maandag 26 september 2011

Once upon a time there were 27 Catbirds...

We caught 27 Gray Catbirds this morning, certainly today's highlight (ahum..)! Normally, we are used to mostly recapturing Gray Catbirds in our nets but today was different as we got a lot of new ones. So because this was the first time for me to catch that many 'new' Catbirds I decided that would be my title for this blog post, amazing, isn't it? We started the day with some cloud cover but the clouds disappeared soon. At 6.50 in the morning I had an American Bittern flying overhead. it was hesitating if it should come down, but it decided not to land and flew away.. would be a great bird to find in one of the nets! We had decent numbers today. Again a Yellow-throated Vireo and this time also a new White-eyed Vireo. We banded a late Hummer, I also saw one foraging on flowers later in the morning. Raptors were conspicuous, with some Broad-wingeds migrating, quite a few Red-tailed Hawks migrating, a Cooper's raging over the nets, a Sharpie around in the banding area and an Osprey migrating. Today we had very few recaptures, only 14! 118 birds were banded, spread over 31 species, see the totals below:

Ruby-throated Hummingbird 1 - the last one?
Red-bellied Woodpecker 1 -
White-eyed Vireo 1 -
Yellow-throated Vireo 1 -
Blue-headed Vireo 1 -
Red-eyed Vireo 2 -
Blue Jay 2 -
Black-capped Chickadee 1 -
House Wren 3 -
Gray-cheeked Thrush 4 -
Swainson's Thrush 17 -
Wood Thrush 5 -
Gray Catbird 27 - !!!!!!!
Tennessee Warbler 3 -
Northern Parula 1 -
Chestnut-sided Warbler 1 -
Magnolia Warbler 11 -
Cape May Warbler 1 -
Black-throated Blue Warbler 3 -
Black-throated Green Warbler 1 -
Blackpoll Warbler 2 -
American Redstart 1 -
Connecticut Warbler 1 -
Common Yellowthroat 10 -
Hooded Warbler 1 -
Song Sparrow 4 -
Swamp Sparrow 2 -
Northern Cardinal 1 -
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 1 -
Indigo Bunting 2 -
American Goldfinch 6 -

Total 118 (132 incl recaps), 31 species

From left to right: Ellen (Deputy Director, Carnegie Museum of Natural History), Bob (founder of the Powdermill Bird Banding Labaratory), Mary and Alena. 
From left to right: Drew, Brandy and Mike
Apart from Chipmunks, Bullfrogs can be found in our mistnets too..
Screaming Blue Jay, hatching year

I found a place with a beautiful background for photographing birds in the hand, see the photos below:
Red-bellied Woodpecker, hatching year male
Blue-headed Vireo, hatching year
Black-throated Blue Warbler, after hatching-year male; amazing blue colours!
Osprey, migrating south

Around 16.00 I decided to make a little tour with my cool bike called Trasher. I drove along route 381 for a while and then turned left on a road called the Allen road. Along this road Bob had recently seen an Olive-sided Flycatcher. While I drove along the road I soon had a new species for my list here, I flushed a Meadow Lark in a nearby pasture. I saw another two when I cycled back along the road a little later. I saw some Red-tailed Hawks too:
Red-tailed Hawk

A bit further down the road there was a gravel road going to the right. It looked promising so I drove down this gravel road. Soon I came across two ponds that held a lot of hunting Phoebe's, but also 2 Green Herons:
Green Heron nr. 1
Green Heron nr. 2

Besides these birds I didn't see anything else of interest along this road. On my way back to the cabin I stopped by Powdermill and I did a short walk. This delivered me a couple of migrating Broad-winged Hawks:
 Broad-winged Hawk, migrating

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