April 23rd – Ugly Weather

The beginning of a sleet shower which, with the cold northerly winds, will be hard on the early migrants.

I could hear the wind building during the night and, when I had to get up and close the window (I usually like the night air wafting in) because it was so cold, I knew that today would be a tough one. I guess it would be even tougher if I were an early nester or migrant lured into a precocious start by the unseasonable weather.

When I arrived the wind was blowing strongly out of the N, the temperature was only 2 degrees, and, although it wasn’t raining, it felt like it should be. We had a large (63) group of students coming and so felt somewhat over the proverbial barrel. We opened and baited the ground traps and opened only a couple of nets – those that were the least effected by wind – so we could close them quickly if the conditions deteriorated even more.

Natalie divided the visitors into 3 groups. The 1st one got to see 4 birds up close; the 2nd got 6 birds and the 3rd group got….close to 25. Yes, just before the bad weather descended we got a small ‘hit’ of Yellow-rumped Warblers. Right after we finished these we closed everything up as it was beginning to snow.

Throughout the day, birds were hard to come by as they were hunkered down to get out of the conditions. Surprisingly, even the feeders were under-used…at least up until I had to leave, at which point they seemed ot get busier.

Banded 19:
2 Mourning Doves
8 Yellow-rumped Warblers (all but one strikingly beautiful males)
2 Chipping Sparrows
1 Song Sparrow
1 Dark-eyed Junco
3 Red-winged Blackbirds
2 American Goldfinches

Retrapped 16:
4 Mourning Doves
1 Downy Woodpecker
1 Eastern Tufted Titmouse
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
1 Chipping Sparrow
1 Field Sparrow
2 Song Sparrows
1 Red-winged Blackbird
4 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 40 spp.

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