We began the latest Session last week and were at least pleased that we caught some local birds and a migrant and had relatively nice weather until the rain blew in early. Today was a reminder of the sauna that truly is August. Once your shirt is soaked with sweat before dawn and mosquitoes begin to find you you remember we are still a bit far away from Fall. Still we push on and see what we can find through this breezeless morning.
The first run was quiet but on the next pass we recaptured one of the juvenile Carolina Wrens we banded last week. This was the one that was molting in a new set of tail feathers and was caught much farther down the lane than when it was first caught near the banding table.
Nearby, one of the Northern Cardinals we banded last week was caught in the same net as last week.
Christine removed the other Wren we banded last week and then rescued a beetle from Net 3.
Another recaptured Carolina Wren soon followed. More were heard but only a few were flying about. In fact, most of the morning found the birds as lethargic as we were in the heat.
We then recaptured another female Northern Cardinal and a new male down at Net 9.
With the rains comes new growth of fungus including these mushrooms sprouting on the edge of a log. Interesting to note that even as diminutive as these bunches are that there are an even smaller version located at the lower bottom left of the photo.
We made a large dent in the push of Caesar Weed while we still gave thanks to the Air Potato Beetles for making their own dent in their food.
There has been a Marsh Rabbit hanging around Net 13 for weeks and Christine found it wandering around and resting, briefly, on a log. Can you spot it?
She also found what we think is an Orange Barred Sulphur hanging in the Guinea Grass which have returned in force despite the efforts of folks to kill it off. You can't really get rid of this stuff and we don't really mind. Buntings love the seeds and we are looking forward to October to bring in the Indigos.
The water level is dropping and the baby American Alligators were found moved over to the small pond on the neighbor's property just across the Lake Lotus property line.
While checking Net 21, Andrew noticed a flash of color across the river in the willows. Prothonotary? Nope. A male Yellow Warbler! The first any of us has witnessed in the park. Later, a female was also seen. A clear sign that migration is in full swing.
We checked for views of our usual alligators in the river but did not find them. Instead, a Raccoon clambered through the scrub and shimmied up a Cypress across the river, stirring up the Tufted Titmice resting up in the tree tops.
Octavia, the Golden Silk Spider who has taken up residence behind the banding table, was spotted trapping a Bottle Fly and wrapping it up before devouring it. Her web is now taking over most of our rope that we hang bird bags on and we are trying to be respectful of her space.
Today, we noticed 3 males in the web. They are easy to tell apart. The female Golden Silk Spider can grow to huge sizes but the males are usually a very smaller version and often overlooked.
We trudged out at the end of the morning and hope for the return of new migrants soon. Ovenbirds should begin to show up any time and them the needles keeps rising into September. For now, we have to cool down.
On a sad note, our visitor for the past two weeks, Carol, sent us a photo she took after leaving us for the day. Out at the Window by the Lake on the Lotus boardwalk she spotted a dead bird in the water below. It was a Belted Kingfisher which would be the first of the season for this area. Hopefully it wasn't one that we banded last year but collision with windows is very common for birds all over the world.
Time to rejuvenate and prepare for another warm morning next week.
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, August 16th.
All nets will be opened by 6:25 A.M.