Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Peak Approaches. Lifers banded.

Been so busy with the birds lately that I have been neglecting the blog!

Fall migration is nearing its peak here in Central Florida and the numbers of birds we have been banding supports that quite well. In the past couple of weeks or so we have gone from banding between 7-12 birds in a morning to nearly 60 today, September 27th.

The Gray Catbirds have arrived right on time. The Common Yellowthroats are here in large numbers and account for nearly half of the birds banded for the last 2 sessions. Thrushes have returned (or been replaced more likely) represented by Veery and Swainson's Thrushses.

We are also catching a few birds that are Life Birds for many of us. One of the birds I have been hoping to see for years but always fell a little short was a Tennessee Warbler. We had confused a young Pine Warbler for one once but now that I have seen and held one I doubt that mistake will occur again. Tennessee Warblers are much more green.

Tennessee Warbler

A great Life Bird. However, the bird I have been waiting for all this Summer was the Blue-winged Warbler. Reports began flowing in that some had been seen around Florida nowhere near me in Central Florida. Then, the last bird we banded on September 24th turned out to be one. I knew what it was as soon as I saw that black eyeline.

It received a LOT of attention before being released. I followed it as it flew from bush to bush before disappearing toward the southwest.

Blue-Winged Warbler

This year has also been good for birds we only see once or twice. We are still getting Acadian Flycatchers and many Magnolia Warblers like this one below.

Magnolia Warbler

Next banding is in 4 days and I predict a lot of birds. Maybe the Black-throated Blue Warbers will arrive. I'll take a Golden-winged Warbler, too...

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