October 28th – A Delightful Day

Today’s birding group. From left: Claire, Elaine, Spenser, Ethan, Charlotte, Renessa, Sam, Liam, Rick. -CL

For me, bird banding is an inherently satisfying solo activity. But it can be even more satisfying when done in the company of friends and bird aficionados. The interchange of sightings, bird lore, aging/sexing techniques, ideas to improve things for the future, and just the plain camaraderie and repartee make an already good situation a great one.

The banding hut was pretty crowded for much of the day. From left: Sam, Renessa, Clair, Charlotte, Spenser. -DOL

It’s amazing to me how really proficient the young birders, who started with me years ago, have become. And it was wonderful to have them helping out today. One of the things that becomes clear is the significant contribution skilled observers can make to the the day’s species count. Ethan and Liam did the census and turned up 33 species ( very nice for late in the migration) but also were always alert to passing birds with the result that, for the day, we encountered a whopping 49 species (check the day’s eBird list).

Spenser with her first banded bird – a White-throated Sparrow. -DOL

There were two keen new participants – Charlotte and Spenser – who wasted no time getting involved. They learned quickly and it was fun to share their enthusiasm. And, of course, the picnic table was littered with food, making a good day even better.

And Charlotte with hers – a Song Sparrow. -DOL

We continued to experiment with net placement, moving 2 nets from the edge interior to the field/edge interface. In their old spot they weren’t producing, especially as the warblers have mostly left; they began catching right away in their new locations. It’s a work in progress as we find out how best to utilize the meadow.

A nice addition to the site’s fauna: Blue-spotted Salamander. -ECG

It was interesting to share ideas about the future with Ethan and his Mom, Elaine (the new owner). Now it doesn’t seem like a boardwalk across the wetland ponds, an observations deck fot=r the main pond, and one for the meadow are that far-fetched. It’s good to dream…and who knows where it might end.

Another visitor! -KMP

Banded 40:
1 Eastern Phoebe
1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
1 American Goldfinch

Field Sparrow -CL

1 Field Sparrow

American Tree Sparrow -KMP

3 American Tree Sparrows
4 White-throated Sparrows

Song Sparrow -CL

15 Song Sparrows
3 Lincoln’s Sparrows

Swamp Sparrow -KMP

11 Swamp Sparrows

This Song Sparrow has something wrong with its upper mandible. Note how short it is and the mis-shapen nostrils. -ECG

October 29th: A Window of Opportunity:
It rained through the night but tailed off at 10 AM just as the weather radar map predicted (how often does that happen!?). I opened a couple of nets and was almost immediately overwhelmed by a hit of 35 birds in Nets 1 & 2, which included 22 young Cedar Waxwings. After Dealing with these birds I closed as it was beginning to sprinkle again.

An extra set of eyes/ears would have been useful today. I was quite busy taking care of business and am sure I missed alot of passing birds. Species count was only 23 – less than half of yesterday’s 49.
Banded 38:
1 Eastern Phoebe
22 Cedar Waxwings
2 American Tree Sparrows
3 Dark-eyed Juncos
2 White-throated Sparrows
7 Song Sparrows
1 Swamp Sparrow


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