Sunday, September 15, 2013

Waiting for the Big Push

Finally! A morning greeted by only a little dew and not soaking wet from rain kept our feet nearly dry for the first time in months. Not many mosquitoes, either, Now to wake the birds.

Things were rather quiet at sunrise, however, until Lynn and her charges spotted a Brown Thrasher up in the tree next to Net 9. It was watched as it called for several minutes before it eventually decided to move...directly into the net. It was our first Thrasher of the season and a juvenile, too. We knew they were breeding again but we hadn't seen much movement of late.

Brown Thrasher

As is typical for this time of year, Common Yellowthroats ruled the day. The main captures in late Summer are juvenile males (below) and females.

Common Yellowthroat

A few older males are making their way down, too. This male Common Yellowthroat will get a fully dark mask by next Spring.

Common Yellowthroat

Another Veery joined us this week. Last week we had a juvenile and now we have an adult. Other thrush species should be on their way down starting next week.


The gang prepares to record data for the next bird but things soon grew quiet.

Banding Table

While we wait for more birds we explore the site. We clear as many invasive species as we can in slow times and one of the most enveloping is Skunk Vine, (Paederia foetida), which is now beginning to bloom in earnest. Hummingbirds visit the flowers and other birds love to eat (and thereby distribute) the berries and seeds and this is becoming the second most invasive vine in the area after air potato vines.

Skunk Vine

Considered another invasive, Primrose Willow, (Ludwigia spp.), are also spreading in the marshy areas of the the park. Their flowers are beautiful and nearly mesmerizing but they can overtake preferred plant species in very little time and need to be controlled.

Primrose Willow

Breaking the lull, we recaptured a Carolina Wren which Alease set free after the proper data was processed.

Carolina Wren

Back to Nature watching. Some wildlife is easy to spot, like the conspicuous White Peacock butterfly (Anartia jatrophae).

White Peacock Butterfly

Some can be a little more difficult to find, like this Skipper resting quietly under a Maple leaf.


All flying things should beware, though. Golden silk Orb Weavers (Nephila clavipes) are coming back out now that the rains are abating.

Golden silk Orb Weaver.jpg

Winds were increasing as the morning grew long so we decided to wrap up the day. As we began to take down the nets we captured a few more birds. The second most captured species of the day ended up being Northern Waterthrushes. They are usually headed father South by now but we enjoy the larger number of them this year.

Northern Waterthrush

Our last bird of the morning (and Bob's second extracted) was an adult female Common Yellowthroat.

Common Yellowthroat

We continue to train our new volunteers on bird extractions and we are seeing great progress. Just in time for the peak of migration here in Central Florida. Next week could see the return of several new species. Not telling our guesses, though... ;-)
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, September 22nd.
All nets will be opened by 6:45 A.M.

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