Due to the rain and wind last night, we didn’t do any banding and I was able to go to bed at a decent hour like normal people do 😀
I’m really hoping the weather cooperates tonight because I think it’ll be a good evening. There were a lot of birds moving through the point today. I did some not-so-serious birding for about an hour and a half and counted 382 sandhill cranes flying south (seriously!!!) and saw 30 rusty blackbirds. Those were pretty much the notable species. There have been a few warblers moving through as well. I didn’t see but few today-palm and yellow-rumped mostly and one black-throated green. It’ll be interesting to see how tonight turns out.
The saw-whets are still trickling down in small numbers, but we’re hoping that things pick up a bit tonight with the cold front and rain potentially moving through tomorrow.
A total of four saw-whets were banded last night between 2100-0500 hrs and the first foreign retrap of the season was caught in the passive net at 0130 hrs. We aged this bird as an HY (hatch year) and it’s highly likely that it was banded last summer (2014) at Whitefish Point while they were banding juvenile saw-whets. Its always exciting to catch a banded bird.
Looking forward to what tonight brings.
Well, yes. Yes, the being had long ears. However, it wasn’t an owl at all; it was a snowshoe hare of all things. One can imagine my excitement as I approached the net and saw that something was in it. The excitement quickly subsided when I saw that it had fur instead of feathers. The snowshoe was released unharmed, but I cannot say the same for the net.
All in all, it was a pretty good night having banded a total of nine saw-whets with the last one coming through at around 0600 hrs.
We had an interesting start to the evening with a sharp-shinned hawk in the net at dusk. She was a beautiful ATY bird and was happy to be on her way when we finished banding her just after dark. Other than that, we ended up catching another 4 saw-whets between 2345 hrs-0130 hrs.
A couple of other notable species: Two bats (possible little brown bats) and four American woodcock at dawn as I was wrapping up the nets.
Another clear, calm night at the Straits, which made for another slow 11-hour stretch. Four Northern saw-whets were banded and, let me tell ya, they were a bit feisty last night. Three of the four were HY birds and the fourth was an ASY bird (and very cooperative compared to the younger saw-whets). Ed and I put up another net through an opening in the woods to increase our chances of catching any other migrants. Let’s hope for a few long-eareds or barreds.
After a few days of inclement weather, we were finally able to start the season off last night and what a beautiful evening it was. It remained calm and clear into the early morning hours with a low of about 50 degrees. It was great to begin the season with a few owls, but the night was definitely slow having banded only six Northern saw-whets. Still, we didn’t get skunked, which is always a good thing.
We’ll see what tonight brings.