woensdag 14 september 2011

Busy busy busy!

Almost full moon, a clear sky, no wind: seemed like a perfect night for migration!
A Chipmunk awaiting sunrise high up in a Willow Tree, cutie!

And it was! As soon as the sun rose it became clear that there were a lot of birds around. I saw warblers flying over, calling and there seemed to be a lot of small flocks with warblers. The first two rounds then, as to be expected, were very busy, with over a 100 birds caught in these first rounds. As I may have mentioned before cloud cover is best for bird banding here, and no single cloud was visible this morning. So like yesterday, numbers dropped after 9.30. The temperature soon reached above 75 degrees Fahrenheit ( ~24 degrees Celsius) and this meant that we would close the nets early again. Around 11.00 we started closing. Today was the busiest day so far this season with a total of 192 birds trapped. 154 of the 192 were new, spread over 34 species, a good variety!
Today was also the first day of the 5 day lasting Banding Workshop that is being held here at Powdermill. There are 5 people doing the workshop; they want to learn more about ageing/sexing birdspecies, so the coming days we won't have a lack of people here! Today was a nice start for them.

The totals for Wednesday the 14th of September:

Ruby-throated Hummingbird 14 -
Downy Woodpecker 1 -
Eastern Wood-Pewee 1 -
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher 1 -
Acadian Flycatcher 2 -
Traill's Flycatcher 1 -
Least Flycatcher 3 -
Red-eyed Vireo 15 -
Tufted Titmouse 1 -
Gray-cheeked Thrush 1 -
Swainson's Thrush 3 -
Wood Thrush 4 -
Gray Catbird 4 -
Blue-winged Warbler 2 -
Tennessee Warbler 2 -
Nashville Warbler 2 -
Chestnut-sided Warbler 5 -
Magnolia Warbler 32 -
Black-throated Blue Warbler 2 -
Black-throated Green Warbler 5 -
Palm Warbler (Western) 1 -
Bay-breasted Warbler 1 -
Blackpoll Warbler 3 -
American Redstart 16 - (of which 2 adult males)
Ovenbird 3 -
Northern Waterthrush 6 -
Connecticut Warbler 1 -
Common Yellowthroat 4 -
Hooded Warbler 6 -
Canada Warbler 1 -
Scarlet Tanager 5 -
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 4 -
Indigo Bunting 1 -
Baltimore Oriole 1 -
American Goldfinch 1 -

Because we were busy I didn't take that many photographs (as usual haha) , but still some good ones to show:
Lots of birds, waiting to get processed
Baltimore Oriole
Bay-breasted Warbler, after hatching-year female; Bay-breasted Warblers can easily be confused with Blackpoll Warblers, as they look very much alike in this plumage. There are some clear differences however:
On the left: Blackpoll Warbler. On the right: Bay-breasted Warbler. On the above photo you can see some good differences: 1. Blackpoll's tend to have orange feet while Bay-Breasted's just have grey feet. 2. Blackpoll's have white undertail coverts whilst Bay-breasted have buffy/orange undertail coverts. 3. Blackpoll's have streaking on their flanks and breast, Bay-breasted usually not. 4. Bay-breasted make an 'orangish' (is that a word???) impression and the Blackpoll's a 'yellowish'. Males of both species are ofcourse less difficult to ID.
Here a Blackpoll for some comparison

Amy, from the biacoustic lab, also does research on turtles. In the late morning she went to check the turtle traps and she caught a big Snapping Turtle! She marks them and then releases them.
The biggest turtle I've ever seen in my life, cool!
The turtle is being processed

While I was writing this blog post I was sitting outside, in front of our cabin. While I was writing I heard a lot of alarmcalls, from chipmunks, titmice, and so forth. I figured there would be something wandering around.. A quick look to my left resulted in this:
A Racoon! The second one I've seen so far (alive).

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