Sunday, June 13, 2010

More Cardinal Babies

Expectations were downgraded as this high sits on top of us, bringing unseasonably hot weather and not much is moving through the state. It is also fledging time so birds here are busy feeding their young and are otherwise not as active.

So, Andrew brought his axe to remove some of the larger invasive trees while we waited to see what the day would bring. Luckily, we did catch 6 birds today starting with this Brown Thrasher right around sunup.

Brown Thrasher

Right after that we got our first young Cardinal of the morning.

Northern Cardinal

We followed up that bird with the next Brown Thrasher of the day.

Brown Thrasher

This time of year we usually catch a lot of Carolina Wrens but this year they are avoiding the nets. We hear them all over the place but it took a few hours before we even got one and that was a recaptured adult. So, we go back to Cardinals! Maria and Ivana had to wrangle a rather feisty male recapture that showed how strong a bite can be.

Northern Cardinal

Charles found a more calm Cardinal soon afterward. Fortunately, the young ones don't know how to bite so hard yet.

Northern Cardinal

That wraps up the birds for today. On to the plants and wildlife! Near Net 3 Maria found a bunch of leftover egg shells. Probably turtle.

Eggs

Lurking around the path between Nets 4 and 5 was a beautiful Argiope (Black and Yellow Garden Spider) displaying its intricate web structure.

Argiope

Here is another round of "Where is the Toad?". Can you see it? Many small toads were hopping toward the river across our net lanes.

Toad

Along the river, the ever-present Dragonflies hunt for a meal.

Dragon

Back at the table, we found an underwing moth hiding in the vegetation. Wish we had a better photo but it moved far too quickly for a great shot.

Underwing

Nearby, the Swamp Lilies are back in bloom. This is the only bunch of this species we find along the banks.

Swamp Lily

The Beauty Berry plants are blooming and generating new fruit for the upcoming migration season. Mockingbirds, Catbirds, and other birds enjoy the berries and the insects that hang around them in the Fall.

Beauty Berry

Tread Softly plants are blooming most of the year. Their name comes from the fact that the plant is studded with sharp spines along its length.

Tread Softly

Near Net 2, a Wild Potato Vine shows off its gorgeous flowers.

Wild Potato Vine

Finally, we observed the abundant fruits of the many wild Black Cherry trees along the river. More food for the upcoming migration season!

Black Cherry

More discoveries as Summer gets closer. Been here for several weeks here. Whew! Hot...
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Next Banding Day: Sunday, June 20th.

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

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