Last night's radar indicated fairly strong migration activity along the eastern US with a majority of the birds moving down the Appalachians and into Florida. Some coastal migration did occur as we banded 90 new birds and had 15 recaptures of 15 different species. Highlights today included a couple Northern Parulas, 3 Eastern Wood-Pewees, and a Common Ground-Dove. We kept the nets open about an hour longer than usual because the high tide had marooned our truck atop a small dune on the beach.
Heavy rain is expected in our area for the next 3 days with as much as 12 inches falling in some areas. We are also watching Hurricane Joaquin as it batters the Bahamas. The storm is predicted to run into the the powerful jet stream and turn to the north hopefully sparing us here on the South Carolina coast. Banding conditions are not looking good through the weekend. If there is a break in the weather for a few hours, we will be out there running the nets.
With the cold front passing through in the early hours of the morning hopefully pushing a lot of birds this way, a large catch was expected. This morning was one for observing raptors. On the walk into the site Nancy spotted a red-phase Eastern Screech Owl and during net opening we heard a Screech Owl and a Great Horned Owl calling. Whilst at the banding table we saw Merlin, Cooper's Hawk and a Peregrine Falcon.
The birds came on steadily all morning until we had to close nets due to rain. We ended up catching 75 new birds and 7 recaptures of 14 species. Common Yellowthroats dominated the catch with Gray Catbirds a near second. However, the bird of the day has to be the after hatch-year Yellow-billed Cuckoo - the second record for the site.
|Yellow-billed Cuckoo (After hatch-year, unknown)|
|Species||Captain Sam's||Little Bear|
|Eastern Wood Peewee||3||-||-||-|
|Palm Warbler (Western)||-||-||1||-|
|Banding Stats||Captain Sam's||Little Bear||TOTAL|
|# Birds Banded||85||75||160|
|# of Recaptures||15||7||22|
|# of Species||14||14||20|
|Capture Rate (birds/100 net-hours)||64.5||117.3||80.9|
Aaron Given (CS)
Mattie VandenBoom (CS)
Chris Snook (LB)
Nancy Raginski (LB)
Sean McElaney (LB)
Casey Weissburg (CS)
Micheal Gamble (CS)
Ryan Donnelly (CS)