SWAT and the Thunderstorm
Yesterday (Tuesday) was our second banding session for the SWAT MAPS (Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship) banding station. Yesterday was one of the most beautiful mornings with perfect temperatures, little wind and a sunny sky. About 2 hours into banding and I started to hear some grumbling in the background . . . nope not my stomach. That was thunder rumbling in the distance.
I pulled my black berry out and checked the local radar image to see where these thunderstorms were located. Lucky the storms were passing on each side of me and I continued banding with just a few big rain drops falling. Just as the sky was clearing again we had one big flash of lighting to the east of us . . . lucky the sky was turning blue above me. But by hour 3 the sky started getting dark again . . .
I quickly pulled my black berry out and this time the radar image showed two storm moving directly towards the banding station. I started running from net to net making sure the nets were closed!! You guessed it . . . . at net 6 we caught a pain in the butt Black-capped Chickadee. It was raining cats and dogs by the time I returned to my vehicle and although soaked to the bones I still recorded the banded chickadee info. I then looked up to find this little fawn running towards my vehicle (trying to get out of the rain). I captured a few pictures of it (with my point and shoot camera) and my banding day was over . . .
Today was a make up day with me finishing the last 3 hours that couldn’t be completed yesterday. Between the two days . . . we had a so so banding session with only 12 species and only 20 individuals captured. Without a doubt the highlight of the past two days was the Blackburnian Warbler which was a first for the station (yeah)!! Should be interesting to see how the weather cooperates with the CLDC MAPS banding this weekend with a group visiting from the Roger Tory Peterson Institute.
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