Despite a lack of captured birds, it really was an interesting day out at Lake Lotus. As dawn was approaching it seemed that fog might develop but then cleared, revealing a lot of birds flying high overhead. Robins, Waxwings, gulls... Land based birds were calling and singing but not really flying from place to place. In fact, we only caught one bird today. A Gray Catbird we first banded a couple of weeks ago. We caught that bird twice today. So, we spent some time wiring and trying to enjoy the show overhead.
While th rest of us cruised the net lanes, Richard checked the nest boxes for any sign of use.
For now, he only found some Flying Squirrels in a couple of boxes. one of them hosted a large family all snuggled up against the chilly weather.
Out near the lake Andrew found an Orange-crowned Warbler in the Willows. The Sun was still trying to burn off the fog remnants.
Not far away, someone dropped Net 18 into the leaf litter. Hmmmm...who could it be?
A pair of young Raccoons were investigating the cypress swamp area and most likely caused our time consuming vegetation extraction. At least they are cute enough.
Many Red-shouldered Hawks were roaming today but they backed off once the Ospreys began gathering sticks for their new nest. We also saw Bald Eagles, Wood Storks and other large birds today.
Though rather quiet today, Myrtle Warblers were actually very active and they were feeding all around the willows.
They are very pretty birds when you catch them in the right light.
One of our other favorites were more vocal. Palm Warblers were all around the property today.
We were winding up the day and then spotted an owl in the "Owl nest" across the river. They did not nest here last year and we have been wondering if this year would see them try again. Christine noticed an owl in the tree and Andrew headed back for a photo op. Momma was trying to settle in for some rest.
The nest tree is difficult to see from angles. Andrew scrambled down the river bank to get a branch-free view. It wasn't until processing the photos later that he noticed that the tree was smeared with blood. The owl must have captured and killed something fairly large for breakfast. Life in the jungle...
Andrew and Maria will head out to a Sparrow round-up next Saturday and we will post a combined post of both round-ups at some point. Then we will all be back for Sunday.
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, February 5th.
All nets will be opened by 6:40 A.M.