16th November – Slow but interesting.

Overcast skies with a light mist greeted the start of this morning’s session. With the species mix caught today, migration is now over and the winter birds are arriving.

A slow start with  the bulk of the catch being after 9 am for a total of 11 new birds and 7 recaptures. The only interesting new bird was the hatch year male Eastern Towhee, as it maked the most of this species captured in one season since I started in 2005.

The recaptures were really interesting. The Hermit Thrush was originally banded in Novenmber 2012, making it the first inter-year recapture of this species and only eight days short of 12 months since it was first trapped. Yellow-rumped Warblers show wintering site fidelity from year to year. The 2 recaptures today demonstrated this: one was originally banded in February of 2011 and the other in December of 2008 – making it 2 months shy of 5 years since original banding.

Banding Statistics
Ruby-crowned Kinglet       1
Carolina Chickadee            2
House Wren                        1
Eatern Towhee                   1
Yellow-rumped Warbler   6

Carolina Chickadee            1
Eastern Towhee                  1
Yellow-rumped Warbler    2
Hermit Thrush                     1
Northern Cardinal               1
Brown Thrasher                  1

Trapping Statistics
# Nets                                  6.3
Effort                                  29.83  net hours
Capture Rate                     60        birds/100 nethrs

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9th November – FOS White-throated Sparrow.

A cool blustery start to the morning with a quiet dawn. Very few birds were observed or heard this morning.

This morning’s catch was 7 new birds and 2 retrapped birds, a third of the catch was due to 2 nets I added based on some observations last Sunday.

A first for the season White-throated Sparrow was caught and a pair of Carolina Wrens were retrapped together – again!

A frequent observation throughout the morning was a hatch year Sharp-shinned Hawk which may have accounted for the overall lack of birds.

Birds Caught

Yellow-rumped Warbler    3
Gray Catbird                        1
Carolina Wren                     1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet        1
White-troated Sparrow       1

Carolina Wren                     2

Banding Statistics
Nets                                      6.3
Effort                                 28.89   net hours
Catch Rate                        30         birds/ 100 nethours

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2nd November – Slow but interesting, a FOS Orange-crowned Warbler

Heavy showers until 7:30 slowed the start to this mornings effort.

Today 9 new birds and 1 retrap of 8 species were caught. The Orange-crowned Warblers were 1st of the season birds and I’ve never caught 2 in the same banding session. It is not Orange-crowned Warbleroften at this time of year that Yellow-rumped warblers are overtaken on this site by other species of warblers (Palm and Orange-crowned) for the most numerous species (equal with Gray Catbird).

The Eastern Towhee was unusual as it is the 3rd of the species trapped this season. They are rare in my nets at this site with only 9 birds in the last 7 years (highest fall total was 3 in 2009).

The retrapped female northern Cardinal was originally banded on 08/10/2010 as an After Hatch Year (AHY) bird. This would make the bird older than 3yrs and 2.5 months old.

I was notified today of a recovery of an American Robin that I banded inNovember of 2009 as a Hatch Year bird. It was found dead in a small town in Pennsylvania 555 miles NE in October of this year making the bird just over 4 years old.

Birds Caught

Yellow-rumped Warbler         1
Black-throated Blue Warbler 1
Palm Warbler (Western)        2
Gray Catbird                             2
Orange-crowned Warbler       2
Eastern Towhee                        1

Northern Cardinal                    1

Banding Statistics
Nets                                            5.5
Effort                                       21.82   net hours
Catch Rate                              46         birds/ 100 nethours

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26th October – lingering warblers, passersby and old friends.

Clear skies and cooler temperatures boded well for winter visitors this morning and we weren’t disappointed with 22 new birds and 4 retraps of 16 species! Gray Catbird and Golden-crowned Kinglet tied for the most new birds caught for a species.

First Of Season species captured today were Song Sparrow, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Golden-crowned Kinglet and Yellow-rumped Warbler. The Warbler migration is winding down with American Redstart, Common Yellowthroat, Black-throated Blue Warbler and Black-and-white warbler caught.

The retrapped Gray Catbird was an old one, originally banded at the end of October 2010
making it a few days short of 3 years since the bird was first banded as a hatch year bird.

Banding Statistics

Common Yellowthroat            2
Gray Catbird                             3
Hermit Thrush                          1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet             1
Indigo Bunting                          1
Brown Thrasher                        1
Eastern Towhee                        2
American Redstart                    1
House Wren                              1
Song Sparrow                           1
Black-throated Blue Warbler  1
Yellow-rumped Warbler         2
Golden-crowned Kinglet         3
Black-and-white Warbler        1
Northern Cardinal                    1

Gray Catbird                              1
Brown Thrasher                        1
Carolina Wren                           2

Trapping Statistics

nets                                            5.5
effort                                        29.08    net hours
catch rate                                89          birds/net hour


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19th October – FOS Swamp Sparrow and Black-throated Blue Warbler

The forecast for the morning was 50% chance of rain. On arrival at the site cloud cover was about 70% increasing to 100% towards sunrise from the south-west. Rain finally hit the site at around 8am and nets had to be closed for the morning.

Despite the short session 6 species for a total of 8 new birds were banded, 1 retrapped and 1 escaped without a band. Gray Catbirds were the most numerous species with Common Yellowthroats  second.  Two species were first of the season Swamp Sparrow and Black-throated Blue Warbler. The retrapped Northern Mockingbird was banded in February of 2011 but not the oldest retrap for that species.

Once again during setup of the nets a large owl swooped along one of the net lanes and landed in thetop of a pine tree. When there was enough light I was able to see the ear tufts of a Great Horned Owl. Another avain predator was hunting the site just as I left – a Cooper’s Hawk landed in a nearby pine tree and called out before flying off down the island.

Banding Statistics
Gray Catbird                             4
Common Yellowthroat            2
Painted Bunting                       1
Black-throated Blue Warbler 1

Northern Mockingbird             1

Swamp Sparrow                       1

Trapping Statistics
nets                                            5.5
Effort                                         4.57 net hours
Catch Rate                            219      birds/100 net hours.

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12th October: Good species diversity and 3 FOS species.

A clear sky above the site with some clouds over Charleston reflecting light
enabled me to see a large owl fly silently over my head and attempt to land
in a nearby palm tree as I was setting up one of the nets this morning.

At dawn the local birds started calling and it sounded less intense than in
previous weeks, however cloud cover started increasing from the northern
quadrant and when the site was at approximately 90% cloud cover a lot more
song and calls where heard including Gray Catbird, and a lot of less harsher

During the morning we captured 28 new birds and retrapped 2 birds of 14
species. Of those House Wren, Indigo Bunting and Cape May Warbler were first
of the season birds for the site.

Thanks to Paula for her help this morning.

Birds Caught
White-eyed Vireo             2
House Wren                     2
American Redstart           5
Palm Warbler                   2
Red-eyed Vireo                2
Common Yellowthroat   4
Acadian Flycatcher          1
Gray Catbird                     4
Veery                                1
Northern Waterthrush    1
Indigo Bunting                1
Cape May Warbler         2

Northern Mockingbird  1
Northern Cardinal         1

Trapping Statistics
Nets                 5.5
Effort               27.9 net hours
Catch Rate          107 birds/100 net hours

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5th October – FOS Acadian Flycatcher and Black-and-white Warbler

A foggy start to the morning and a noisy sunrise brought the hope of a bird laden morning. This was not the case as trapping was slow but with a few interesting captures. Only 12 new birds and 2 retraps of 8 species with Common Yellowthroat and Gray Catbird were the most numerous migrant species caught. Two new species for the season were an Acadian Flycatcher and a Black-and-white Warbler.

The retrapped Brown Thrasher was originally banded in November of 2011 and sets a new longevity record for the site of 1y 11 months surprisingly although these birds are resident on the site I rarely catch them, let alone retrap them.

Birds Caught
Common Yellowthroat          5
Gray Catbird                           2
Northern Cardinal                 2
Acadian Flycatcher                1
Black-and-white Warbler     1
Prairie Warbler                      1

Carolina Wren                       1
Brown Thrasher                    1

Trapping Statistics
Nets                                        5.5
Effort                                    23.83 net hours
Catch Rate                           59       birds / 100 net hours

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28th September – FOS BlackPoll Warbler, Palm Warbler and Gray Catbird

A good morning was promised when a dark line of clouds crossed the site at sunrise and 1/2 an hour later a a cacophony of bird calls and song erupted.

A total of 19 birds were caught, 16 new and 3 retrapped of 11 species. The most numerous were the Gray Catbirds. First of the season species were Gray Catbird, Blackpoll Warbler and Palm Warbler.  The Blackpoll Warbler was a nice surprise as it was the earliest capture during the fall migration for the site, the previous earliest record was 2nd October in 2010.

During one of the net rounds an unusual call was heard coming from deep in an large Live Oak. I later listened to recordings  and identified it as a Willow Flycatcher. Later on in the morning I did observe a tyrant flycatcher sitting on the net poles and top shelf string of one of my nets!

One surprise this morning was a dull looking Carolina Wren that was retrapped. It was banded on this site in August 2009 making it 4 years 1 month and 13 days since it was originally banded as an adult. This bird is the oldest Carolina Wren caught at this site.

Banding Statistics:
Gray Catbird                    5
Palm Warbler                  1
Blackpoll Warbler          1
Common Yellowthroat  2
Brown Thrasher             1
Northern Cardinal          1
White-eyed Vireo           1
Carolina Wren                1
Red-eyed Vireo               1
Carolina Chickadee        1
Painted Bunting              1

Carolina Wren                3

Trapping Statistics:
Nets                                  5.5
Effort                             27.2
Total Birds Caught      19
Catch Rate                    70 birds/100 nethrs

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21st September – Very few birds

The new bird was an adult female Common Yellowthroat. The retraps were a Common Yellowthroat from last week, a Northern Mockingbird and a Carolina Wren. Both the Mockingbird and Wren were in moult and heve been captured multiple times this fall whilst in moult.

The lack of birds allowed me enough time to search for the Lark Sparrow, reported to me by my birding friend Cathy Miller previous afternoon and evening and that evening’s post by  Keith McCullogh’s on Carolina Birds. Despite extensive searching no Lark Sparrow was seen. This species appears to be an annual regular to the site.

White-tailed DeerOne surprise to liven up the slow morning was a White-tailed Deer doe with 2
fawns. A passerby (BJ of Johns Island) pointed the deer out to me as I was
writing up some field notes. I managed to see the doe but not the fawns and
they disappeared at the approach of people on the hardtop.

Banding Statistics:
Common Yellowthroat     1

Common Yellowthroat    1
Northern Mockingbird     1
Carolina Wren                  1

Trapping Statistics:
nets                                5.5
Effort                           27.4 nethours
Total Birds Caught      4
catch rate                   15 birds/100 nethrs

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14th September – Cold Front migrants: Veery and Northern Waterthrush

The cold front that moved through last night brought with it slew of Common Yellowthroats and first of the season species Veery and Northern Waterthrush.

A total of 30 new birds and 1 retrap of 9 species was a little disappointing but not unexpected for this time of year. Common Yellowthroats were the most commonly caught species of the morning with the late morning “rush” of American Redstarts a distant second.

After hatch year male Common Yellowthroat

The solitary retrap was a Carolina Wren, originally caught in October of 2012 as a hatch year bird and was about half way through its flight feather moult, having started in early August (it was caught in the early stages of moult on 11th August).

On one of my net rounds later on in the morning I almost stepped on a Glass
Lizard – the first I’d seen on the site.

Banding Statistics

Common Yellowthroat     17
Northern Waterthrush        1
Veery                                    1
Red-eyed Vireo                    1
Carolina Chickadee             1
Painted Bunting                   1
White-eyed Vireo                3
Amreican Redstart               5

Carolina Wren                     1

Trapping Statistics
# Nets                                  5.5
Effort                                  26.83 nethours
Total Birds Caught           31
Catch Rate                      116       birds/100 nethours

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