Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Hello, Stranger!

I will get back to the Washington birds. Promise. However, we did have a little surprise this past Sunday out at Wekiva.

It was not a bad day. Pretty good for this time of year, actually. Still had some migrants moving through which included some fun stuff among the variety of local species.

Here it was, the first week of May, and we still managed a Gray Catbird, several Ovenbirds, and a few Black-throated Blue Warblers. Then an Eastern Palm Warbler flew into a net. They are suppose to be way up North this time of year. I was thinking the Palm would be the bird of the day.

Even though we had a Black and White Warbler and only the third, fourth, and fifth Blackpoll ever banded at Wekiva State Park I still was very perplexed by this late Palm Warbler.

Oh, well. Chalk it up to a fluke. The morning was waning and the breeze was picking up as the temperature headed toward 94 degrees that day. Time to close the nets and call it a day.

We had most of the nets folded and as I headed back to the table to pack up I heard someone say that there was one more bird in one of the loop nets. Alright. Probably another Common Yellow-throat. I dropped the net bags and sat at the table to await the bird for ID and banding.

The bag was handed to me and I asked. "So, what have we here?"

"Either a Mourning or a Connecticut.", Shemus stated as he reached for a field guide. I stopped in my tracks, thinking he was kidding. "If it is either of those it would be a tad special!." I said with a smile. I took my time getting the bird out of the bag as everyone gathered around, starting to get excited.

I pulled the bird out of the bag and we all got a good look and looked at one another. Smiles all around! It WAS a Connecticut Warbler!! First ever record officially at Wekiva and first sighting for every single one of us.

Connecticut Warbler

I took my time with the bird, a male, and took many, many photos. As the group headed out they called behind me, "You can't take it home, Andrew!".

I let it go and last saw it heading in a Southeast direction, band flashing in the hot sunshine.

What I call cool.

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