Wow, what an interesting day! We arrived early to try an get some exiting migrants but that really didn't help things too much. We still ended up with 10 birds (better than the recent averages of 2-5) and snared some good birds with some other fun bird watching to round things out.
Northern Parulas were calling early along with the Chuck's Wills Widows and soon the Barred Owls chimed in before dawn. Even the Great-crested Flycatchers were singing early. Cardinals and Carolina Wrens joined in on the dawn chorus and we waited for results.
The first catches were predictable. Gray Catbirds. One has now been caught, banded, and recaptured 3 times in as many weeks. This species is all over the property right now. Seen across the river and in the net areas with regularity.
We did have a rather nice early result that prompted Richard to want a photograph. 3 birds at one time, the first time this has happened in quite a while. Susan, Maria, and Andrew all celebrated.
As stated before, Catbirds were not a surprise today but the Ovenbirds were. Nice to see in the Spring. Previously at Wekiva State Park Ovenbirds ended up being regular visitors to specific nets. Will be interesting to see if we get similar results here.
Another Brown Thrasher finally found a net. They have been calling in the mornings and it is always a thrill to hold and band one.
Andrew heard a rasping sound in the woods and ran back for the camera. Good thing. We now have baby owl sightings!
Baby was way up in the trees early in the morning so the images are not great but good enough to make the ID and stir awe.
Why was baby rasping? Because it was awaiting a good breakfast. Like the new mouse kill this parent was bringing in.
Out in the trees we found an old nest box, apparently set up by the park employees at some point. More investigation is needed but we figure there will be no new residents for this house.
Meanwhile, more birds were being captured. Like this Common Yellowthroat that Richard had a chance to band. Plus, Maria gets her first photo credit.
This day actually felt like it used to in the past where we were busy really banding birds. Go figure. That IS why we are here, after all.
Everyone wanted to see the owls so we trekked back into the trees to find them again. Do we need to remind you that we live near Disney? Everything is robotic, right?
Or we could just fix the reflections...
A Limpkin was calling across the lake. A quick scan near the pier revealed a sunning alligator. Over half a dozen were seen cruising the lake's edges.
No Coral Snake today but we did get a nice Leaf-footed Bug in the plants.
To end the morning we got the Bird-of-the-Day. A Painted Bunting. Always a joy.
Next Banding Day: Sunday, April 26th.
This is the Lake Lotus Earth Day event so we will be doing a banding demonstration for the park IN the park.
We will open nets around 6:25 A.M. but the event starts officially at 10 A.M. We will be to the right of the tram drop off just before the boardwalk. See you there!