We were disappointed to be washed out last week but that is Florida in the mid-Fall. Fronts move through in much more erratic patterns for a while as the last of the migrants head our way. Most of the primary species have already flown through and we await the last stragglers to find us. American Robins are beginning to pass through and we have even heard reports of the first American Goldfinches showing up along the coast.
Meanwhile, we deal with the remaining birds on a beautiful morning in Central Florida. Could be feast or famine this time of year. Today was a mixed bag and actually a little better than expected. We finally caught our first Hermit Thrush of the season this morning.
We recaptured two Carolina Wrens today, one of which was first banded nearly 4 years ago and it was determined that it was an adult then. So, this bird is over five-years-old now and doing quite well.
The first burst of the morning took an extra 30 minutes to get started and one of the first birds was a new juvenile Gray Catbird.
In an adjacent net we captured yet another new male adult Northern Cardinal. Where are all of these new birds coming from? Cardinals are not known to migrate much but we keep getting new birds regularly.
The area at the mouth of the river is drying out but is still a bit mucky. Andrew couldn't resist trying to reestablish the trail from last year and made it to the lake's edge. From this vantage point we could see to the opposite side of the lake. At one point, four species of birds were atop the "Window on the Lake" structure. Can you spot all four?
From top to bottom, a Wood Stork, a Snowy Egret, two Double-crested Cormorants, and one of the Wintering Belted Kingfishers.
Meanwhile, Becki got to process a White-eyed Vireo which seemed like it wanted to head back out to feed as soon as possible.
Heading back toward the lake, a pair of Eastern Phoebes fought over territory but landed briefly. Long enough for a photo.
We were hoping to get a photo of one of the many Swamp Sparrows along the water but they were just too fast to document. However, a few Common Yellowthroats were more accommodating, including this female.
Our second Northern Cardinal of the morning was trying to be an escape artist. As Becki was grabbing the bag to begin the data collection the bird was emerging from a small hole in the bottom of the bag! Fortunately, it was noticed quickly and she was secured and processed and soon released. She was first banded many years ago.
When Christine and Phyllis handed off the Cardinal to the returning crew they mentioned that they were hoping to catch the Western Palm Warbler that was by Net 19 but could not. It soon flew into the same net a few minutes later.
Overall, a better day than expected. Especially since the radars have been quiet all week and conditions were just to good for birds to just stop and hang around. It is always nice to just get some fresh air in the woods, though. We even replaced some bridges and forged a new trail for the coming months and enjoyed the company, as always.
What will next week bring? Stay tuned.
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, November 23rd.
All nets will be opened by 6:25 A.M.