Friday, October 9, 2009

Isle au Haut Songbird Report -- September 23, 2009

Clear skies and gusty southwest winds were the flavor of weather when we opened nets at 06:00 this morning. Bird activity seemed relatively low with only a few Golden-crowned’s and sparrows announcing their presence. Our nets showed a similar pattern with black birdless mesh being the norm on our 30 minute inspections. But fortunately, this was not the case at net 10 where a gorgeous intricately patterned White-throated Sparrow was caught. The next bird to pop in our nets was a new one – a striking Red-breasted Nuthatch. And then a Brown Creeper (another tree-clinging specialist) was recaptured. The skies remained more or less clear with a bit of haze over the water and the wind gained strength as the morning unfolded. Fortunately, most of the wind remained at tree top level and caused minimal net billowing. While the wind often indicates a change in weather which often results in a migrant “fall out”, the southwest direction was not pushing birds towards the coast. This was soon followed by a Blackpoll Warbler which landed in the net beside our banding station. Somewhat surprisingly, this became our most common bird with 4 individuals banded today. Taunted by a flock of Cedar Waxwings and a Palm Warbler…

By Ken Wright
Photo by Ken Wright
Photo caption: Fall plumage Blackpoll Warbler

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