We only opened a handful of nets this morning because of the wind and after 2 hours we had to close those down too. We only banded 2 new birds with 0 recaptures of 2 different species. The mega high tide this morning caused flooding of the banding station like I have never seen. There was over a 1.5 feet of water across much of the station and even higher along the river. The high tide was not all bad though . . . After we closed down the nets, we tried our luck with capturing marsh sparrows. We set up a net along the edge of the flooded marsh and a small narrow dune ridge that was not flooded. This was one of the few spots left for the marsh sparrows to roost because the marsh vegetation was under water. We organized a few sparrow drives and were successful in capturing 3 Savannah Sparrows, 2 Nelson's Sparrows, and 1 Seaside Sparrow. Interestingly enough, one of the Nelson's Sparrows was already banded and it was not the one we banded yesterday! This bird was captured in almost the exact same spot where it had been originally banded the previous winter on 2/17/12. This bird was from the subspecies alterus meaning that is spent the summer breeding in the marshes around Hudson Bay and found its way back to the same patch of salt marsh on Kiawah Island that is was in last year!
|Savannah Sparrow (after hatch-year, sex unknown)|
|Seaside Sparrow (hatch-year, sex unknown)|
Sadly, today was the last day for the banding assistants. I couldn't have asked for a better crew! They were true assets to the project and instrumental in making this season a huge success. All their hard work will not be forgotten. Their enthusiasm for bird banding was unrelenting even through the heat, humidity, cold, wind, mosquitoes, sand gnats, early mornings, late nights, hurricanes, and me occasionally barking orders at them. I wish them the best in the their future endeavors!
William and I (along with any willing volunteers) will close out the remaining 15 days of the fall season banding season at KIBS.
|KIBS Banding Crew 2012|
From left to right: Michael, DeeAnne, Aaron, Meghan, and William