May 3rd – Marking Time

At 5:00 it was pouring rain….at 8:00 the skies were clear. Five mm of rain fell during the night attended by thunder in the early morning. I was hoping that the unsettled weather would result in an influx of migrants but it just wasn’t to be. I think the system extended well to the south stopping birds from moving at all. As a result it was a VERY slow day with only 12 banded and 11 retrapped.
But….there were some good things too. One was a solitary Sandhill Crane that went over very high, giving its signature call – a call I always associate with the wilderness of the Moose River where I first encountered it many years ago on a canoe trip. Another good thing was the presence of 4 (yes 4!) Purple Martins at the Martin houses at one time – 3 males and a female. We have been trying to get martins to nest in those boxes for years now but with no success. But this year there have been at least 2 martins checking out the boxes each day for the past week – keep your fingers crossed that we finally get our own martin colony. And the third good thing was the capture of 2 (yes 2!) Northern Rough-winged Swallows at the same time. Prior to this we had only banded one in 14 years. Both Nancy Furber and Oliver Love got a banding ‘first’ out of it.

Banded 12:
2 Northern Rough-winged Swallows
1 House Wren
1 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
4 Yellow Warblers
1 Chipping Sparrow
1 Song Sparrow
1 White-throated Sparrow
1 Red-winged Blackbird

Retrapped 11:
1 Red-bellied Woodpecker
1 House Wren
1 Yellow Warbler
3 Chipping Sparrows
2 Song Sparrows
1 Dark-eyed Junco
2 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 52 spp.

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