The drought in the northeast has certainly been felt by the trees. We’ve noticed some branches of trees are holding the first hint of fall colors in their leaves. It also seems that we’ve been picking more leaves than usual out of the nets so early in the season. We finished the week with 94 new birds banded, 56 recaptures processed, and 12 new species for the week including Northern Waterthrush, Veery, and Yellow-bellied Flycatcher. Our two week total now is 260 new birds banded and 103 recaptures with 31 species captured so far.
Heat and humidity returned in full force on Monday and Tuesday, each day we closed nets early as it got too hot to band. Gray Tree Frogs sang their throaty trill from the property, at least they were happy with the temperatures and humidity. Late Monday afternoon, Sarah noticed a small group of American Crows sitting in a tree down on the farm and just staring at a young Red-shouldered Hawk perched on a tree. Interesting behavior from crows since they are known to harass hawks and owls.
We eagerly awaited the approaching cold front and northwest winds that arrived Tuesday night into Wednesday. Besides dropping temperatures from the high 80’s to the low 60’s, northwest winds also brought a push of migrants to Manomet! We banded seven new species alone on Wednesday, including a Willow Flycatcher, Swainson’s Thrush, and Chestnut-sided Warbler. A stunning after hatch-year male Canada Warbler was closely admired by all as well. All the banders saw some larger Eastern Garter Snakes along the net lanes, in contrast to the two young ones we saw last week. It seems likely that not only was the weather too hot for us on Monday and Tuesday, but it was also too hot for these reptiles to be moving around during the day as well.