Saturday April 25, 2015:  17 new birds of 10 species, 20 recaps.  Bird of the day was Black-capped Chickadee with six new bands.  We banded the second Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) Warbler of the season, and managed to capture one of the Eastern Phoebes who have been singing incessantly about the station.

The real story today, however, is the story of our guests.  A group of students led by Dr. Sara Morris visited us from Canisius College.  This group of ten (plus Sara) only got to see a handful of species, but as always they made the most of each bird they saw.  Students got to see rectal bristles, filoplumes, a cloacal protuberance, fault bars, and leucistic feathers.  Class outdoors is almost always better than class inside!

It was also Bird of Prey Days over at the Braddock Bay Park, and the Raptor Research team had organized tours of our songbird banding station.  Other folks filtered through as well, and we counted approximately 22 adults and 14 kids at the station today.  Two guests came from London, and most of the rest were from New York.

Two visitors from Virginia made a big impression – teenager Sage has an interest in birds, and had saved money for a couple of years to come and visit our area.  He spent his on money on a scope, and has been working hard to educate himself on birds and birding careers.  We hope we’ll see him again!  Another youngster who impressed us all was Mason, a local boy who knows quite a lot about birds.  In fact, several of the children who stopped by told us about their feederwatch projects, about the habits of woodpeckers, and about other birdy things.  If today is any indication, the future of ornithology is in good hands.

We still haven’t told you of the guest who caused the biggest splash.  Adult visitor Candy was showing us pictures she had taken in her backyard, and among them was a Varied Thrush.  Jenna asked her if she lived in California, and Candy said the pictures were taken this morning in her backyard in Irondequoit!  This caused quite a stir at the station, and Candy was kind enough to allow us to post contact information to the local bird listserv so that others could observe and enjoy this rare visitor from the west.  Last we heard, she’s had a string of visitors at her house and many have been treated to good views of this fantastic bird.

Varied Thrush, photographed on 4/25/15 in Irondequoit, by Candy Giles.

Varied Thrush, photographed on 4/25/15 in Irondequoit, by Candy Giles.