donderdag 8 september 2011

Back to banding and birding!

This morning, at 5.40 the rain finally stopped, yaay! This meant that we could do some banding today!

We opened the nets at 6.25 and banded the entire morning. We had a good morning with some cool birds. There was a remarkable amount of recaps, but not weird considering the conditions of the last few days. Today we caught a total of 113 birds, 59 new and 54 recaps! These recaps will hopefully move away the coming days, after they're fed up well. So the morning was good, considering the fact that it had rained the entire night. Around 10 'o clock we had the first sign of the real fall coming: in the back of the banding area a group of 30+ warblers were hopping around! This group included Red-eyed Vireo's, American Redstarts, Black-throated Green Warblers, Hooded Warblers, a Blackburnian Warbler and a lifer: a Blackpoll Warbler. Amongst the group several chickadees were found as well. In fall you can often find these mixed flocks of birds together. Throughout the day a group of over 100 Cedar Waxwings was present in the area, but none were caught. They were flushed once by a juvenile (probably a female) Cooper's hawk, which was seen perched on a dead tree as well.

The morning brought the following totals:

Ruby-throated Hummingbird 17 -
Northern Flicker 1 -
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher 1 -
Acadian Flycatcher 1 -
Least Flycatcher 2 -
Blue-headed Vireo 1 -
White-eyed Vireo 1 -
Veery 1 -
Gray Catbird 3 -
Chestnut-sided Warbler 3 -
Magnolia Warbler 4 -
Black-throated Blue Warbler 2 -
Black-throated Green Warbler 1 -
Blackburnian Warbler 1 -
Common Yellowthroat 2 -
Hooded Warbler 6 -
Wilson's Warbler 1 -
Canada Warbler 1 -
Eastern Towhee 2 -
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 1 -
Total 61, 22 species

Mr. Moustache
Northern Flicker, hatching year male
Flicker and Faab!
White-eyed Vireo, hatching year
Blue-headed Vireo, hatching year
Magnolia Warbler, hatching year female

So after a great banding morning Brandon and I had decided to do some birdwatching in the afternoon. We hadn't done 'real' birdwatching yet, the last days it was raining and before the the rain it was too hot to do some birding, never had that before! A Red-necked Phalarope had been reported yesterday in the Yellow Creek State Park, some 45 miles north of Powdermill. Since this would be a lifer for Brandon and since there would be some lifers for me too we would go there. We arrived there around 14.30 and explored the area. We went to the recreational area first where Brandon found me my 3rd lifer of the day: of beautiful male Pine Warbler!
Adult male Pine Warbler foraging in a pine tree

Other sightings at the recreatonial area included Indigo Bunting, some Bluebirds, a Field Sparrow, Phoebe's, Belted Kingfishers and some Wood Ducks. But no sign of waders or whatsoever yet.
Eastern Bluebird

We decided to check out another part of the lake, the southwestern part, in the hope of seeing some waders. When we arrived at an edge of the lake we came across this great Osprey:
Perched in a dead tree

We flushed a Great Blue Heron and some Wood Ducks but nothing interesting was to be found there until we walked back to the car and I saw my fourth lifer:
Spotted Sandpiper

Afterwards we tried another road leading to the edge of the lake. This resulted in waders: Sanderlings and some stints. Later when we came close we could ID one stint as being a Semipalmated Sandpiper: another lifer! While checking out the lake we came across this big individual:
Immature Bald Eagle

Further birds seen at the lake were Tree Swallows, Blue-winged teal, Pied-billed Grebe, another hunting Osprey, groups of Red-winged Blackbirds, a Hen Harrier and an American Black Duck.
Yellow Creek State Park

I'm pretty tired now after an intensive day of banding and birding and I'm getting ready for tomorrow, tomorrow might be a big day since warblers etc weren't able to migrate the last couple of days because of the rain!

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