May 1st – At Last….Things Are Arriving!

White morph White-throated Sparrow. -NRF

The White-throated Sparrow’s were singing and I saw the first Gray Catbird for the season as I was opening nets. After last night’s rainfall, water was pooling along the net lanes (again) and Rick’s rill was flowing! I didn’t know if the strong wind gusts were going to be a problem but the radar showed that the rain was gone for the morning. I opened almost all of the nets and we found it was the busiest for bird activity on the south and east side of the park.

What a beautiful, brighter morning with the sun’s warmth making a difference after days of dull, cool, wet weather! There was a pulse of activity that hasn’t been felt for awhile and new birds were seen throughout the morning. The census crew of Debbie Lindeman and Dave Maida have met the challenge and raised the bar to 45 species on census (The old record was set on Sunday with 43 species). They encountered waves of White-throated Sparrows and Yellow-rumped Warblers below Net#6, and observed the first Nashville Warbler and Yellow Warbler for the season. By mid-morning, the first Baltimore Orioles were observed in the willow tree beside the banding lab. Also new for the season was a Bobolink.
[I read this with envy since in Oakville this morning it was terrible: cold, strong E winds and patchy rain – these conditions persisted throughout the morning.]
We handled 37 birds banding 24 which included a beautiful Western Palm Warbler.

Western Palm Warbler. -NRF

Now, in regards to the comment that the nets were set up improperly because of not listening to Rick’s wisdom has raised some ire with the volunteers. It’s hard to get good help but Rick does have years of wisdom and has been patient in teaching all of us so much. So, we’ll take it in stride and maybe, just maybe listen to him the next time. [Haha…..I’m not superstitious but everyone knows that the green should be on top…..just a joke folks.]

Banded 24
6 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
1 Hermit Thrush

First Gray Catbird of the year. -NRF

1 Gray Catbird
1 Yellow-rumped Warbler
1 Western Palm Warbler

Another Northern Waterthrush. -NRF

1 Northern Waterthrush
1 Northern Cardinal
2 Chipping Sparrow
7 White-throated Sparrow
3 American Goldfinch

ET’s: 56 species

Rick’s Rill is rising again. -NRF

Dave, a man of many talents: from fixing the door, doing a census, and then making zucchini Quiche for the banders. -NRF

And at Fern Hill Burlington yesterday: a Savannah Sparrow. -KAP

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