Sunday, November 6, 2011

Even Quieter

The weather was cloudy with a few sprinkles in waves and the winds were gusting from time to time so we were not expecting much activity today. The Sun did not even make an appearance until 9 AM. You would think it would have discouraged the mosquitoes, but it didn't. So, we watch and we wait.

First up for the morning was another new young Brown Thrasher. Seems to be a nice family living down near the end of the lanes.

Brown Thrasher

Most of the bunitngs departed a couple weeks ago so it was nice to see that a few stuck around. We recaptured an Indigo and a Painted Bunting today.

Painted Bunting

Down near the lake, the Salt-bush trees (Baccharis halimifolia) are in full bloom.


The Climbing Hempweed (Mikania scandens) is also making a pretty showing in several locations around the lanes.


Though not common over on our side of the river, there is some Milkweed blooming. Milkweed means Monarchs!


With so many flowering flora around, the fauna is taking advantage as usual. One insect that is showing up on the Guineagrass are what appear to be Oriental Beetles.


Nestled down in another plant, a pretty little cricket with a yellow stripe lurks.


Where there are insects, there are predators. Like this intimidating spider.


There was a brief flurry of activity once the Sun came out. Palm and Myrtle Warblers teased us just above the nets. Feeding with them were Blue-headed Vireo, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Titmice, and our local pair of Pileated Woodpeckers.

Pileated Woodpecker

Back at the banding table, Andrew prepares to remove the next bird from a bag.


Happily, it was our first Ruby-crowned Kinglet of the season!

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

These Kinglets are our smallest Winter visitors. Our guest, Mary, wanted some scale so she placed a nickel on the table. The other connection to nickels is that Ruby-crowned Kinglets typically weigh as much as a nickel. About 5 grams!

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

On a sadder note, right before dawn, Andrew found a dead bird at the base of a tree. It is our assumption that this Sharp-shinned Hawk collided with the tree not too long ago. Perhaps it was chasing prey.

Sharp-shinned Hawk

The hawk was turned over to the rangers who will try to have it mounted and used for educational purposes in the park.

Another cold front is due soon so hopefully it will bring us some new birds next week.
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, November 13th.

All nets will be opened by 6:15 A.M.

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