Sunday, March 27, 2011

Slower, Yet Interesting

Still a ton of birds up in the trees. Species counts were interesting and there were probably more American Goldfinches in the area than in years past. They are loving the Willow trees right now. We did find scat from possible bears and Bobcats along the trail.

Good early surprise was our first Ovenbird of the season as the first bird of the morning.


Soon afterwards, we caught a recaptured Carolina Wren.

Carolina Wren

Loads of caterpillars were witnessed today. On leaves, on tables, on chairs, floating down from threads. One of the early shots was one of the Tussock Moth caterpillars clinging nearby.

Tussock Moth

Over at the Mulberry trees we noticed a number of Eastern Tent Caterpillars spinning webs among the leaves. We wonder if they will eat the leaves of our new plants but they do not seem to be eating any of them.

Eastern Tent Caterpillar

Hopefully they are just setting up house and will leave our plants alone. We will keep monitoring.

Eastern Tent Caterpillar

The most exciting part of the morning was capturing a pair of Downy Woodpeckers at the same time. First shot is of the noisier of the two, the female.

Downy Woodpecker

The male was about two feet next to her in Net 9. Males are told from females by that bright red patch on the back of the head.

Downy Woodpecker

These birds were very digital-aware, meaning that they, like a number of warblers, seem to hear the digital signals of the cameras and tend to begin flapping when the shutter is depressed before firing off a picture. A lot of the shots end up like this.

Downy Woodpecker

Abe and Andrew had to constrain the bird's wings to get a side-by-side shot before release.

Downy Woodpecker

Way cool. What could be cooler? On the way out of the banding site we came upon a very interesting and unexpected view. A Red-eared Slider laying eggs way up on the side of the river bank. For reference, the river at this point is about 20-plus feet up a high bank from the river.

Red-slider Turtle

We will continue to monitor this spot also.

Rains are on the way. Big fronts are projected to be here all next week. How will the weather change things by next week? Stay tuned!
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, April 3rd.

All nets will be opened by 6:45 A.M.

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