Sunday, May 23, 2010

Who Needs Birds?

A very quiet day. Only two birds today, both recaptured Carolina Wrens. One was an older adult and one was one of the younger birds we banded last year about this time.

In other news...seems the bears are still around. There was a report of two bears roaming a nearby neighborhood and two of the net poles were bent to the ground and had to be replaced.

Pole

How else can we be sure? Poop.

Poop

On the insect front, many species were discovered. Starting with a blue damselfly.

Damsel

Then a Blue Dasher dragonfly.

Dasher

Lurking in the fennel was a new find here. A young Lubber Grasshopper. It will grow to about 3 inches in length when it reaches adulthood.

Lubber Grasshopper

Fritillary numbers are on the rise and searching for more Passion Vine to lay their eggs upon.

Gulf Fritillary

Another good find was this Buckeye butterfly visiting the grassy edges.

Buckeye

Discovered at dawn, several white moths appeared to be mating near Net 8. We believe them to be Agreeable Tiger Moths. Thanks, Mary!

White Moths

We found these eggs on some plants. Friend Mary also says they are eggs from a parasitic wasp. Probably an Ichneumonoidea species.

Eggs

One of the more spectacular spiders found in our area is the Argiope or "black and yellow garden spider". Beautiful and almost always stationary, they weave a complex web with distinctive bright centers and lie in wait for prey. Apparently it worked here.

Argiope

We often get a chance to chat with the rangers from across the river and sometimes they come over to check on our progress. Maria got them to smile for a shot as she spoke to Frank and Gary on their morning rounds.

Rangers

Flower news, now. Mist Flowers are blooming again along the riverside. A nice change of color among the green radishes and grasses.

Mist Flower

Nearby, the Button Bush is also in full bloom. Growing to over 6 feet in height, this plant shows off brilliantly this time of year. Maria thinks it resembles the ball that drops in Time Square on New Years.

Button Bush

The stranger in the mix is the begonia that we find from time to time. Probably washed down the river in the past, they take root and try to flourish once they land on the banks. We have found many over the years.

Begonia

Can't band next weekend but we will be back for a couple more weeks before the Summer break. Should be time to start capturing new baby birds leaving the nest. Last year we caught 8 young wrens at one time and hope we can begin to trace the new brood when we return.

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Next Banding Day: Sunday, June 6th.

All nets will be opened around 6:00 A.M.

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