Sunday, December 20, 2009

Any Christmas Presents?

Not too many special gifts before Christmas at Lake Lotus. We did capture a few birds. Northern Cardinals, Hermit Thrush, Ruby-crowned Kinglet but spent more time watching hundreds of American Robins fly over and then we set to work removing invasive trees.

Over the past few weeks, Andrew has been gathering discarded rocks and cinder blocks and has begun forming a fence in front of the banding table. It is taking shape quite nicely. Notice the larger white block just behind the fence? That will become our official Wekiva Basin plaque.


Some folks thought it was too cold today.

Cold Maria

Down toward the lakeside, Andrew and Richard fell the last trunk of a non-native China Berry tree. Timber!


We also captured a very cold dragonfly. Once removed from the net Christine placed it on a downed tree limb where the insect rested, awaiting the Sun to warm it up. Thanks to friend Paul Hueber for IDing it as a Twilight Darner.

Twilight Darner!

We will NOT be banding December 27th or January 3rd. We can all enjoy a bit more sleep for once!

UPDATE: Ranger Cindy Falk sent along a photo of some Lake Lotus visitors across the river from us. A mother and cub Black Bear! Wonder if they ever cross the river? We will make extra noise when setting nets during our next session just in case.

Next Banding Day: Sunday, January 10th.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

We will open nets by 6:50 A.M.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A Full Day of Adventure

Back to the regular early start and back to getting some of the usual suspects. More birds this week than the past two and a lot of other interesting finds along the way.

Regardless of the number of birds captured, the views can be spectacular.

River View

Just across the river are ripening Tangerines making us hungry.


Finally hearing the Catbirds calling up and down the river today and we caught some.

Gray Catbird

We also started catching more Hermit Thrushes

Hermit Thrush

We also got a new Carolina Wren. Thought we had them all!

Carolina Wren

Down near the pier we recaptured a feisty beautiful male Cardinal.

Northern Cardinal

Rain has been moving through the state again and has resulted in a large crop of mushroom. Especially eye-catching were these yellow versions.


They seemed to be everywhere just off of the beaten path.


Maria did a great job of capturing their beauty.


We also marveled at the wonderful spiderwebs formed in the many seeding grasses all morning.

Spider Web

Also, something has been gnawing on the lid to one of our nest boxes? Squirrels?

Nest box

On the way out of the area we found many more Ceraunus Blue butterflies like the one we discovered first last week.

Ceraunus Blue

Always an adventure!

Still checking weather to make a firm decision on the start time but leaning to keeping it early again this week. Check back Friday for a change, if needed.
Next Banding Day: Sunday, December 20th.

We will open nets by 6:45 A.M.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

One is the Loneliest Number

Our experimental later time start did not yield any new numbers of birds. Then again, numbers seem down all around so maybe it just didn't matter. We did have some good, needed rain a couple of days before which greatly increased the level of the Little Wekiva.


After a lot of waiting around on this nice morning we did catch one bird. It was brought back to the banding table and we found this little guy waiting for us.


Green Anoles are disappearing in the state, being displaced by the Cuban Anole. Cuban Anoles do not shift color like the native green variety. This one was on our blue chair and couldn't decide which color to choose.

On to the sole bird of the day. A Blue-headed Vireo!

Blue-headed Vireo

This is only the second of this species to be captured at this location but always a welcome sight. As you can tell in this photo, this bird was carrying no extra fat deposits on it's undersides.

Blue-headed Vireo

Beautiful birds.

Blue-headed Vireo

As Andrew hands off the bird to Ivana to release it, it gave her a nice little nip!

Blue-headed Vireo

We did get some stone wall building done around the table entrance and more invasive plant IDs for later removal but not much else. On the way out, we did find a nice little butterfly to observe. A Ceraunus Blue. Thanks to Randy Snyder for the ID!

Ceraunus Blue.jpg

Next week will we switch back to the early start time as the weather will be warmer and we will try to get the early risers.
Next Banding Day: Sunday, December 13th.

We will open nets by 6:40 A.M.