April 27th – Gearing Up

A male and female Tree Swallow - gearing up to start nesting.

Spring was in the air….finally. It was warm (and later got hot), it wasn’t raining, and there was next to no wind. And when the sun got up and started to heat up and dry out the ground, you could smell the rich earth. There was a lot of bird activity. We counted 25 Common Loons in the space of 2 hours; Yellow Warblers were singing (along with the White-throated Sparrows); and we encountered 6 new arrivals for the year: Green Heron, Spotted Sandpiper, House Wren, Western Palm Warbler, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, and Lincoln’s Sparrow. And on the day we had 56 species – our most so far.

Another look at the Lincoln's Sparrow.

The furtive Lincoln's Sparrow - usually the only time we see one is when it goes into a net.

The weather was quite unsettled: at times looking like it was going to rain and then clearing only to cloud over again. Although rain was forecast we never got any during the banding period (there was a thunder storm later in the afternoon). Even so, the ground is saturated and squelches under foot almost everywhere you go. It’s advisable to wear rubber boots for awhile.

For me it was a pretty easy day as we had such good help: Nancy Furber, Christine Madliger, Liz Vanderwoude and Chris Harris did all the grunt work. I got to walk around for the most part and just bird watch and do the census. It made for a lovely morning.

The Three Amigas - Nancy Furber, Liz Vanderwoude, and Christine Madliger (L to R)

Banded 42:
4 Tree Swallows
1 Blue Jay
2 Black-capped Chickadees
1 House Wren
2 Ruby-crowned Kinglets
1 Hermit Thrush
1 American Robin
3 Chipping Sparrows
1 Field Sparrow
1 Song Sparrow
1 Lincoln’s Sparrow
2 Swamp Sparrows
13 White-throated Sparrows
3 Purple Finches
6 American Goldfinches

Retrapped 38:
1 Downy Woodpecker
2 American Robins
4 American Tree Sparrows
5 Chipping Sparrows
6 Song Sparrows
2 White-throated Sparrows
10 Dark-eyed Juncos
1 Red-winged Blackbird
5 Brown-headed Cowbirds
2 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 56 spp.


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