We ended the week 53 with new birds banded and 62 recaptures processed. Adding this to our season totals so far brings us up to 613 new birds banded and 508 recaptures processed. We also caught three new species this week, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Hermit Thrush, and Brown Creeper which brings us up to 54 species for the fall.
On Monday, an examination of the numerous goldenrods and the clusters of Flax-leaved Asters in the fields of the Holmes Farm revealed several skippers, Painted and American Ladies, and Monarchs sipping nectar. We also banded a Traill’s Flycatcher; unfortunately, the detailed measurements that we took could not separate it from either Willow or Alder Flycatcher.
On Tuesday we hit a momentous milestone, banding our 300th new Gray Catbird for the season. Last fall was one of the lower years for Gray Catbirds with only 272 banded during the entire 2018 fall season. A massive Tree Swallow movement began on Tuesday morning following some brief showers. The first flock began to stream by around 7:00 and continued throughout the day. A flock of around 3,000 swallows was directly overhead Manomet HQ at one point, heading south. It was mesmerizing to watch these birds perform aerial maneuvers and hear them chattering back and forth.