Friday, April 4, 2008

Cool Weather Fly Catchers

Over the past two weeks the weather has been on a March, now April, roller coaster. Such has not deterred the early season fly catchers including: Eastern Phoebe, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Yellow Palm Warbler and an early Prairie Warbler (today, April 3). In this fourth spring season at First Landing, the season record for phoebes has been shattered by a factor of three (a record 6 netted in 2006; 16 this year and counting). The gnatcatchers arrived two weeks earlier than last year (the first BGGN was not banded until 4 April 2007), are arriving daily and will likely eclipse the 2007 standard of 35 (23 to date). Three days ago the first palm warblers were banded, although individuals had been seen/heard within the park for almost a week. The Prairie Warbler was a bit of a shock. Last season a record 22 were banded, but the first did not arrive until 20 April. The Northern Parula will be next. Several have been heard since Monday at the station and along Long Creek Trail to the west.

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