Stéphane’s Blog for May 22, 2011

A Thrush Kind of Morning!

Sometimes, the conditions are just right! It could be an overcast sky and an oncoming rainstorm that lure birds to stop flying and find shelter. And then, dawn comes, nets are open and birds quickly fill them!

This morning, it played out perfectly for Swainson’s Thrushes: on the first net check, at 5:45 AM, every single net but one had at least one Swainson’s Thrush in it (there are 15 nets). As day kept taking over night, more thrushes got caught, including the first Gray-cheeked Thrushes, but warblers and chickadees were also getting captured in interesting numbers.

However, it all came to an abrupt halt at 7:15am, when rain, relentless rain, started to fall. And fall it did, all morning and a bit of the afternoon. So, at 8am, we were basically done for the day: with 67 birds banded of 19 species, in 2 hours, it was a most productive day indeed. The total includes 26 Swainson’s Thrushes, more in that single morning than in an entire spring season for most of the other years (for example, a season total of 12 in 2003 or 27 in 2009)!!!!!

We heard the first Eastern Wood-Pewee of the season at Cabot Head. The morning chorus (before sunrise) was mostly Whip-poor-will, Sandhill Cranes, American Bittern, and American Woodcock! Nice!