Heavy rains pounded the area last night but the river did not seem to be much higher than last week. They did usher in a couple of visitors to the site today and captures were up a bit from last week but typical for this time of year.
Andrew set Net 21 just before dawn and began to hear several birds in the surrounding brush. With a little pishing a Swamp Sparrow flew in to investigate and flew out directly into the net. We thought the sparrows already left as we heard none of them last week. But there were several out by the lake still.
Just after that our first visitor arrived at the same net. Paul is a bander (ringer) in the UK and spent some vacation time with us this morning. On the next trip down the net lanes a Carolina Wren escaped from Net 14 but another didn't from nearby Net 9.
Two Gray Catbirds were also retrieved and Paul got to process them both.
Also on that run, we captured a House Wren. All three of those species will be headed home anytime now.
The Barred Owls, however, live here permanently and the baby was seen and heard in the dark in an oak near Net 12. The adults put on quite a show as they gathered food for their chick who had now moved back in the woods. For the safety of the other birds in the area we took down 4 nets as to not tempt the adults with an easy meal. After eating, they settled into resting spots. One adult on one edge of the tree canopy...
...the other on the opposite side but they faced one another.
Our second special visitor arrived back at the banding table where Richard was resting his ankle. You can see Richard's feet to the left of the photo but can you spot the visitor?
The Coral Snake slithered out of the vegetation and went directly under Richard's chairs and back toward the opposite side of the table and back into the woods. Been trying to get a good shot of this snake for years. Glad Christine had the presence of mind to grab the camera.
This particular Coral Snake must be living close by as it has been seen many times in the general area. Remember: "Red next to yellow..."
Around the same time, Christine extracted a male Common Yellowthroat from the nets. Could be a local or a migrant bird.
Our final capture of the day was another Carolina Wren. She is at least 4 years old and probably older judging by that lovely plumage. We banded her as an adult 2 years ago.
Should be time for some other migrants to arrive by next weekend.
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, April 19th.
All nets will be opened by 6:30 A.M.