Sunday, August 14, 2011

Quiet, Yet Exciting

Had a couple of surprises today. The first was the fact that the weather was fairly tolerable today as opposed to last week's sauna we slogged through. The other was a bird we captured, only one of two(!), but we will save that one until the end.

Right around dawn, a Northern Waterthrush flew into Net 10. This one was much more whitish than last week's yellow version we usually see in this area.

Northern Waterthrush

While Maria was on net patrol she heard some splashing at the river bend. She feared it was a gator but the suspect popped up for a couple of seconds revealing it to be one of our playful otters.


Heading back up the trail she spotted a male Pileated Woodpecker working through the dead tree snags.

Pileated Woodpecker

Far below the woodpeckers, plants like the Golden Oxeye easily grab one's attention. They bloom year-round.

Golden Oxeye

Meanwhile, Susan found other things to take photos of near the flowers. Skippers of many varieties visit throughout the year.


Oh, yes. I almost forgot. We caught another bird, didn't we? Maria came back toward the table with a bird she described as a cute little yellow thing with a yellow mouth. Hmmm... Warbler? Nope. A flycatcher!

Yellow-bellied Flycatcher

We have captured Wood Pewees and the occasional Acadian Flycatcher but this bird seemed different. Definitely the flycatcher bill and the olive back like most Empids.

Yellow-bellied Flycatcher

There is that yellow mouth that Maria was noticing. Flycatchers have slightly different colorations on and in their bills.

Yellow-bellied Flycatcher

Flycatcher IDs are tough in the field and even in the hand. The easiest way to ID them is by their different vocal calls. However, most don't call often once they arrive in Florida. If they do, we are not used to the sound so it is of little use. Instead we have to take measurements or the tail and winds and consult our birding guides.

Yellow-bellied Flycatcher

One descriptive ID note kept being found in different books. "No other flycatcher has a yellow throat". However, we know that some juvenile Acadians DO have a yellowish wash for a while. We will also send out the photos to Bruce Anderson who is much more skilled with flycatchers so we can get a more official call on this bird.

Yellow-bellied Flycatcher

So, for now, we are sticking by our ID of a...Yellow-bellied Flycatcher! It would be a first for most of us. I hope we are correct.

Update: Call is official.

Yellow-bellied Flycatcher

Many warbler reports are pouring in from around the state so fingers are crossed that we can manage to capture a few next time.
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, August 21st.

All nets will be opened by 6:30 A.M.

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