Yet another beautiful fall day on Appledore. Very comfortable temperatures, beautiful sunrise, all staff busy preparing the island for close-up. We did band 30 birds before closing the nets at 3:30. Young Cedar Waxwings made up half of the banded birds. Amazing to us – no Catbirds in the nets! One surprise bird: an adult female Magnolia Warbler with a regressing brood patch.
The season total: 745
See the full season banding summary.
We leave on the Kingsbury at 11:30 a.m. on Friday along with most of the island staff.
The SW winds took Martha back to America on the 8:15 a.m. Kingsbury. It was another quiet day with one of this, one of that, a couple of Eastern Phoebes, Gray Catbirds and Cedar Waxwings…. total banded: 19.
Kiah spotted a color-banded Common Yellowthroat – male – by Broad Cove. Records indicate that this bird was first banded on August 20 2013 as HY-M and then color-banded August 30 2014. It’s always exciting to know when one of these incredible little wonders survive another year.
The sighting of Herring Gulls and Great Black-backed Gulls has dropped dramatically around the Shoals campus, but today Kiah and Peg discovered that many gulls had just gone a little south – to the South End of the island: close to 200 GBBG and 150 HERGs.
The joys of running the banding station: do we close (because of approaching rain)? Yes…. No…. Yes?…No…Yes! We collapsed the nets before the rain hit but had to leave the unfurling/leaf removal/refurling until after the storm passed. The sudden gusty winds were simultaneously blowing leaves into the nets and furling the nets!
Another sunny day but not quite as hot. The morning was, as typical, the most active in the net lanes and very quiet from noontime on. Two more species were sighted up at Crystal “Puddle” – a Green Heron and two Rusty Blackbirds. One of the attached photos has a RUBL behind the GRHE.
We got to ooh and ahh over a Yellow-breasted Chat in the morning. The Crystal Lake net was taken down for the season. Very few birds all afternoon and then the dinnertime curse; on the 6 p.m. round, a return Gray Catbird came in for color bands.
We banded 22 birds, had 4 recaptures, and 1 return.
A beautiful day on the island and a moderate number of birds banded (B31), most before noon. Crystal Lake was better for bird watching rather than mist netting. Birds were definitely attracted to the water. Crystal Lake is now more appropriately called Crystal Puddle and it’s also where there are some mud flats and a few shorebirds ( 2 Semipalmated Sandpipers and 2 Least Sandpipers). The swale is all dried up.
Marie arrived to do a final cleanup of Celia Thaxter’s garden.
A Brown Creeper came in for banding. I have not seen that species in many seasons.
The big excitement for the day was the discovery of a Common Nighthawk roosting on the ridge line of Bartels mid-afternoon. Kiah and I were coming back from Crystal Lake. Two Northern Mockingbirds were putting up a fuss and darting up toward the roofline of Bartels; then Kiah spotted the CONI. Once again, expect the unexpected on Appledore!
The winds shifted to SSW and picked up in intensity, so a much slower, more typical day at the banding station (B19).
The morning was overcast. On the radar we carefully watched a large band of storm cells march across NH. We closed the nets about 15 minutes before an intense rainstorm arrived. All three of us were able to enjoy the fabulous brunch specially prepared by Chefs Hayward & Mallett (copy of menu attached).
We reopened the nets at noon. The afternoon became sunny, breezy and much less humid. The culinary group left at 2:30 and Kiah arrived at 5:45. Tomorrow, the kitchen in Kiggins will shut down and we (island staff and banders) will have meals in K-house for the remainder of the week. We hope to run Crystal Lake for a couple of days before we start closing up the station for the 2016 season.
This report makes up for the previous day’s brief report.
What a day! Appledore all the way! Expect the unexpected.
While waiting for the first net round and looking out over the “reservoir,” we discovered two Eastern Meadowlarks in with a large group of Common Grackles. On the first net round, there was a bat in N5, fortunately not too tangled and able to extract itself with the net being held taut.
The winds were favorable, gentle and out of the north, and we had the busiest day yet for the fall season: 68 birds banded (previous high was 57). We had quite a nice selection of birds throughout the day, like a bird potpourri. Red-eyed Vireos (B17), Cedar Waxwings (B15), and Purple Finches – “Purple Pooper Pinchers” (B9) had top billing (and soiled a lot of bags and hands). A few island babies, i.e. Gray Catbirds, returned for a second round of measurements.
Mid-morning, our first quiz warbler came in – the first of three of this species: “Gray [legs] is Bay [breasted warbler].” At first glance, the thought is a Blackpoll Warbler, but then noting the gray legs and feet (no yellow) and buffy undertail coverts rather than white, the bird ID’d as Bay-breasted. Our next quiz warbler came in just before lunch (of course). With some measurements and the characteristics of a full, buffy eye ring and length of the yellow undertail coverts, we ID’d – tah dah – a Connecticut Warbler! The vireo sampler for the day included, along with the Red-eyed Vireos, Philadelphia Vireo (B5) and Warbling Vireo (B2).
A busy day all around with visitors and very few zero net rounds. A group visit from the Take a Bite Out of Appledore participants plus intermittent visitors throughout the day, and a visit with a group of 11 UNH students brought out for recruitment purposes (for SML courses). As luck would have it, Susan had brought in a hummingbird to release by the feeder and she was able to show and tell. We also had several birds to band. It was nice to actually have birds to show to visitors throughout the day. Our busy day appropriately ended with fireworks – which first sounded like thunder – on the mainland.
Tired but very satisfied greetings from
Peg, Susan and Martha
Appledore Shuffle: Andy and Jan departed Appledore at 10:30 a.m. Peg, Susan and Martha arrived at 2:15 p.m. David departed at 6 p.m. A complete volunteer shift change.
A crazy mid-day at the Portsmouth dock. Three groups were heading out between 12 and 1 – one group to Star Island, one group going on the Laighton cruise, and the Take a Bite Out of Appledore group coming to Shoals. There were cars and people everywhere. The Kingsbury docked at 11:45, adding more people, plus a lot of recyclables and trash needed to be unloaded amidst the chaos. It was a circus!
Eighteen people came out as participants in the Take a Bite Out of Appledore weekend event. The mid-afternoon temperature was in the 90s! Dehydration was a problem for some. The net lanes were quiet.
There were birds, but mostly in the morning. But at least there were some birds! Andy and Jan were there for two uncommon visitors: Yellow-breasted Chat and Worm-eating Warbler! David took a nice picture of the WEWA (attached).
Farewell David, Andy and Jan
Greetings from Peg, Susan and Martha
Last official greetings: I vanish Friday dinner time. Thursday started with fog (see picture) and ended with fog. Winds have lightened but are still East. And the birds are resting – somewhere else! Rain on Appledore this summer has been nearly totally like an internet ad; all promise and no delivery. So, here are pictures of the plants’ response. But, the birds delivered us 2 new species yesterday. Now, look at the ratio of Catbirds to everything else! It’s certainly been an unconventional season! I so wish we could stay longer to find out if our birds went elsewhere, or are simply still waiting for better flying opportunities. Andy finished data entry of every completed raw data sheet for this season!! : ) : ) Both Andy and Jan got more exercise than I did. I hope you do as I expect to – enjoy your fall and winter – and happily anticipate seeing each other again in the spring. We all send you great cheers and Appledore hugs.
Hi again. Another day of diminishing NE winds but also pop up showers. The remnants of Hermine are STILL messing with weather systems and flying birds. We at least broke double digits for bird totals on Wednesday. The REVI’s should be moving by now – but 3 Grackles?? The Green-winged Teal was still at Crystal Lake but nothing else on the sighted list was unexpected. The Dangle Tangle folks left on the early boat because the weather forecasts predicted several more days of no birds. As of this morning, that prediction is being spot-on! This is really spring weather except that the temperature is about 10 degrees too warm. I remember perhaps 25 years ago, John Munier complaining mightily when a weather system stalled just to the south and no birds moved for a week. Then, I came on as it broke up and had floods. This seems to be my turn at that experience from the other direction. Andy did still more data entry; David caught up on the other paper work and even got his “second sleep” although that got interrupted by a brief net closing shower. Still, Andy, Jan, and David are reveling in the Appledore vibe and will definitely hate to leave! We’ll be back though. Hope you will too!!
More greetings! The winds laid down a bit by nightfall but stayed NE and a bit stronger than our birds generally like to fly on. How does one make a fascinating report with 4 new birds and 2 retraps as the only occupants of our nets?? We didn’t open until 9:00 A.M. because of rain and fog. And my DTD people did get to practice setting up nets and bird holds. The bird of the day was the very white bellied Great Cormorant dwarfing all the other inhabitants of Babb’s Rock. In the nets, the pictured bird confused most of the crew. Andy & Jan continued this season’s data entry and the DTD’ers have been unfailingly gracious about our number of birds. We hope you do not have to be as creative about your use of time as we are. But, we got to give great cheers to Andy and Mike Rosen for their mutual birthday!! The carrot cake (with candles) was delicious! And cheers reproduce automatically. So Andy, David, Jan, & Betsy, Kathy, & Susan send cheers to spare!!