As much as we love banding, August is almost always rough. Especially after it rains for a few days before the weekend. Everything is wet and it is already in the 80s and our shirts are soaked with sweat after setting nets well before dawn. Still we soldier on...
The suana was not too kind to our cameras which were constantly fogging while trying to take shots of captured birds like our first of the day, a recaptured male Northern Cardinal.
Next up was a pair of recaptured juvenile Carolina Wrens in Net 2 that we banded just a couple of weeks ago.
We usually start catching juveniles in May but they missed the nets a few months ago. Getting them all accounted for now.
The moisture often brings the Manatee Tree Snails out this time of year.
Sensitive Briar is exploding in different spots along the net lanes this year and their pink flowers punctuate the surrounding green throughout the area.
The water has receded quiet a bit despite the recent additional rains and we could reach Net 21 today. Lynn got a photo of one of the baby American Alligators not long before Susan nearly stepped on it or another. At least Mom is not around. Or is she...?
Did we mention it was wet? Even the Damselflies were dripping with moisture.
The wet is also encouraging the fungus that begins to break down the logs in the woods.
The Air Potato Beetles are still quite busy. They are seen mating, eating, and hovering through the vegetation once the sunlight breaks through the morning.
Their was not a lot of bird activity besides the locals for a lot of the morning but we eventually got our first migrant, a feisty Northern Waterthrush. Others were heard during the day but they stayed on the park side.
Butterfies were actually coming out pretty early today. Swallowtails were drifting past and Lynn found some Skippers here and there.
She has a new magnifying lens attachment and is getting some great shots using it.
Ike brought another Carolina Wren back to the table (we had 6 today) and then Lynn returned soon afterward with a 'yellow' bird. Hmmm... Andrew reached into the bag and took a peak before revealing it to the others, put it back and looked up at Lynn. "Really?"
Over the past couple of years we have spotted a desired species in the area and even heard it calling last week. Today we caught it. Our first-ever Prothonotary Warbler banded at Lake Lotus.
It was captured right where it should have been. Down among the Cypress trees at the edge of the marsh.
Dr. Deborah Green stopped by this morning and got to release several birds, including the Prothonotary Warbler which darted off into the woods just after this shot. Love Deborah's look of awe just before it took off.
We took another run down the lanes and found a female Downy Woodpecker in Net 16 where several snags offer nesting areas for these birds.
Down at Net 21, a female Black-and-White Warbler was resting in one of the net panels adding to our migrant count for the morning.
We closed nets around 10:30 and were able to bring back yet another recaptured Carolina Wren before heading home.
We headed home to get out of wet clothing and dream of late September when things should get more comfortable. Still, there is rain in the forecast down the road. Storms are trying to make it across the Atlantic and peak season for storms is still 3 weeks away. Onward.
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, August 30th.
All nets will be opened by 6:30 A.M.