Tuesday April 23, 2013.  112 new birds of 14 species, 30 recaps.  New species:  Mourning Dove, Yellow-shafted Flicker, Blue Jay, Northern Waterthrush, Chipping Sparrow, American Goldfinch.  Finally we get a beautiful sunny day at Braddock Bay!  A little chilly, but almost no wind and a clear blue sky.  The chickadees must have decided it was another good day to move, because they were flitting through the bushes and finding our nets all morning long.  I tend to think of chickadees as a  “mid-morning” bird because while our busiest net runs are often within an hour or two of sunrise, chickadees often don’t seem to show up until around 9:00 AM.  This has not been the case this spring, however, as they have been awake and active even before sunrise.  We banded 87 new chickadees today, and I’m certain the wave isn’t over yet.

Chickadees were not the star of the day, however.  Out of the 14 species we banded, 6 were new for the season.  Katie came in from one net run with two big bags, and wouldn’t tell us what was in them.  We had a fun time trying to guess what she had- we got the Blue Jay pretty quickly, but the Mourning Dove stumped us for quite a while.  Later, a young male flicker treated us to some stunning views.  In addition to the three big birds, we got three little ones as well.  While our first Northern Waterthrush usually shows up about this time, it was nevertheless a nice surprise as we tallied our fourth warbler species of the spring. Andrea Patterson

The first Northern Waterthrush of the spring.

The first Northern Waterthrush of the spring.