We are ready for Fall. This blanketing humidity is ridiculous! Even the birds were staying in the shade. Only 3 birds today which was less than the number of visitors we had. That is OK. Company makes the day go by faster.
After we set nets we headed back to the banding table to get ready for the day. Who needs coffee when you discover a scorpion relaxing in one of the folding chairs? Luckily, Maria had her headlamp on as she opened chairs and noticed our first visitor of the day.
Andrew donned the work gloves and gently took the scorpion over to a rotting log. The scorpion quickly crawled under a piece of bark and settled in. Whew. We are awake now!
Our first bird of the day was a young male Cardinal. It was initially thought that it was completely missing its left eye. Closer inspection revealed that it was still there but the lid was closed over. Perhaps a virus or collision with a thorn. We don't know.
The right eye was fine and the bird seemed otherwise healthy. Hopefully, we will capture the bird in the future to see if it improves.
As mentioned earlier, we had a lot of new visitors today. Kathlin read about us online and wanted to stop by and see some birds up close and famed East Coast photographer, and long-time acquaintance, Thomas Dunkerton brought out the family for a morning in the sauna.
Our next bird was a young Carolina Wren. Note the yellowish gape at the base of the bill and the missing white wing spots these birds acquire as they age.
Andrew blows on the birds body to check for any fat that may be present. Being a young, local bird we assumed we would find none as was the case.
Our newly banded bird gets a gentle petting before being released back into the woods.
Later, the crew checked nets and found a female Cardinal in Net 16. Christine removes the bird as some of our visitors watch the process.
Other finds of note were the numerous fungus species. At least some living thing is enjoying the extra-moist conditions of late! A lot of these umbrella looking mushrooms were scattered throughout the area.
Every now and again we would find fungi that resemble our nearby Spaceship Earth at EPCOT.
Fungus come in all different colors. We have even found some in blue but these yellow versions stand out nicely along logs on the sides of the net lanes.
We hadn't heard the Barred Owls for the past couple of weeks but one was very accessible today toward the pier. We kept an eye out for it scouting the nets for smaller prey.
We also planted 3 new trees today. Another Wax Myrtle and two Red Mulberry trees. Can't wait for those to mature and provide food for the birds and bring in more sights for future visitors across the river.
Migrant reports are on the rise. Many Red-eyed Vireos were viewed and a Yellow-throated Vireo was seen near the banding table. We should be capturing more birds as the weeks progress.
Next Banding Day: Sunday, August 22th.
All nets will be opened by 6:30 A.M.