptured,)
Species Captured: 12
Capture Rate (#/100 net hours): 91.3
Banding Assistants (7.5 hours worked): Jenifer Benke, Mike Charlebois, Stevie Kuroda, Michelle Serreyn.

Red-eyed Vireo - 1
Gray-cheeked Thrush - 6
Swainson's Thrush - 11 (plus 1 recaptured)
Gray Catbird - 6
Brown Thrasher - 1
Magnolia Warbler - 2
American Redstart - 4
Ovenbird - 2
Common Yellowthroat - 2
Song Sparrow - 1 (plus 1 recaptured)
Northern Cardinal - 1 (plus 1 recaptured)
American Goldfinch - 41 (plus 6 recaptured)

September 24, 2017

Time open (E.S.T.): 5:45
Time closed (E.S.T.): 11:15 (closed early due to heat & humidity)
Hours Open: 5.5
Sunrise (E.S.T.): 6:21
Net Hours: 93.0
Temperature (F): 64-86
Cloud Cover: 10-0%
Wind Direction: Calm-SE
Wind Speed (mph): 0-3
Barometer: 30.17 - 30.21
Precipitation:  None
No. Banded: 52 (plus 9 recaptured, 3 released unbanded)
Species Captured: 12
Capture Rate (#/100 net hours): 68.8
Banding Assistants (7.25 hours worked): Mike Charlebois (5.0 hrs), Stevie Kuroda, Hannah Pelkey (6.5 hrs), Anne Ross, Bruce Watson, Blanche Wicke. 

[Black-capped Chickadee - 2 recaptured]
[Tufted Titmouse - 1 recaptured]
Ruby-crowned Kinglet - 1
Gray-cheeked Thrush - 5 (plus 2 recaptured)
Swainson's Thrush - 11 (plus 1 released unbanded)
Golden-winged Warbler - 1
Tennessee Warbler - 1
Nashville Warbler - 1
American Redstart - 1 (plus 1 recaptured)
Common Yellowthroat - 2
Song Sparrow - 1
American Goldfinch - 28 (plus 3 recaptured, 2 released unbanded)

September 29, 2017

Time open (E.S.T.): 6:00 (rain delayed open)
Time closed (E.S.T.): 13:00
Hours Open: 6.5 (all nets closed 6:30 - 7:30)
Sunrise (E.S.T.):  6:27
Net Hours: 110.5
Temperature (F): 57-63
Cloud Cover: 100-50%
Wind Direction: SW-NW
Wind Speed (mph): 5-7-12
Barometer: 30.08 - 30.10
Precipitation: Rain until 6:45
No. Banded: 98 (plus 18 recaptured, 3 released unbanded)
Species Captured: 30
Capture Rate (#/100 net hours): 107.7
Banding Assistants (9.0 hours worked): John Bieganowski, Mike Charlebois, Terri Chapdelaine, Guadeloupe Cummins, Blanche Wicke.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird - 1
Least Flycatcher - 1
Eastern Phoebe - 2
Blue-headed Vireo - 1
Blue Jay - 2
[Carolina Wren - 2 recaptured]
House Wren - 1
Winter Wren - 1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet - 6
Gray-cheeked Thrush - 3 (plus 1 recaptured)
Swainson's Thrush - 3
Hermit Thrush - 2
Gray Catbird - 4
Tennessee Warbler - 1
Orange-crowned Warbler - 1
Nashville Warbler - 4
Northern Parula - 2
Magnolia Warbler - 1
Black-throated Blue Warbler - 2 (plus 1 released unbanded)
Yellow-rumped Warbler - 4
American Redstart - 4
Ovenbird - 1
Common Yellowthroat - 1
Lincoln's Sparrow - 2
Swamp Sparrow - 2
White-throated Sparrow - 9
Dark-eyed Junco - 1
Northern Cardinal - 1 (plus 2 recaptured)
Indigo Bunting - 2
American Goldfinch - 33 (plus 13 recaptured, 2 released unbanded)

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