A light fog greeted us as we began our new year at Lake Lotus. We had hoped that birds would be up and at 'em but they were rather quiet today. We only netted a few birds. The first of the morning was a migrant Hermit Thrush.
Next up, one of our previously banded Whip-poor-wills. Definitely Bird of the Day and caught just a few feet from where we have caught it two other times over the years. Talk about site fidelity!
Slow days allow us to focus on the other wonders in Nature. Dew-laced mornings always reveal spider webs easier like the abundant Bowl and Doily Spiders that are set up all over the net lanes. Look closely and you can see the spider near its bowl.
Farther up the lanes, Maria found a nice web coated with dew.
A bit more eerie, an Orchid Spider seems to grasp the sky.
We also wander down to the end of the trail to look out at Lake Lotus to see what we can see. The rising Sun provides a calm look at the Window on the Lake building down on the boardwalk.
On the small sandbar, many birds come by to rest. Palm Warblers were grabbing bugs throughout the morning and eventually other birds stopped by. Like the resident Limpkins.
Joining that bird was a Wintering Wood Stork.
Nearby, a Common Gallinule swims by on the calm waters.
An nice find near the lake was a male Northern Cardinal. Better yet, we could easily see that it was one of our banded birds.
Traveling back up the lanes, we find some other interesting things. Recent rains are springing up mushrooms off to the side.
We noticed a lot of droppings all up and down the lanes today. Since we have not been here in a few weeks things had time to get back to 'normal'. One massive area of droppings contained some owl pellets. Breaking them open revealed small bones that owls cannot digest. Probably from small rodents.
Close by was a collection of vertebrae. A snake?
Weather will shift. Willows are beginning to set buds which will bloom and bring insects. Which brings more birds. Can already feel the next waves building. Can't wait!
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, January 15th.
All nets will be opened by 6:40 A.M.