Our last week of banding felt more like September than November. We banded 58 new birds and processed 43 recaptures. Temperatures were in the 70s and calm on Monday. We had all the nets open for our last week of banding and caught a late Black-throated Green Warbler and our second Orange-crowned Warbler of the season. Another highlight was a Slate-colored Junco that was first banded in 2017, making it at least three years old! We saw several Spring Peepers and Eastern Garter Snakes along the net lanes; the most we had seen since the warm, humid days in September.
Tuesday and Wednesday were warm and calm to start, but as the wind picked up oak leaves fell with a vengeance and covered our nets with leaves. On a positive note, we did catch a small flock of American Goldfinches on Wednesday, most of which were hatch-year birds, meaning they hatched this year. It was fun to compare the differences between the single adult in the group with the young birds up close. As it started getting excessively leafy, we closed nets and began the process of taking some down for the end of the season.
We opened for a few hours on Thursday and recaught several already-banded birds, but with half our nets already down, we didn’t catch any new birds. It started sprinkling after just a few hours and we closed as the wind increased from the north, cooling things down significantly from what had been a humid day. Friday was chilly and drizzly, and we couldn’t open nets, unfortunately—instead, we waited for a break in the rain to take them down, thus ending Manomet’s Fall 2020 banding season.