Bad Moon Rising
The arrival of Blackpoll warblers are often seen as a bad omen to banders because they are one of the last neotropical migrants to move through before migration stops. We had our first this week and it is a sign that things will slow down for here on out. South winds on the 21st of May brought up many birds in good numbers. We banded 64 birds of 19 species and 84 birds of 21 species the following day. Philadelphia, Red-eyed, Blue-headed and Warbling Vireo were observed. We banded a single Least Flycatcher and have observed both Traill’s and Eastern Phoebe. We banded Veery and Swainson’s Thrush and also had Eastern Bluebird flying over and many American Robins. In all we banded 17 species of warbler on the 22nd including Canada, Mourning and Wilson’s Warbler which are recent arrivals. Two White-winged Crossbills were seen flying over and there was a Whip-poor-will calling from across the basin in the early morning. Rain prevented us from operating nets on the 23rd, 24th and 29th of May. We banded our first Blackpoll Warbler on the 24th and have had them daily since. Flycatchers have begun to arrive in greater numbers throughout the week peaking on the 30th when we banded 6 species of Flycatchers including Traill’s, Yellow-bellied, Least, Great Crested Flycatcher, Eastern Wood Pewee and Eastern Phoebe. Canada, Wilson’s, Mourning and Blackpoll warblers are still coming through in good numbers with many observed or banded daily. A single Black-billed Cuckoo was seen in the evening on the 28th at rocky point at the station called Ballahoola Point. All birds have moved in and soon the migration will be winding down and migratory bird numbers will drop and breeding will begin shortly after.