April 16, 2013:  119 new birds of 14 species, 17 recaps.  New species:  Swamp Sparrow, Myrtle Warbler, and White-eyed Vireo.

What a stunning day at Braddock Bay!  The clouds and wind roiled overhead but we managed to stay safe and dry until about 11:30 when threatening rain prompted us to close the nets early.  All morning, vultures and accipiters soared above the field – we could only speculate that Luke was having a great day over at the Hawkwatch!

It’s hard to pick a highlight today, as there were so many.  We banded the first Myrtle Warbler of the year, as well as the first Swamp Sparrow.  We were  awash in chickadees again (with 55 banded today).  Katie Little chose her bander number (#48!), after being a valuable member of the team for several seasons.  Tom Verhulst net-picked his first bird – a Song Sparrow.

Tom picks his first bird - a Song Sparrow.

Tom picks his first bird – a Song Sparrow.

However, the gem of the day was a White-eyed Vireo.  These small birds have a breeding range well south of Braddock Bay, and are not often seen this far north.  Furthermore, (according to ebird) it appears that in Monroe County, most sightings are in May; none have been reported in April.  We aren’t sure if he overshot his destination, if he was blown off course by unfavorable winds, or if he is scouting out new nesting territory . . . in any case, we were just glad we were there at the right time to see him!

A stunning White-eyed Vireo.  He isn't exactly "cute," but he does grab your attention!

A stunning White-eyed Vireo. He isn’t exactly “cute,” but he does grab your attention!