Sunday, November 29, 2015

Slow But Steady

It was another oddly quiet day today with long periods of no bird or insect sound and pop-up sprinkles from before dawn to mid-morning. They did bring on the occasional rainbow, though.


Just after dawn, Phyllis noticed and photographed a Wood Stork above the river.

Wood Stork

Our first bird captured was a juvenile Gray Catbird. Two others escaped on approach shortly afterward. Grrrr...

Gray Catbird

Two weeks ago, one of the poles at Net 16 was bent over by a mower. We were shorthanded last week so we replaced it today. Good thing, too. Not much later we caught two birds in that spot. As the net was being reset, Phyllis noticed a Ruby-crowned Kinglet in a tree next to the net. Twenty minutes later the bird was in the net. Last week we had two males and this was a female.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Just two feet below the Kinglet was an adult Carolina Wren. Thought we had banded all of them in the area but this one was unbanded. At least for a few more minutes.

Carolina Wren

Lynn did her usual critter sleuthing and found an Arrowhead Orb Weaver Verrucosa arenata) in the dark.

Arrowhead Orb Weaver

She also photographed a butterfly, most likely a Barred Yellow Sulphur.


When the birds were feeding Blue-gray Gnatcatchers were easy to spot up and down the river.

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

The other common species seen was the Western Palm Warblers. This bird isn't in the best focus but we had no problem seeing it was one we had recently banded.

Western Palm Warbler

On the edge of the lake another bird popped up from the vegetation. Even with the head hidden from view, you can make out the markings of a Northern Parula. They breed here but we don't see many in the Fall/Winter seasons.

Northern Parula

A bit of drama was unfolding back at the table. While getting some trash collected, a Huntsman Spider carrying an egg sack dashed out of a hiding place. Though Christine has major arachnophobia she still managed to get a photo before quickly moving as far away as possible.

Huntsman Spider

Two more birds were netted near the table. Another Western Palm Warbler was added to the tally for the season.

Western Palm Warbler

In the same net was a version of Palm Warbler we don't see that often in this habitat. An Eastern Palm Warbler. They are easy to pick out from the Westerns as they have a load more yellow in their plumage.

Eastern Palm Warbler

Despite the quiet stretches it was not a completely bad day. Heck, any day out in the open air is a good one, yes?
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, December 6th.
All nets will be opened by 6:35 A.M.

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