Sunday, 18 March 2007.
Before dawn at net opening it was 29F with a brisk NW wind and without bird song or call. Six hours later only a single Fox Sparrow was wearing a new band and a mere three, banded Myrtle Warblers had been recaptured. It was a very slow day at the banding table.
Yet, on the predawn walk to the station Great Horned Owls engaged in a territorial hooting contests. In the cold sunlight on and about the two Osprey nests visible from the station, there was calling and copulating. The Brown-headed Nuthatches were tooting their squeaky toys in the loblolly pines above the station. And a Great Egret provided plumage displays which can only be described as "nuptial." Spring was very much in the cold air.
Following three days of banding beginning on March 14th (rained out on the 16th) the tally stands at 34 banded of 10 species with 15 recaptures including an 11th species. A full tally to follow after the first week is completed.
Welcome to the spring 2007 passerine banding season of the Coastal Virginia Wildlife Observatory at First Landing State Park, Virginia Beach, Virginia, waypoint N 36d 54' 21.7"; W 076d 01' 43.7". Weather permitting, the station will be open from one-half hour before local sunrise for at least six hours daily until May 31st. Bird numbers should be at their peak during the last three weeks of April and the first two weeks of May. Although one may only reach the station on foot, visitors are most welcome. This blog will be updated twice weekly.
Peter Doherty, bander.