A fun mix of birds and observations today. Yesterday Andrew brought in a sign for Maria's newly emerging butterfly garden. Unfortunately, the rangers don't want anything seen from the other side of the river so we will have to find a more discrete spot soon.
As usual, the dawn chorus include mewing Gray Catbirds and we typically catch them pretty early.
Then come the Common Yellowthroats skipping through the grasses along the river and into the nets nearby.
Sometimes a clumsy damselfly or dragonfly gets caught, too, but we can easily remove them most of the time.
Only one Ovenbird bird today. Oh, the cuteness factor!
A couple of species began arriving right on schedule. Our first of the season Hermit Thrush was in Net 1 in the center of the net lanes. "Tail, tail, tail!" I hear you say?
We captured a couple of Western Palm Warblers near the lake where they feed in the marsh and then head toward the willows.
We thought that we would be over run by House Wrens today as they were calling and singing all over yesterday but the Common Yellowthroats actually edged them out in the final totals.
Mid-morning and the gang is bringing back another bird to the table. Must be Union work.
Another Gray Catbird extracted and banded. Only one capture this Fall has been an adult. All others are juveniles chasing each other all over the property.
A female Northern Cardinal we banded last August decided to say 'Hi' once more.
Earlier in the morning Maria spotted a spider in the gloom. Now with a bit more light we can get a photo to help us ID it later. Turns out to be a Redfemured Spotted Orbweaver, (Neoscona domiciliorum), in a rather tattered web.
Lynn found another spider preparing a new tin the Dog Fennel across from Net 13. A female Green Lynx Spider, (Peucetia viridans), was moving all over the place and the breeze didn't help get too many clear shots but we managed it, eventually.
Lynn has a knack for spotting Green Treefrogs hiding in the grass blades.
The palmettos hide something more sinister. Paper Wasps.
We have finally had a break from big rains so the river levels are quickly dropping. Know what that means...?
Time to start trimming the overgrown vegetation and try to get a new trail out to the lake! Especially now that the alligators have moved to other parts of the park.
Swamp Sparrows were also returning on time but stayed low by the water calling and we spotted one in the open for about 3 seconds. A female Common Yellowthroat did decide we were worth a closer look.
A view we have not had since near the end of last Session. The Window on the Lake is to the left and the wide open vista in before us waiting to be explored as the rest of our Winter visitors arrive.
One of the main things we had to cut through was invasive Primrose Willow. Too bad their flowers are so pretty and the insects love them. However, they can quickly overtake any exposed area very quickly and crowd out native species.
Our last new arrival for the day was actually on time, too, but rather unexpected. Orange-crowned Warblers tend to stay high in the willows and we don't get to band too many.
Why are they called Orange-crowned Warblers? Well, the males do sport a set of orange feathers just beneath the surface on there heads. This one was not as bright as we have seen in the past. . Females do not. Both have another easily identifiable feature: an extremely pointed, needle-like bill.
While we began to close up for the day we got one more bird. A Blue-gray Gnatcatcher. This is another species that is difficult to capture and rivals Ovenbirds for that cuteness factor.
Our last observation was made along the trails. A Box Turtle. Not uncommon in these parts but why is it sporting a green marking? Part of a study or a prank?
Watching the skies for next Sunday. Should be another cold front on the way which is good. As long as the rains don't interfere for our few hours in the morning.
Next (planned) Banding Days: Sunday, November 8th.
All nets will be opened by 6:10 A.M.