Monday, October 26, 2015

Arrival of a cold front

Captain Sam's
We had a slow morning at Captain Sam's today, while we didn't see the same wind conditions that Little Bear did we did see the return of high tides with the upcoming full moon. Despite the weather we managed to band 19 new birds and recaptured 12 of 9 species.

Gray Catbirds outnumbered the Yellow-rumpeds in the nets, but there were several small flocks hanging around and flying over the nets. We also had nice swallow movement later in the morning with a flock of several thousand Tree Swallows hanging around the banding site. Unfortunately, they didn't roost in a tree or get low enough for us to catch any. Our highlights of the day happened fairly late in the morning, a Wilson's Warbler and a Blue-headed Vireo. We've caught both of these species previously but not in high numbers, the Wilson's Warbler was our second of the season and the Blue-headed Vireo was our third. The Wilson's Warbler was a hatch year male so it was nice to see the start of his black cap coming in. This is later than expected for a Wilson's Warbler to come through so hopefully it means we still have a few surprises left before the end of the season.

Blue-headed Vireo (hatch year, unknown)


Little Bear
 The arrival of the cold front brought with it windier conditions than expected for safe trapping by mid-morning. So nets were closed, by 9 am, for a short morning's banding. This morning's spring tide, bolstered by the north-easterly winds, meant that some net lanes became flooded to about ankle deep.

Despite these conditions, 10 new birds and 8 recaptures were caught. The surprise birds of the day were a Seaside Sparrow and a Savannah Sparrow both of which were firsts for this site. Both are normally out on the dunes or in the salt-marsh and were probably forced into the catching area by this morning's high tide.

Now if the weather would just settle down...

- Chris

Savannah Sparrow (Hatch-year, sex unknown)
Seaside Sparrow (After-hatch-year, sex unknown)
Photos by Casey Weissburg

  Species Captain Sam's Little Bear
New Recaps New Recaps
Blue-headed Vireo 1 - - -
Carolina Chickadee - - - 1
Carolina Wren - - - 1
Gray Catbird 9 7 2 4
Brown Thrasher - 1 - -
Wilson's Warbler 1 - - -
American Redstart 1 - - -
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) 6 1 2 -
Savannah Sparrow - - 1 -
Seaside Sparrow - - 1 -
Swamp Sparrow - 1 4 -
Painted Bunting 1 - - 1
Northern Cardinal - 1 - -

 Banding Stats Captain Sam's Little Bear TOTAL
# Birds Banded 19 10 29
# of Recaptures 11 7 18
# of Species 9 8 13
Effort (net-hours) 96.5 32.67 129.2
Capture Rate (birds/100 net-hours) 31.1 52.0 36.4
Nets 25 16 41

Banding Staff
Aaron Given (CS)
Chris Snook (LB)
Nancy Raginski (CS)
Sean McElaney (CS)
Casey Weissburg (LB)
Michael Gamble (LB)
Ryan Donnelly (LB)

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