donderdag 6 oktober 2011

From coldness and dreariness to warmth and sunshine

That was the weather switch occurring today. It is nice to see the sun shining again after more than a week of heavy cloudcover and frequent showers. This weather switch didn't mean (yet?) that the numbers of birds dropped. But it did mean that once the nets were visible for birds, and the temperature rose, the amount of birds caught tapered off quickly. For example: today we had a round of 3 new birds around 11.00 whilst yesterday around 14.00 we still had a round of 60-70 new birds.. The Yellow-rumps have really moved in with an excellent total of 61 being banded today. We processed a total of 236 birds today of which 183 were new. The 183 individuals were spread over 33 species.

Our one and only big mesh net, net 8c, was taken down today by a... Canada Goose. The bird, apparently blind on the left eye, hit the upper trammel line with its wing and took the entire net down (the goose was fine afterwards, escaped before we could grab it though). I missed this excitement because I was doing a round. Luckily we have a replacement net because we still need to catch that Belted Kingfisher haha.

And ofcourse, when 8c was down, Mary flushed a Wilson's Snipe that flew just through our missing 8c net, what a pity! But then (as agreed :-)) the next round with Bob I flushed a Wilson's Snipe in one of the nets! So in the end we still got the Snipe.

The numbers and species:

Wilson's Snipe 1 -
Northern Flicker 1 -
Eastern Wood-Pewee 1 -
Eastern Phoebe 3 -
Blue-headed Vireo 1 -
Red-eyed Vireo 1 -
Winter Wren 1 -
Golden-crowned Kinglet 3 -
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 16 -
Gray-cheeked Thrush 9 -
Swainson's Thrush 8 -
Gray Catbird 3 -
Brown Thrasher 1 -
Tennessee Warbler 4 -
Nashville Warbler 6 -
Magnolia Warbler 9 -
Black-throated Blue Warbler 12 - about 10 of them were males, including one Cairnsii (Appalachian race)
Yellow-rumped Warbler 61 -
Palm Warbler 8 -
Blackpoll Warbler 1 -
American Redstart 3 -
Ovenbird 2 -
Northern Waterthrush 2 -
Common Yellowthroat 3 -
Wilson's Warbler 1 -
Eastern Towhee 2 -
Song Sparrow 1 -
Lincoln's Sparrow 1 -
Swamp Sparrow 5 -
White-throated Sparrow 8 -
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 2 -
Indigo Bunting 2 -
American Goldfinch 1 -

Total 183, 33 species

Firecre...... oh no sorry Golden-crowned Kinglet, male (Btw, sorry for messing up your crown feathers buddy)
Wilson's Snipe, hatching year male
The difference between the 'Eurasian' Snipe and 'American' Snipe: the underwing. The underwing of Wilson's is totally covered with stripes while the underwing of the Eurasian lacks the striping, which gives a whitish/greyish impression (unfortunately I don't have any pictures of the underwing of Eurasian Snipe :( ).

The release:
The Snipe wandered in the grass for a few seconds - giving good photographing oppertunities - before taking off and flying away!

Around 19.10 this evening we went to the ponds to check if some cool stuff would drop in, to sleep in the ponds. We saw more or less 50 Wood Ducks coming in to sleep at dusk. Furthermore some Canada Geese dropped in (about 30). A Screech Owl was calling too. The highlight was a Least Bittern flying over (seemed to be leaving the area). We had good views of the bird flying low overhead. In flight it was calling actively. After some circling above the area the bird seemed to fly away in a southernly direction. 

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