Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Babies are Out Exploring

We usually get most of our young Carolina Wrens earlier in the year but they stayed hidden. Until now. We caught 5 today! Feeling their independence, it appears.

Carolina Wren

Next up was another local bird. A recaptured male Northern Cardinal.

Northern Cardinal

Our first migrant was the fluffiest Ovenbird we can recall banding.

Ovenbird

Our in the woods, Yellow-throated Vireos were foraging and calling.

Yellow-throated Vireo

A flycatcher suddenly appeared next to the river. We could only get distant shots but finally decided that it was an Eastern Wood Pewee. We don't see them too often but this is the time of year for them to move through.

Eastern Wood Pewee

One more juvenile Carolina Wren came out of hiding as we observed the Pewee. However, it just looked at the net and did not fly in.

Carolina Wren

Our other migrants were a couple of Northern Waterthrushes.

Northern Waterthrush

Moving into September and we should start getting even more migrating birds. If the busy Tropics don't flush us out.
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Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, September 4th.
All nets will be opened by 6:35 A.M.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

More Migrants Arriving

We had another soggy start to the day from previous rains. Yet another bridge has been claimed by the river. It was also oddly quiet for the longest time. There was no real dawn's chorus and there were not many birds flying or calling.

Just when we were preparing ourselves for a zero catch day, Maria got a male Hooded Warbler as we neared 9 AM. A nice migrant for us. It seems that Hooded Warblers mainly stick to the coast during Fall migration.

Hooded Warbler

Our guest for the day, Lorri, got to release our little black & yellow beauty.

Hooded Warbler

That was not the only black & yellow creature of the day. A large Argiope is still setting up its web in one of the Air Potato patches by the river.

Argiope

Becki found a Red-spotted purple, (Limenitis arthemis), along the net lanes. A new butterfly for our checklist.

Red-spotted purple

She also spotted one of the loud Red-shouldered Hawks that were hunting this morning.

Red-shouldered Hawk

Meanwhile, Maria was documenting the mating Air Potato Beetles.

Air Potato Beetle

The rains have been mostly on this side of town during the week. We almost decided against setting up Net 21 since the water was so high but we set it anyway. As previously mentioned, we lost one of the bridge palettes but the set nearest the net were still hanging on.

Palettes

Apple Snail eggs are also hanging on all along the river. These are invasive snails but Limpkins love them.

Apple Snail

This Anhinga spent all morning watching us and unlike most other Anhinga it just sat there playing peek-a-boo.

Anhinga

The second half of the morning was a lot more active. The next bird brought to the table was another Louisiana Waterthrush for the season.

Louisiana Waterthrush

It has been a while since we captured a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher but we will take any we can get.

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Proving that it was a good thing to open Net 21, Maria came back from checking it all excited. She got our first ever Pileated Woodpecker at Lake Lotus. This is a juvenile male most likely born here on the property.

Pileated Woodpecker

By the way, banding a Pileated Woodpecker is a two person job.

Pileated Woodpecker

Maria insisted that she get a photo with catch after we banded him. He returned the favor by flicking a wing tip in her eye as he flew back into the woods.

Pileated Woodpecker

We finished the end of the day with a few birds as we closed nets. First up was a juvenile Northern Parula. Yet another new addition born in the park.

Northern Parula

A great addition to the day was Christine getting a juvenile male American Redstart in Net 14. The best clues for a juvenile male is the pronounced orange armpit patches and this bird had the added clue of some black feathers beginning to come in on the head.

American Redstart

The final bird of the morning was another Northern Parula. This one was an adult male. Males are told by the rusty band across their chest.

Northern Parula

When you are finding Northern Parula, you don't often see the patterns on their backs. In the hand you can see all of those cool colors on their heads and back.

Northern Parula

Overall, a pretty good day. Slow start but a strong ending. Bird numbers increase through the next month and we can't wait until next Sunday. Especially since we are also starting to watch increasing activity in the Atlantic. Might we be hit by a tropical storm by then? Stay tuned...
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Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, August 28th.
All nets will be opened by 6:30 A.M.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Migrants Begin To Show

We arrived to a very humid morning after heavy rains the night before and our shoes were soaked by 6 AM. Bleh. Sunrise was pretty.

Sunrise

The morning was further brightened when Maria set Net 4 and almost instantly had an Eastern Screech Owl fly in.

Eastern Screech Owl

Maria put the owl on a stump behind the banding table and it just wanted to recline in the leaves. Andrew eventually walked over and set the owl upright and it flew off into the woods.

Eastern Screech Owl

During our first trip down the net lanes, Christine got a Louisiana Waterthrush in Net 14. Our first official migrant of Session 9.

Louisiana Waterthrush

We also came back with a pair of Northern Cardinals. This female was first banded a year and a half ago and the male we captured was a new bird for us.

Northern Cardinal

Richard found our 2nd migrant of the morning and this Ovenbird was expected this time of year.

Ovenbird

As the morning wore on, Andrew searched for more migrants and signs of Air Potato Beetles.

Andrew

Look. Lynn's Nature Corner is back! Lynn joined us and got a lot of shots of the flora and fauna like one of the many dragonflies in the area.

Dragonfly

Lynn is always good at finding hidden gems such as this cocoon clinging to the back of a leaf.

Cocoon

Need some cuteness? How about a baby Anole?

Anole

Maria added to the gallery with a close-up of some Golden Oxeye.

Golden Oxeye

All the moisture in the area brings many mushrooms out into the open.

Mushroom

Air Potato Beetles are increasing in number up and down the lanes. A very welcome sight.

Air Potato Beetle

When we did our clan up a few weeks ago we only found them in one section between Nets 22 and 16. Now, all of the Air Potato leaves are chewed to bits. Well done, beetles!

Air Potato

Air Potato Beetle larva were even found on an Air Potato. The first time we have seen that.

Air Potato Beetle

We ended the day with a couple of recaptured Carolina Wrens and one more Louisiana Waterthrush at Net 18. Probably the one we could only get a photo of two weeks ago.

Louisiana Waterthrush

Some other migrants were seen in the area. Black and White Warbler and a female Yellow Warbler were recorded and an American Redstart was found outside the park recently. We can feel Fall on the way...
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Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, August 21st.
All nets will be opened by 6:30 A.M.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Session 9 Begins

Session 9 has begun! Migration is just beginning and our operation runs from the first week of August. Typically we don't see too many migrants and catch only local birds and this start was exactly that. Probably the best news is that we are seeing a lot more Air Potato Beetles emerging throughout the property.

Air Potato Beetle

As expected, we only captured juvenile birds today and all were Carolina Wrens. There are also a lot of Cardinal families around but they stayed tucked away this morning.

Carolina Wren

While Richard was extracting our first Wren, a curious juvenile Barred Owl flew over and landed across from the net after being drawn to the sound of the alarm calls of the other young bird.

Barred Owl

Lynn is is away for today so instead of her section that we have featured in the past we will have "Becki's Nature Finds"! First up, a male Blue-ringed Dancer was resting on a stalk. They are our most numerous damselflies on the property.

Blue-ringed Dancer

Nearby, a female Blue-ringed Dancer landed. No surprise.

Blue-ringed Dancer

An Eastern Tiger Swallowtail fed on the waning blooms of a Button Bush.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

Nearly hidden, a Bush Katydid prowls along the Air Potato.

Bush Katidid

They must be nesting somewhere (or already did) because the Green Herons are always in the same area week after week.

Green Heron

Another critter that loves the Button Bush flowers is a Horace's Duskywing.

Horace's Duskywing

There have been a few around for a few weeks but it is always a joy to find a Yellow-throted Warbler as they hop through the foliage.

Yellow-throted Warbler

Out on the boardwalk, the Scarlet Mallow is in full display.

Scarlet Mallow

Down below Net 14 a school of Armoured Catfish are digging caves into the clay in the river bed.

Armored Catfish

Right on time, this Louisiana Waterthrush was feeding around Net 18. See the net? No? It is about 10 feet beyond the bird. We hoped it would be our first migrant catch of the Session but it decided to stay on the edge of the water and never flew back toward the net. Oh, well...

Louisiana Waterthrush

We are off next week but will return to our normal schedule on the 14th. More migrants should be heading down by then, too.
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Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, August 14th.
All nets will be opened by 6:25 A.M.