Sunday, April 3, 2011

"...if'n the creek don't rise..."

Skies have cleared after a few huge storms ripped through the area in the past few days. We were expecting the worse at the site after seeing so many downed trees around the general area. Fortunately, there were not many branches in our way and cleanup went quickly during the morning.

The river, which was finally crossable last week, has risen almost 4 feet! Yesterday Ranger Cindy sent Andrew a photo of some big lizard sunning along our side of the river.


No sighting today. As far as we can determine, the gator was most likely sitting where we stood and took some photos of the high water.


Looking to the left.


Under the Barred Owl nest tree shows the same water height.


But you are probably here to see some birds. Alright. early bird today was a young Hermit Thrush. This younger bird was ready to head North. It was stuffed with fat!

Hermit Thrush

Andrew gives the bird one more look before releasing it.

Hermit Thrush

Next up, Gray Catbirds are still around. They should be leaving soon, too.

Gray Catbird

There was an odd kind of stretch where the weather actually seemed to chill a bit and some late fog began to form.


It made for some pretty pictures, though.


It was another tough day to catch birds as most of them are still up in the treetops. One reason is all thanks to the voluminous amounts of inchworms. They seem to be everywhere and we have to keep moving them out of the way at the banding table.


It does not exclude more ground loving birds like this House Wren. Another Winter visitor about to depart.

House Wren

We will continue to see our local Carolina Wrens, though. This one even appeared to have and egg ready to be laid!

Carolina Wren

A few more interesting sights today. There was one little section along the net lanes where we discovered a Lubber Grasshopper party going on.

Lubber Grasshopper

These tiny black and red nymphs will soon transform into over 3-inch yellowish-orange, black-spotted monsters!

Lubber Grasshopper

Farther down the lanes, the lake has backed up into the marshy areas by net 18 stopping just a foot or so away. We placed it just right. Just means we can't go exploring too far down the trail Andrew cleared since last Fall. The rains are really helping the Poison Ivy vines take off.

Poison Ivy

For now we will just have to peer through the trees. We did spot a Green Heron on the hunt.

Green Heron

Then we ended our day with a goodbye from another lurking Gray Catbird over the waters.

Gray Catbird

Next week is the beginning of a hot spell. Could be near 90 degrees (F). Hopefully, the warmer weather will bring us some migrants before they leave us until the Fall.
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, April 10th.

All nets will be opened by 6:40 A.M.

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