Sunday, May 23, 2021

Wrapping Up the Session

We finished up one week early this year. Nothing but locals and a surprise capture. Photos are on the way when I have time to get through them. Work is crazy busy since everyone has come out of thier caves with the new mask updates!

Stay tuned for that, but in the meantime, a huge thanks to everyone who helped out this past trying Session. Weather and pandemic made it very odd. We did the best we could and banded some interesting birds and met a lot of new friends along the way.

I hope everyone has a great Summer and we will post about getting ready for the next Session soon.

Today's Totals

Birds Processed New Recaptured Total
Carolina Wrens 3 0 3
Northern Cardinal 4 0 4
Northern Parula 1 0 1
Cooper's Hawk 1 0 1
Totals 9 0 9

NOTE: Due to the new CDC recommendations, if you are fully vaccinated you are not required to wear masks, esp. at outdoor events such as ours. Get your shots and come on out. Otherwise, bring a mask. All current members at Lake Lotus are fully Vac'ed.

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Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, August 1st.
All nets will be opened by 6:15 A.M.

Friday, May 21, 2021

Locals Only

The weather was perfect, yet a bit widy during the end of the day. Can't remember the last time we had such a cool May. However, it seems all of the migrants are gone and we missed all of the best Spring birds after being shut out of most of April due to rains. So we started the day with a bunch of Carolina Wrens. We always let our new visitors release at least a single bird during the day.

Carolina Wren

Among the Wrens we did get one of the early new chicks.

Carolina Wren

Then we had a female Northern Cardinal.

Northern Cardinal

More Wrens filled out the morning for the next hour.

Carolina Wren

There was quite a lull for most of the day until we thought of closing up and suddenly we had two Northern Parulas to wind things up.

Northern Parula

Next week provides us with an opportunity to band some chicks in Clermont and then we will wrap up the Session the following Sunday.

Today's Totals

Birds Processed New Recaptured Total
Carolina Wrens 6 1 7
Northern Cardinal 1 0 1
Northern Parula 2 0 2
Totals 10 0 10

NOTE: Due to the new CDC recommendations, if you are fully vaccinated you are not required to wear masks, esp. at outdoor events such as ours. Get your shots and come on out. Otherwise, bring a mask. All current members at Lake Lotus are fully set.

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Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, May 23rd.
All nets will be opened by 6:00 A.M.

Friday, May 7, 2021

In To May

We had a few weeks off due to weather, but we finally got back to it for the month of May. Proud to report that everyone, including our new visitor Ben, are all fully vaccinated! Please, please, please get your shots and help end this crazy year. Being outside and scattered most of the time helps, but getting cleared helps all of us in the long run. Do not believe any false news of problems or tracking nonsence.

The dawn chorus was nice with a lot of baby local birds but the first couple of runs were dry. Then the Northern Cardinals began to get active. Two were captured near one another. The first was a male recapture in Net 5.

Northern Cardinal

Flying past him was the female Northern Cardinal that heard his commotion as shot sideways into Net 6 just feet away. She was a new capture.

Northern Cardinal

One of our remaining migrants was up next. An Ovenbird.

Ovenbird

Our last migrant was a Northern Waterthrush, which we failed to get a shot of as we were explaining the differences between the 2 Waterthrush species.

Susan discovered a family of Limpkin down near Net 18 and a bit later we discovered them by net 20. It turned out there were 7 chicks following the parents up the river.

Limpkin

The only problem is that Net 20 is right under the Barred Owl nest tree. Both adults were there and eyeing the chicks. The parents, though, spent time digging out snails for the young and flying right at the face of the owls to keep them in check.

Barred Owl

One of the most vocal birds and chicks are the Northern Parula. Connie brought an adult female back from Net 21 near the lake.

Northern Parula

Our final bird of the day was a male Common Yellowthroat. We used to have dozens of migrant in the Spring and the Fall but they are declining in the area. There are a few that still remain near the lake through the year.

Common Yellowthroat

We will be taking a weekend off for Mother's Day but should return for the following week.

Today's Totals

Birds Processed New Recaptured Total
Common_Yellowthroat 1 0 1
Northern Cardinal 1 1 2
Northern Waterthrush 1 0 1
Ovenbird 1 0 1
Northern Waterthrush 1 0 1
Totals 5 1 6

NOTE: To ensure the safety of our volunteers and the general public, new visitors are discouraged from attending banding at this time. The few of us who remain will update the blog as long as we can and hope to see new faces in the future. Thank you for your understanding during this unprecedented time.

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Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, May 16th.
All nets will be opened by 6:35 A.M.

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Goodbye April

Forecast will probably be wrong again, but I can't stand the stress of watching chances all night into the dawn anymore.

They say rains through the morning. I am sleeping. Do the same.

Maybe May will be more friendly.

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Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, May 2nd.
All nets will be opened by 6:15 A.M.

Saturday, April 17, 2021

No Banding April 18th

Out of abundance of caution, (yeah, getting to that stage at this age...) we will not be banding tomorrow. Rain chances start at over 40% at 5AM and the winds will be increasing thorough the morning. Hate that this is the trend this year.

Plus, who knows what effects I might have after my 2nd shot today.

Spring Migration is upon us, but it looks like most birds are heading up through Texas this year thanks to this stubborn front laying over us for the next few days. Fingers crossed for next week!

Enjoy the rain.

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Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, April 25th.
All nets will be opened by 6:20 A.M.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

On the Positive Side...

...we need the rain, Forecast is not shifting away from rain and possible thunderstorms. Calling it in ahead of time. Sleep in. 2021 is not providing the best for banding so far. Sigh... We will try again next week. BUT...Andrew gets his second COVID shot Saturday. If there are any weird side effects, we may not band then, either. Stay tuned.

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Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, April 18th.
All nets will be opened by 6:30 A.M.

Sunday, April 4, 2021

A Steady Easter and an Uncommon Visitor

Andrew arrived first, as usual, and began setting nets. When he got to Net 14, he was greeted by the symbol of the holiday: the Easter Bunny. Sure, it was just our local Swamp Rabbit but it was very unphased by his presence and was determined to continue where it was headed and hopped just inches from him as it made it way down the 'bunny trail'. An interesting start to the morning...

Gray Catbirds were the most numerous birds of the day and they were all new captures. They are getting restless and feeding before they head North soon.

Gray Catbird

Second most captures were Carolina Wrens. It is time for new broods, but none of our birds showed brood patches.

Carolina Wren

Strangely, we have been missing House Wrens for quite awhile. Today we got one recapture, first banded in November.

House Wren

Bird of the Day was an unexpected Swainson's Warbler down at Net 16. They are showing up as 'rare' across the state and we do band a few of them from time to time.

Swainson's Warbler

Our last bird of the day was our last Gray Catbird. It was the only Catbird with visible fat in preparation for migration.

Gray Catbird

Long range forecasts suggest rain for next weekend, but we know that can change at any time. Check back Saturday night to be sure if we are heading out.

Today's Totals

Birds Processed New Recaptured Total
Gray Catbird 5 0 5
Carolina Wren 2 1 3
House Wren 0 1 1
Swainson's Warbler 1 0 1
Totals 8 2 10

NOTE: To ensure the safety of our volunteers and the general public, new visitors are discouraged from attending banding at this time. The few of us who remain will update the blog as long as we can and hope to see new faces in the future. Thank you for your understanding during this unprecedented time.

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Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, April 11th.
All nets will be opened by 6:35 A.M.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

A Little Windy with a Splash of New

Another good dawn chorus, but the winds were too good to pass up for many migrating birds. Not too many birds dropped down today. We waited for a while before we even had our first bird.

Some of us sat at the table and chatted while others walked the lanes. Eventually, Andrew got up to check Net 2 and found a recaptured juvenile Hermit Thrush there.

Hermit Thrush

Though quiet in the area, Gray Catbirds are getting ready to head North. We banded two new ones this morning.

Gray Catbird

As usual, when things get quiet, we begin to explore everything else around us. Out near the lake, Andrew found a Green Tree Frog in Net 21. It seemed particularly attracted to his neck gaiter and jumped on to it just after this blurry photo and was quickly tranfered to a nearby tree.

Green Treefrog

A bit closer to the lake there is now a forest of Golden Aster.

Golden Aster

The Willow trees are blooming like crazy and sending flax all over the property. Catbird and other migrants are feasting on bits of blossoms. Mnay more warblers should be arriving soon to clean up insects on the trees. A few American Goldfinches were spotted today.

Willow Flax

Connie found some interesting insects on her travels. First up was a female Rainbow Dung Beetle, (Phanaeus vindex).

Dung Beetle

Next up was a Leaf-footed Bug, (Acanthocephala terminalis). Haven't seen them in a while but now is the time they emerge.

Leaf-footed Bug

Our Bird-of-the-Day was a species often seen and heard down near the lake. However, it was the first we have captured in 3 years. A Swamp Sparrow! It will not be long before they head North.

Swamp Sparrow

Our last cold front will be moving through this week and, hopefully, the Spring Migration will bring us more birds for the next few weeks. Fingers crossed.

Today's Totals

Birds Processed New Recaptured Total
Gray Catbird 2 0 2
Hermit Thrush 0 1 1
Swamp Sparrow 1 0 1
Totals 3 1 4

NOTE: To ensure the safety of our volunteers and the general public, new visitors are discouraged from attending banding at this time. The few of us who remain will update the blog as long as we can and hope to see new faces in the future. Thank you for your understanding during this unprecedented time.

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Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, April 4th.
All nets will be opened by 6:40 A.M.

Sunday, March 21, 2021

No Banding March 21st

Sorry for the inconvenience. Once I got out in the air I noticed it was not what I was expecting. Morning rain and increasing winds say 'back to bed'!. Sleep in and we will try again next week.

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Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, March 28th.
All nets will be opened by 6:50 A.M.

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Slow March Return

Well, the dawn chorus was amazing. However, the hovering high pressure seemed to keepall of the mirgating bird high overhead on thier way back to their nesting territories.

We started the day with a recapture and a new Gray Catbird before the day grew pretty quiet.

Gray Catbird

Our last bird of the day was an adult recaptured Brown Thrasher first banded a year and a half ago. We always use some colors to ID birds and Thrashers are noticable for having certain eye colors. We often compare adult Thrasher eye color to our tackle box. Unfortunately, we keep getting juveniles with milky eye shades.

Today, the adult confirmed that an adult eye matches the bright yellow neaby.

Brown Thrasher

The day wound down without any other captures so we hope for a better day for next week. Unless the forecasted rain keeps us home. Stay tuned.

Today's Totals

Birds Processed New Recaptured Total
Gray Catbird 1 1 2
Brown Thrasher 0 1 1
Totals 1 2 3

NOTE: To ensure the safety of our volunteers and the general public, new visitors are discouraged from attending banding at this time. The few of us who remain will update the blog as long as we can and hope to see new faces in the future. Thank you for your understanding during this unprecedented time.

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Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, March 21st.
All nets will be opened by 7:00 A.M.