We had a very slow week banding, with 35 new birds banded, 30 recaptures processed, and only one new species for the week. We’ve now banded 1,417 new birds, processed 796 recaptures, and banded 70 species. Our week was windy and rainy, keeping our nets closed for days at a time.
On Monday strong winds from the east kept most of our nets closed. Now that many trees have lost their leaves we’ve also lost the protection from the wind that they offered our nets. While it was a slow day overall, we did catch a small flock of Cedar Waxwings! Excitingly, this was the first time we caught waxwings this fall, although we’ve seen and heard several large flocks both on the Holmes Farm and along the net lanes. Almost all the birds had some berry stains around their bills, showing that they’ve been eating well on the property.
We were treated to a major seaduck movement off the bluff on Tuesday. Thousands of scoters and Common Eiders were flying south past the bluff in large flocks. We had stiff north winds, a perfect tailwind for large-bodied sea ducks with which to migrate. A male Harlequin Duck flew in below the bluff and we had a chance to admire this boldly-patterned seaduck for several minutes as it dove and resurfaced. We caught several kinglets of both species, Ruby-crowned and Golden-crowned, although most of the nets were closed due to wind. Unfortunately, Wednesday’s forecast, which looked clear a day earlier, turned into a washout and we were unable to band.