At dawn it was cold (6 degrees) and foggy, but within an hour of sunrise it was a beautifully clear and sunny day. The moisture in the air left droplets on the nets for the first few nets rounds (even though I shook them off each time), which made the nets a lot more visible (for me, anyway). Perhaps this, combined with fewer nets than normal being opened, lead to a slow banding day. However, there was a good number of species on the property (Estimated totals = 41), and a good mix of warblers managed to find the nets. A Western Palm Warbler showed up too–I think this was the first of the fall season.
1 Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
2 House Wren
1 Swainson’s Thrush
1 Chestnut-sided Warbler
1 Western Palm Warbler
1 Black and White Warbler
1 Mourning Warbler
1 Wilson’s Warbler
1 Canada Warbler
1 Black-capped Chickadee
1 American Goldfinch (originally banded in Oct 2007 as a hatch year bird, and not encountered since then)
We had relatively few retraps, so perhaps the migrants took advantage decent weather last night and make their next move. Red-eyed Vireos were one bird that has been observed & banded regularly over the past week, but not one was encountered today.
A few photos from today:
The Western Palm Warbler, banded today
A Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, banded today
Irene Schmidt and her friend Gord visited Ruthven today. A few warblers decided to throw themselves in the nets, just for them. Here is Irene holding a Wilson’s Warbler.
Here is Gord holding a Black and White Warbler.
Here are a few shots of a second year male American Goldfinch who is undergoing his prebasic moult (switching to winter plumage). Note the contrast between the old primary feathers (very brown) which were grown last year, and the new black feathers that are replacing them. For some reason this bird has dropped all of its primary and greater coverts at once–I’m not sure if this is typical, but it seems like he’s really stacking the deck against himself. This bird was captures as a hatch year bird 11 months ago, and we haven’t seen him since.
One of the Ovenbirds banded today