vrijdag 2 september 2011

Great weather but also something even ''Greater''!

As me and Brandon walked from our cabin to the banding lab this morning around dawn we saw a Common Nighthawk flying overhead. It looked pretty cool and different than our European Nightjar. In my opinion it looked more like a kestrel, with a bit pointed wings and a longer tail. We started at 6.15 as we opened the nets. After I had opened the nets on the northern side of the banding area (called the Crisp Field) I walked back and came across a surprise: as I walked along one of the net lanes a Racoon popped up around the corner! As soon as the racoon saw me he ran away into the bushes. It was real foggy this morning, no dew on the nets however. The temperature was already high and it would get even higher! Because of the warmth we closed the nets around 10, as the temperature was getting near 30 degrees celsius. In the first round I took a very handsome looking Blue-winged Warbler from the net. In the second round, while I was extracting a Hooded Warbler from the net I noticed something bigger handing in the net quite loose, a few nets away from me. So after I was done with the HoWa I quickly moved to the bigger bird. When I came to the bird it really got me excited: it was a Great Crested Flycatcher! I had been asking Andrew yesterday about the GCFL and he said they did not get many, maybe 1 in 2 years, eventhough GCFL's breed on the reserve. So I entered the banding lab with a big smile on my face!

We got 84 birds of which 59 were new.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird 12 -
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher 2 -
Acadian Flycatcher 1 -
Least Flycatcher 2 -
Eastern Phoebe 1 -
Great Crested Flycatcher 1 -
Red-eyed Vireo 8 -
Veery 1 -
Swainson's Thrush 1 -
Gray Catbird 2 -
Blue-winged Warbler 1 -
Chestnut-sided Warbler 2 -
Magnolia Warbler 2 -
Black-throated Blue Warbler 2 -
Black-throated Green Warbler 3 -
Ovenbird 3 -
Common Yellowthroat 2 -
Hooded Warbler 5 -
Scarlet Tanager 2 -
Eastern Towhee 2 -
Song Sparrow 1 -
American Goldfinch 1 - (fledgling)
Total 59, 23 species
Ruby-throated Hummingbird, after hatching-year male
Blue-winged Warbler, after hatching-year female
Common Yellowthroat, after hatching-year male
Acadian Flycatcher
Least Flycatcher

I was talking about the flycatchers yesterday, but I didn't take pics of the wings. Above you can see both Acadian and Least Flycatcher. These Empidonax flycatcher have a fully grown p10 (or p1 the other way around) unlike many other bird species. As you can see above the Acadian has no emargination on the upper side of the 6th primary. The Least however, has got a small (you have to look  precisely!) emargination on p6, visible in the above picture.

Great Crested Flycatcher, hatching-year
Brandon holding the Great Crested Fly!

Currently it is too hot outside to watch birds, they won't be active. Maybe the birds will get active tonight when it cools down a little. At the visitor's centre more to the south there is a nice butterly garden. As there are a lot of Monarch's and Swallowtail's around I might take a look there later.

Cheers!

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