It was one of those mornings that leaves one wondering why we got out of bed. Not too cold or anything but as we started to set nets the winds slowly increased and eventually the front moved through and the temps did begin to drop hour by hour. Oh, to be back in bed. Too gloomy.
However, there are the little moments that erase such selfish thoughts. The best of the day happened right after sunrise.
Andrew was checking nets and was all the way at the end of the net lanes checking for any birds and monitoring the weather. After staring at the dark, cloudy skies, he glanced over his shoulder and noticed a dark shape in Net 13. Wasn't moving but it had to be a bird.
Turned out to be not just any bird, but our first sparrow of this banding season! In fact, our first ever Bachman's Sparrow!!
Bachman's Sparrows do reside and breed just to the North of us near our old banding site in Wekiwa Springs but we never caught one as they stick to the pinewood flats near the Youth Center. Usually the sparrows we see around Lake Lotus are Swamp Sparrows and last year we caught a Clay-colored Sparrow in the same spot.
To our knowledge, no one has recorded a Bachman's Sparrow in this park.
We also caught a recap Northern Cardinal and a new Gray Catbird but this first bird of the day made the slightly uncomfortable weather blur away for a little bit.
Hoping for more sparrows before the season is over!
Next Banding Day: Sunday, February 7th.
We will open nets by 6:40 A.M.