When the alarm went off this morning, I groggily picked out the sound of rain drumming on the roof, so I rolled over and lazed for awhile…thinking. How could something with such promise implode like this!? Coming out of April we were 177 birds ahead, on a new record pace. Everything looked bright. But May has been a disaster, the whole thing just fell apart. Trying to figure it out right now, being still in it, is…depressing. So I’ll put that off for awhile and think ahead to the Fall.
In this regard, the rain is a blessing. If you remember back to last year, a combination of weather factors in April and May completely wiped out our wild grape crop and greatly diminished our dogwood berries. This greatly reduced the number of berry-eating birds (thrushes, waxwings, etc) that we caught. This Spring, although the temperature has been up and down, nothing occured to hinder early growth of these plants and things are looking really good. This last dry spell had me concerned and wondering…however, this soaking rain should make everything right and we can look ahead to a bonanza berry/grape crop to feed Fall migrants. Already we have been catching (a few) Cedar Waxwings in the nets most heavily surrounded by these shrubs. So, keep your fingers crossed…..Who knows what the Fall can bring?
Yesterday we managed to catch only 21 birds (11 banded; 10 retraps) but it was enough to entertain the largest school group of the year (one of life’s little ironies: the fewest birds on the day of the most students….). Today, we opened a couple of nets between shower activity and caught only one (retrap) Yellow Warbler. Time to hang it up I’m afraid – Friday will be the last “official” migration monitoring day.
May 27th; Banded 11:
1 Traill’s Flycatcher
1 Gray Catbird
2 Philadelphia Vireos (both with “4” fat scores – they’re still on the way north)
2 Yellow Warblers
1 Magnolia Warbler
1 Common Yellowthroat
2 Song Sparrows
1 American Goldfinch
ET’s: 56 spp.
May 28th; ET’s: 46 spp.
Photo Gallery from (sunny) May 27th: