September 2nd – Hot and Sultry

Yellow-billed Cuckoo

It was already warm (18 degrees) and sticky when I arrived at 6:00. For the first couple of hours there was considerable cloud cover, which tended to keep the sun at bay. And then around 8:00 a thick fog rolled in from the north reducing visibility to less than 200 m. Interestingly (and maybe/probably completely unconnected), just prior to its arrival, an Olive-sided Flycatcher showed up. It gave its diagnostic “quick, three beers” call and then flew right over us to perch conspicuously on a dead branch. It was followed almost immediately by a Common Nighthawk – a bird that used to be common in the area 30 years ago but is now just an exciting very irregular occurrence. And then the fog…..

Young Great Crested Flycatcher.

The fog lasted for about half an hour before being burned off by the sun – and I mean burned off: the temperature very quickly shot up to 30 degrees and the sun felt like it was beating down through (now) cloudless blue skies. These conditions put a stop on any banding – 2 net rounds in a row turned up zero birds. The catching had been slow prior to this so it wasn’t like we were missing much. We banded only 15 birds; intriguingly this total was spread over 13 different species including some we don’t get very often: Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Great Crested Flycatcher  and Carolina Wren (1st encounter for the year).

Banded 15:

1 Yellow-billed Cuckoo
1 Great Crested Flycatcher
1 Carolina Wren
1 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
1 Wood Thrush
1 American Robin
2 Gray Catbirds
1 Cedar Waxwing
2 Red-eyed Vireos
1 Blue-winged Warbler
1 Magnolia Warbler
1 Song Sparrow
1 Common Grackle

Retrapped 11:
1 Downy Woodpecker
2 Black-capped Chickadees
2 Eastern Tufted Titmice
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
1 Gray Catbird
2 Common Yellowthroats
1 Canada Warbler
1 Baltimore Oriole (banded as a SY-M in May 2008 – 4 years old)

ET’s:  50 spp.

Photo Gallery:

I was joined by Bill Read extracting birds from a net.

Adult male Rose-breasted Grosbeak but with juvenile head and body plumage.

Same male....with my finger....

An adult Red-eyed Vireo (left) with a juvenile - caught at the same time and same net.

How many Double-crested Cormaorants can you count? -C. Scholtens

Ruby-throated Hummingbird inadvertently caught in a net. -C. Scholtens

Young Red-eyed Vireo - note the brown eye, diagnostic of a juvenile bird. -C. Scholtens

Male Baltimore Oriole: originally banded May, 2008. -C. Scholtens

Tail of a Cedar Waxwing - the orange (rather than the usual yellow) is a result of diet. -C. Scholtens

Carolina Wren - a rarity at Ruthven. -C. Scholtens

Male Blue-winged Warbler. -C. Scholtens


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