Minus 19 degrees yesterday morning; plus 2 degrees this morning. What a swing! I arrived fairly early – 7:45 – to find a mixed flock of 150+ birds waiting for me to replenish the food piles. No sooner had I done so and placed traps over them than the birds were checking it out. Despite their obvious interest, it was pretty slow going in terms of catching. Some of this was probably due to the attentions of an American Kestrel that was checking out the menu and some was probably due to the warm temperatures that, after a couple of hours, was producing bare patches in the surrounding fields. Our experience has been that the birds are reluctant to go into the traps when there are other food sources around – and the temperature isn’t compelling. All morning we had small flocks flying into the traps and then flying away to surrounding fields and then back again.
We called it quits around 12:30 when it began to rain.
Banded: 28 Snow Buntings and 4 Lapland Longspurs
Retrapped: 3 Snow Buntings and 8 Lapland Longspurs