Sunday, May 24, 2009

The River Returns. Owls Remain on the Hunt.

Over 10 inches have fallen since our last banding session 2 weeks ago and the Little Wekiva River once more looks like a river.

Little Wekiva

It was nice to see all of that water flowing toward Lake Lotus again. Drought numbers have disappeared with arrival of the deluge.

Little Wekiva

However, even in the pre-dawn darkness, it was clearly revealed by head-lamps that we wouldn't be able to set up all of the nets. Net 10 was completely flooded near the pier. Net 13 wasn't much better.

Little Wekiva

Hard to believe that Susan and Andrew crossed this very point a month ago setting up for Earth Day with water barely to their ankles. It now runs several feet deep.

Little Wekiva

Still, most nets were raised and we caught a number of Cardinals. Most were recaptures but we did get a new one today. He was so feisty that he needed a better grip to avoid us getting bitten.

Northern Cardinal

Our last bird of the day was another new bird. A Blue Jay. Though Jays are almost always heard along the trail, they usually stay near the lake and away from the nets.

Blue Jay

As the Jay and a couple Cardinals were being collected from the nets, the commotion drew the attention of a familiar resident. This Barred Owl flew to a branch directly over the Cardinals which were waiting in bags hung on a net pole to be returned to the table.

Barred Owl

While we waited to see if the owls would move back into the woods we did a little flower watching. One of the finds were numerous Pokeberry bushes now in bloom.


Blooming through out the area are the Elderberry plants. Parts have formed fruit while most are still brightening up the green with their brilliant white flowers.


Painted Leaf plants are found all over the Lake Lotus property and always bring a smile.

Painted Leaf

Under the abandoned feeder experiment, Sunflowers are just now about to open up.


While just off the beaten path a single Rattlebox bloom shines in the shade.


Meanwhile, the owls were still present. The wet baby was constantly begging for more food.

Barred Owl

With that in mind, we closed up a little early leaving a parent owl to guard the area for another week.

Barred Owl

As we left we checked on the Leather Flower from 2 weeks ago. It now has gone to seed and looks a lot like a Brittle Star. We found this seed head last year but did not know what it was. Mystery solved!

Leather Flower

It was an eventful, if soggy, day despite being run out by hungry owls.
Next Banding Day: Sunday, May 31st.

We will open nets around 6:00 A.M.

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