Sunday, May 27, 2012

Session 4 Ends

Well, that wraps up our latest session, the 4th consecutive at Lake Lotus. Now we take a two month break to escape the heat and let the new broods have free reign over their new home and prepare for Session 5 beginning in August. Session 4 marked some surprises and some good data, all of which will be assembled in our Annual Report which will be made accessible through this site as soon as we compile all the information. A post will be made here once that is available.

First, lets delve into our final day at the nets. We had our share of Northern Cardinals, of course, including several juveniles (new and recaptures) and another adult male and female. The female is shown here.

Northern Cardinal

This time of year always allows us to find some interesting insects as we move about the morning. Our first discovery was made by Susan. It is a Curve-toothed Geometer Moth. Very pretty thing.

Geometer Moth

Red-eyed Vireos are not uncommon in the area but we don't catch a whole lot of them. Always nice to see that bright red eye and those greens and yellows.

Red-eyed Vireo

Out near the lake we find more fauna to admire. Green Anoles are being displaced by Cuban Anoles so it is nice to find them in good numbers at the park.

Green Anole

Next to the Anole, an Eastern Pondhawk rests on some grasses.

Eastern Pondhawk

Then another large dragonfly began zooming up and down the river. Taking photos of dragonflies in flight is always a challenge. Andrew managed one fairly clear shot. Still, the trickier part is getting a good ID when you don't really study them. Luckily, we have friends like Randy and Mary who help confirm or outright find the IDs for us. They tell us that this is a Prince Baskettail.

Prince Baskettail

Dragonflies often get caught in our nets which are sometimes a puzzle to extract but it allows us some close looks at them as we do. This very large dragonfly, a Georgia Rivercruiser, was retrieved from Net 10 and brought back to the table for a photo before release.

Prince Baskettail

It was back at the table when the sunshine drew our attention to a flash of color between the trees. The web of a Spiny Orb Weaver made web-bows in the breeze.

Spiny Orb Weaver

A closer inspection shows the smiley-face pattern on their backs. These are very common in Florida.

Spiny Orb Weaver

Back out near the lake we found this plant flowering. Still trying to get an ID on it. New to us.

Unknown Flower

Andrew's sons joined him today and the youngest noticed some butterflies he admired. On the walk back to the table we were able to get a shot of one of the many White Peacock Butterflies flying around the riverside.

White Peacock Butterfly

Nearby, a female Fiery Skipper rests among the Richardia.

Fiery Skipper

Oh, yeah. Birds! Our Bird-of-the-Day was brought back by Christine yelling, "Camera!" as she approached. We cannot band hummingbirds (that requires a special permit) but we do occasionally capture them, get some photos, and then release them.

Ruby-Throated Hummingbird

As is often the case, hummingbirds will rest in your hand for a bit before launching back into the air. This female stayed for about 10 seconds.

Ruby-Throated Hummingbird

So, Session 4 is in the books. We even managed to reach a total of 301 captured birds over our stretch of Sunday's and special demonstrations. We will check the totals for the past Sessions and compare this year to previous ones and post that in the report, as well.

You can also check back in the next few weeks. We are hoping to make some other changes to the blog to include more information that will make it easier for visitors to locate us and more detailed contact info. There are some other demonstration opportunities in the wings next Fall which we will detail later.
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, August 5th.
All nets will be opened by 6:15 A.M.

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