What was supposed to be a cooler day on May 31 turned out to be 88 degrees, sunny, humid, and slightly windy. There were 23 new birds banded and 5 inter-season recaps (Gray Catbird, Yellow Warbler (2), Red-winged Blackbird and Northern Cardinal). New species at this location were Great-crested Flycatcher and Baltimore Oriole.

The South meadow had its three nets setup with Bobolinks and meadowlark heard and seen throughout the morning. With the plowing of the North meadow however, the nesting area for Bobolinks has been affected.

Two male Baltimore Orioles were caught in a net near some weeping willows with a third male busily trying to join them. It was a good contrast in age as one male was a second year; the other an after second year.

A Savannah Sparrow gladly pointed out to us a hole in the bottom of a bird bag after being picked out of a mist net. A female Eastern Meadowlark was caught in a South meadow net, while another meadowlark found a net but flew off while we were walking over. A Northern Mockingbird reminded us of his presence by perching several times on a net pole. Later in the session, we had good looks at a couple of American Kestrels flying around the area. At the conclusion of banding and as nets were being closed down, a Wood Thrush was prominently heard as we exited the woods.

Unfortunately, the camera lens used for photos is out for repair so no usable pictures were possible of the orioles, and the images of the Great-crested Flycatcher and Eastern Meadowlark are not up to par.

A couple of initial observations to the start of the 2013 season. First, the numbers of observed Baltimore Orioles, Red-Winged Blackbirds, and Eastern Meadowlarks are higher than the last two years. Second, no Bobolinks were banded or recaptured the opening session – which has not been the case before.

Thank you to Gary and Bob for their help!

The next scheduled session is Friday, June 14 and NOT June 12 due to a 70% chance of rain. This will probably be the last session before the South meadow is mowed. Tom Klotzbach