Sunday, September 30, 2007

Catbirds are Here!

Boy, are they! Out of the 89 birds captured today (the highest total this year) 64 of those were Gray Catbirds.

They began to hit the nets even before I got the triple nets set up, flying in on both sides of me as I struggled to set the final pole. Luckily, the figure of Lorne Malow emerged in the pre-dawn dark to assist in removing them with me.

Back at the banding table, Lane arrived just in time to begin banding as I headed over to net 10 to find several more Catbirds waiting for extraction. Shout indicating the other volunteers were running out of bags came from down the net lanes indicating that they, too, were being kept busy with more Catbirds.

The flood gates of migration for these birds were flung wide open.

Gray Catbird

I was able to make a dash to the 'loop' with all of the remaining bags, passing other banders with hands full of birds heading the other way, and found even more hitting every net we had open.

Rounding the inside of the loop at net 15 I saw a different color scheme flapping near the edge of the net pole. Our 1st Wood Thrush of the season! It nearly made its way to an escape as I approached and quickly sealed off the exit.

Wood Thrush

We also managed to capture another new arriving species of Thrush, a Swainson's Thrush. Nice to see they have made it. The Gray-cheeks will not be far behind.

Swainson's Thrush

During my forays back and forth I was sure I was hearing another familiar Fall sound. The scolding of a House Wren. It took a bit longer before my suspicions were confirmed as we were able to band one before the end of the morning.

House Wren

We finally were able to throw some more color into the mix as, near the end of the nearly endless procession of bird bags was reached, Lane removed a beautiful female Hooded Warbler from it's holding place.

Hooded Warbler

There will be little rest for the next few weeks, if the weather holds, for all of us anxious Wekiva banders.

Fine by me.

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