We had to cancel last week's outing but today made up for the downtime. May is very quiet typically but we were steady all morning with birds, bugs, and flowers. We captured many Carolina Wrens both young and old.
Besides a lot of Carolina Wrens, we captured several Common Yellowthroats. Most were adult males and one adult female.
As mentioned, we saw a lot of insects around today, including a Common Checkered Skipper.
Nearby, an yet to be identified moth was also spotted in the grasses.
One more moth, a Tiger Moth, graced us with a viewing while walking the lanes.
Several Northern Cardinal recaptures were netted, mostly females. All of the local birds were showing brood patches so we should get a few more baby birds before the Session is over.
Another Cardinal. The previous photo shows one way to avoid a bite. This one displays another method. Give them something to bite besides your finger.
We catch many things in the nets but sometimes we find other things there. Like this Leaf-footed Bug.
The patch of Spider Wort is expanding and is currently hosting more than bees. Several of them were adorned with Lubber Grasshoppers and Pincher Bugs, also known as Earwigs. Reminds us of a certain Night Gallery episode.
Lynn found many Scarlet-bodied Wasp Moths along the lanes. They use the Climbing Hemp weed as a host plant and are very attractive.
We captured a male Downy Woodpecker during the day. Not too long later, a male was observed feeding a female near the river. New babies should be arriving soon.
A male Northern Parula was added to the list. They are calling and being chased around by the young birds all over the area.
Phyllis got a good shot showing the banding that appears on the male Parulas.
While we were extracting one of the Cardinals, a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher was very curious and checking us out but would not come down close enough to the net. 20 minutes later, it did. This male shows the definite plumage of a male showing its 'unibrow'.
Red-shouldered Hawks are very active and the nest across the river had 2 fledglings way up high.
With the day winding down, we captured a good Spring migrant, an Ovenbird. Becki got to band this and several other birds today.
Down near the lake, a black caterpillar remained all morning in one spot. Lynn got a shot as we began to gather nets.
We had known that Red-winged Blackbirds had been flying in and out of Net 21 all morning. They are larger birds and harder to keep in the nets when they fly in. Fortunately Lynn was there at the rigt time, watched two birds escape but was able to contain one before it escaped.
Lynn also managed to get a photo of the male that escaped just previously. Several families of Red-wings live out near the lake.
It is always a wonder to observer the females up close. At a distance they appear rather plain but they contain a lot of color upon closer inspection.
Our last bird of the morning was a male American Redstart. Another good capture before the end of Spring migration.
Two more weeks to go and the weather is beautiful for now. Back out next week to hope for new discoveries!
Update: No banding on the 19th due to a storm that seemed to only sit above Lake Lotus for much of the morning.
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, May 26th.
All nets will be opened by 6:00 A.M.