April 1st, and the start of the Spring migration monitoring program, is just a few days away. There’s a lot of work that needs to be done in order to get ready and we were well into it today. Most of the nets are up (except for Net Lanes 4 and 10). One of the two Purple Martin houses is up and ready to go. The bluebird boxes (most of them anyway) have been cleaned out. The binders for banding data and daily log notes have been prepared. Even the floor has been swept! So we’re just about ready. What we need is a break in the weather. The big storm system that is south of the lake and which dumped a lot of snow over the northeast states has virtually stopped any movement (as well as the cold temperatures that have persisted through March).
Doing census today I was struck by the lack of Song Sparrows. Usually at this time there are quite a few of them on the river flats singing away quite vigorously but not so far this year – we heard two: one on the far shore and one on Slink Island.
Interestingly, we are still getting LOTS of Common Redpolls: we banded 22 today and added another Hoary Redpoll. And that’s all we banded. We didn’t see even one American Goldfinch!? Not sure what’s going on there.
We will likely put up the remaining nets on Friday – seems like a good day – so we’ll be ready for the 1st.