Sunday, April 15, 2007

The Last Net Run of the Day!

Mr. Berra had it about right--the day is not over until the last net run. There had not been a bird captured in over five hours. Not one. Yes, the first two runs of the day at 0650 and 0740 had yielded nine birds, including the female Northern Parula and first newly-banded Eastern Tufted Titmouse of the year, both pictured. (And yes, Titmice are strange birds, undaunted by people or cameras.) Birds were singing and things were looking up.
At once around 0800, the woods and marsh were silent. Not even the Marsh Wren sang. The Osprey were quietly incubating and eating fish about their nest. Clouds rolled in and it began to rain just after 1000. There were thoughts of closing as a second batch of showers rolled in around 1100. But thanks to text messaging with a trusted advisor who checked the computer weather radar several times and correctly predicted better weather coming, the nets were left open, though checked more frequently. And the weather did improve. Bird song and activity resumed, but the nets were empty still.
I admit it. I took a short snooze, 20 minutes. I did so while watching several Pileated Woodpeckers in the woods while I sat in the sun on the platform just beyond the A nets of the station. I recall thinking that today might yield a second Pileated. It was now 1340, time for the last run of the day.
After closing all nets in A, B and D, I checked C1 and C2, no luck. But as I began to furl C2 there arose much screaming from net C3, our Pileated, indeed. She was banded here in March 2005 as a second-year bird. That was good, as I later aged her as being after third-year! While extracting the Pileated, I glanced in the direction of net C4. More birds there, six to be exact! Two Palm Warblers, one Pine Warbler, Song Sparrow, Downy Woodpecker AND a Black and White Warbler, first of 2007. A fine ending to the day before a giant Northeaster rolls in for a visit. Placed extra ties on each net.

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