Yet another Sunday after a Saturday rain event. Seems to be the norm this Session and might be again next week. Wet feet and no idea what we might find once we arrive on early Sunday mornings. Today, the operative word was Fog. Even late into the morning we had plenty to go around, especially out at the lakeside.
Oddly, even though we ended up with a fairly good amount of birds, we didn't take a lot of photos at the table. We did capture a couple of previously banded Carolina Wrens and even a new one that was rather more tawny than our usual local birds. Maybe a new male trying to establish a territory? It was very impressive in coloration and posed quite proudly.
One of the more spectacular sights as we walk the trails in this weather is the way the spider webs stand out in the misty conditions. They become so easy to see and are very detailed.
As you get closer to the lake, heading toward Net 21, the marsh area looked more like a northern woodland than some Central Florida river bank.
We captured several Ruby-crowned Kinglets today, including this younger male with only a scant amount of ruby feathers in its crown.
Earth Smoke (Fumaria officinalis) is in full bloom in its usual spots this year but is also being seen spreading all the way up to the main roads. In some spots it is now a couple of feet high.
This plant is widespread though out Florida and has been used medicinally by some but is also possibly poisonous. It is lovely to look at, however.
As we made the rounds and made bird captures we also took in some other wildlife as it appeared. Most of our attention was drawn toward the end of the lanes and out by the lake where our resident Marsh Rabbit is pretty easily found foraging beneath the Willows.
Wood Ducks were drifting by along the edge of the lake as Tree Swallows skimmed the water's surface over and over in large numbers.
We recaptured a White-eyed Vireo we first banded in October and then captured a new Gray Catbird to add to our tally.
Though pretty quite of late, Eastern Phoebes are still patrolling the marshes but they have not been in the vicinity of the nets for the past month or so.
Swamp Sparrows are also in good numbers down by the lake and in the marsh but have not ventured any closer.
Then, Lynn found a new bird for our species list. A Least Bittern was hiding along the edge of the lake in the reeds. It was watchful and made for a difficult subject. But it knew she was there.
When they could, others headed down to the spot to try their luck for a sighting. Danny got this shot from his cell phone as others jockied for position while trying not to get stuck in the muck.
Andrew battled swaying cattails and zoomed in for his shot. This secretive bird is probably around more than we know but is a first sighting for the banding crew in this area.
We also captured four Myrtle (Yellow-rumped) Warblers this morning ranging in different ages and sexes. The males are beginning their transformation into Spring plumage which is very different from the more dull version we in Florida get through the Winter.
Exploring the area and making new discoveries is alway a treat but we would love a few weeks of dry conditions found during the week. Makes for nice photo opportunities, though.
Yet another front is set to swing through the state by the end of the week and may even hamper our Sunday banding. Time will tell, as always.
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, February 9th.
All nets will be opened by 6:40 A.M.