After a few days of rain, the weather was dry enough to set up the mist nets last night and the owls were moving! Between 2000 hrs-2230hrs, eight saw-whets were banded, but as soon as the wind gusts increased to around 10 mph, the action halted. By 0100, the winds were a steady 13 mph from the south and I had to close the net lanes. Still, eight owls in 2.5 hours is great!
Other exciting news:
I had an unsuspected visitor at my 2330 hr net check. I walked the perimeter of the empty mist nets and was making my way back to the camper when I noticed a bird in the net. I recognized it immediately by its large, dark eyes and brown, mottled feathers. Yes, an eastern whip-poor-will! What a gorgeous bird! After banding it and taking the necessary measurements, I released it into the night and wished it well.
Today, the sky is full of birds migrating south. I’ve seen several kettles of turkey vultures and countless sharp-shinned hawks soaring above the tree line before they cross the Straits. I also saw three bald eagles and just happened to notice that one of the juveniles was sporting a patagial tag (although I couldn’t clearly read the two digits on it _8?)
On a side note, it’s really wet out here, so if you plan to come out for a couple of hours, be sure to bring your rubber boots!