Three hearty souls braved the cold morning (39-ish degrees-Don't laugh) for the first time in weeks to see what might be flying. Our hands never warmed up until we were about to leave. The capture of a special bird did warm our hearts, though. More on the Bird-of-the-Day and the end, of course.
Our firs bird of the day was a young Gray Catbird.
It displayed an interesting tail molt.
Next up, our first of three Palm Warblers for the day.
The final Palm Warbler of the day was caught as we were closing up the nets.
Nice to have another Swamp Sparrow for the season. Yes, the gloves never came off.
Checking on the lake, we found a Pied-billed Grebe, a Limpkin, and dozens of vultures lifting up into the increasing winds.
Also down by the lake was an Orange-crowned Warbler.
Can you tell we are rushing right along? Why? Our Bird-of-the-Day.
As Greg and Andrew walked the trail they noticed a curious sight. Hanging in Net 14 was a hawk. A Sharp-shinned Hawk.
This is the first Sharpie we have captured here. We used to get a couple out at Wekiwa Springs. Which made us wonder once we noticed this bird was already banded!
It was a juvenile so it couldn't be one of those banded by us. Must have been banded this year and arrived here during migration. Probably.
The number was sent to the Bird Banding Laboratory. They say they do not have a record of this band. Yet. They will get back to us with that info when they can. For now, we get to enjoy the moment before Greg releases the bird back into the wild.
Next week should be warmer. Better be...
Happy New Year!!!
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, January 6th.
All nets will be opened by 7:00 A.M.