April 25th, 2009

Today was a little taste of May. Opening my door at 4:45 this morning, I was more than pleased that I wouldn’t be needing a jacket today. It was windy, but the temperature made up for the wind. It turned out that the banding effort would be hampered by the high winds, and later by the mid-day heat, but today was a good day at Ruthven anyway. It seemed that a number of new birds had moved onto the property overnight, as we found six new species for the year. The morning started with an Eastern Towhee singing in the valley near the parking lot.  Then, I did an early census, including the fox den trail as I did on Wednesday. The warblers finally showed up! I counted a few Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) Warblers along the river beside the graveyard. Then, just a little further down the shoreline, I heard Yellow Warblers singing. It turned out that three Yellow Warblers had moved onto Slink Island overnight. That was all the big news for the census, though there are lots of interesting birds at Ruthven this time of year (Tufted Titmice, Eastern Bluebirds, Northern Flickers, Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Tree Swallows, Field Sparrows, Wood Duck, etc.). The rest of the day brought a few more new species with it. An early Gray Catbird was trapped in net #2 part way through the morning, a Great Crested Flycatcher was spotted on the Fox Den trail late morning, and a Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher was heard wheeze-wheezing in the valley near the parking lot just after lunch.

In addition to all the bird news, today was spring cleanup day at Ruthven. This means that Ruthven gets a parking lot full of cars, and the banders get a belly full of barbecued sausage. Nothing wrong with that! The property is looking a little tidier now, too. Thanks to all the volunteers who helped out!

Banded 15:
1 Mourning Dove
3 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
1 Gray Catbird
4 Chipping Sparrow
1 Song Sparrow
2 White-throated Sparrow
1 Dark-eyed Junco
2 American Goldfinch

Retrapped 3:
2 American Goldfinch
1 Red-winged Blackbird

Estimated Totals: 50 Species


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