Sunday, September 13, 2015

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

A cold front was threatening yet another Sunday but we braved the morning knowing that rains would be on the way before midday. Plus, we had visitors on the way and if we can get in a few hours then the better not to disappoint folks that have traveled from across the pond to join us. Still, it was another sauna morning with early sweat while setting nets and preparing for the day.

We managed to set nets and beat back the vegetation to get ready and caught a Common Yellowthroat early on. Once the information was processed, the bird was handed to visitor Kieran for a closer look before release.

Common Yellowthroat, Kieran

Kieran is getting in some experience for banding (ringing in the UK) and we were more than welcome to help him get some time in banding birds here in Florida.

Before we made the next net checks we were talking about how a lot of Waterthrushes had already moved through the area. Then we caught two out at Net 21 (soggy, but now reachable) and another was seen there moments later. Kieran got the banding duties for the remainder of the morning. His Dad, Derek, was on hand as well.


We got a close up of one of the Northern Waterthrushes before release.

Northern Waterthrush

Clouds continued to roll through and birding was fairly quiet. We did record Red-eyed Vireos, Yellow-throated Warbler, and other local birds but nothing too unusual. Which brings us to what we now have to relabel "Lynn's Nature Corner". It was just bugs before but Lynn captured some great Nature shots today as we surveyed the property. Several shots show just how wet the morning was, Like the water clinging to our Anoles in the vegetation.


Not sure if this Anole isn't simply playing a droplet balancing game...


Ms. Argiope was in mid-breakfast and didn't mind the moisture much.


Nearby, a small Tree frog explored the area but couldn't escape Lynn's camera.

Tree frog

She also found a Katydid showing signs of erythrism, a "congenital condition of abnormal redness in an animal's fur, plumage, or skin". We have seem others like it along the net lanes in the past.


Spiny Orb Weavers are very common, especially this time of year.

Spiny Orb Weaver

Moths spring into the air as we walk along the paths and through the Guinea Grass.


Another spider species was found today. Can you spot it? That is a tiny Crab Spider lurking under the bloom of a Spanish Needle.

Crab Spider

A small Weevil searches for a launching pad.


While Andrew was returning to the table, he felt something climbing up the back of his neck. A quick swat and it was discovered to be a good-sized Praying Mantis. He placed it on a holly shrub where the mantis cleaned it fore claws and and recovered form the stunning it had just received.

Praying Mantis

A bit later Lynn came along for a closer look.

Praying Mantis

Kieran got to process our final bird of the morning. A Carolina Wren. Becky brought Killim along for a morning in the fresh air.


Our records show that Veerys should be arriving about now. Right on time, Andrew found one above Net 1. It was calling as it flew from branch to branch.


Looking at the dark plumage and spotless throat it seems to be a Western sub-species that we do not see here often. It would not hit the nets today. Instead it flew into the woods behind Net 12, still calling as it went.


Thunder (and this magical thing called a Weather App?) told us that rain was quickly advancing upon us. We folded up nets and made it to our vehicles just as the leading edge reached Lake Lotus. Birds should be able to flow through the state once this front clears us in a few days. Next week could be a lot better as we head towards October.
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, September 20th.
All nets will be opened by 6:45 A.M.

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