Though migrants are still being reported around the state there is very little evidence of them at Lake Lotus. Most everything seen to day were nesting local birds such as a female Northern Cardinal.
The one big surprise of the day was a red-morph Eastern Screech Owl captured in Net 18 near the lake. We did not band this bird as we forgot our size 5 bands at home so we took some data and released her. 'Her' based on a brood patch. Only Susan and Andrew were there at the time so we were sorry that some others missed the experience.
Next up were a couple of Carolina Wrens out gathering food for the family.
Both birds had brood patches so there are nests somewhere close. We should start catching juvenile Carolina Wrens before the season ends at the end of the month.
A little later we caught a male Northern Cardinal.
Avery was on dragonfly patrol and there were plenty out today. He showed off a rather large specimen captured near the banding table.
There was a pair of Green Herons flying around Net 21 that were netted a couple of times but escaped before we could get a photo. Out on the new sandbar by the pier a Boat-tailed Grackle swooped in to pick at morsels on the sand and to get a drink.
Remember our earlier Eastern Screech Owl? We caught it again. Twice. Seems it was determined to go in one direction back to where we first caught it and kept hitting nets along the way. We decided to just take it all the way back down by hand. Fortunately, Avery was here by now to see it. A Life Bird for him.
Once the Eastern Screech Owl was released by Net 18 it flew into a nearby tree and scanned the area for a few minutes before flying off.
Two Barred Owl chicks were seen in the early morning but the lighting was so bad that we waited to see if we could relocate them later. They moved back into the forest and we could only find Mom sitting guard next to the net lane.
Red-winged Blackbirds are being very vocal right now. Even the females are shouting out in the marsh.
The Cattails are quickly taking over our improvised path out to the lake. We will have to wait until next session to forge out again. It will be drier and the alligators will not be as active in the Fall.
Other dragonflies were along the river, including Eastern Pondhawks, darners, and damselflies.
Speaking of American Alligators, Pat was up out of the water earlier than usual and this time she was back at the sandy area below the banding table.
Aren't American Alligators so cute?
A male Red-winged Blackbird we banded in March was recaptured today. It is his territory, after all.
Farther up river, a Red-eared Slider made use of a stump to do some sunning.
Four more weeks remain in Session 7. The heat is suppose to return next weekend and that should be our last chance of catching any lingering migrants.
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, May 10th.
All nets will be opened by 6:10 A.M.