Sunday, November 8, 2015

Two Firsts of Season and Nature Watching

Rain moved in last night and we headed to bed not knowing if we would be able to band or not. Dawn proved we were in the clear for what ended up being the 3rd record for high temperatures this week.


We set Net 21 just after dawn as it is more remote and in an area often visited by alligators and we like a bit more light to see what is around us. Even in the dim light Ike had little trouble spotting a Water Snake nestled in the vegetation.

Water Snake

Our first bird of the day was a male Common Yellowthroat.

Common Yellowthroat

To proved it rained pretty well last night, Lynn found a Green Anole dripping with water.

Green Anole

House Wrens are still moving in and we are banding plenty this month.

House Wren

The main bulk of Indigo Buntings have moved South but we do hear some every weekend and it was nice to catch a female today.

Indigo Bunting

Since the rangers don't like the butterfly garden sign being seen by the public when they stroll by on the park side we have hopefully found a more discrete location for now. Shhhhhhhhh...


Seems we have been catching fewer Swainson's Thrushes over the last couple of years and was really surprised that we caught a juvenile today this is late in the migration season to even have many around.

Swainson's Thrush

We had the pleasure of have several visitors today. Pete Dunn and his wife Kath from England were in town on vacation and joined us for the morning. Here, Pete inspects the Swainson's Thrush before releasing it.

Swainson's Thrush

Once things began to dry out the butterflies and other insects began to appear including this White Peacock butterfly.

White Peacock

Charles spotted this Black Racer up in a tree and Lynn arrived in time to take a shot.

Black Racer

Meanwhile, Maria was finding other subjects like this Beetle.


More birds were captured and Andrew, Susan, and Charles gathered data and photos back at the table.


Our second Common Yellowthroat of the day was a female.

Common Yellowthroat

Our other visitor was Kathy Rigling, a science teacher at a nearby school, who got to release the Common Yellowthroat and some other birds.

Common Yellowthroat

We captured our 2nd juvenile male Black-throated Blue Warbler today in Net 7 which is not a common spot for them. Perhaps it is the added Beauty Berry attracting them?

Black-throated Blue Warbler

Things got a bit quiet for a while providing us some time to do some birding around the property. Surprise of the jaunt was an Audubon's Warbler. Typically we only see Myrtle Warblers here but the yellow throat was a sure give-away. Maybe we can catch one of those this season. We have banded what we thought might be hybrids a couple of years ago.


Pete and Kath found a very relaxed Green Tree Frog sitting on a blade of Guinea Grass next to the river.

Green Tree Frog

As a couple of us headed out to the lake, a male Anhinga landed briefly in the maple before flying off to ward the marsh.


Red-winged Blackbirds were all over the marsh and were mainly busy picking at the cattails.

Red-winged Blackbird

Back in the willows a pair of Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers were moving around the branches until the male decided to fly to the opposite side of the lake.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Meanwhile, Downy Woodpeckers were seen and heard up and down the river.

Downy Woodpecker

Coming back from the lake we spotted several Black-and-White Warblers including this juvenile.

Black-and-White Warbler

As we wound down the day we closed nets and had a couple of other birds. Another House Wren made the roster.

House Wren

Besides our first Swianson's Thrush we also finally caught our first Eastern Phoebe of the season. They have been teasing us for the past few weeks.

Eastern Phoebe

A final first of the season was long overdue. We finally had American Robins flying overhead. Typically we get them at the end of October. Next weekend is suppose to cool down and maybe we can net some interesting Wintering species.
Next (planned) Banding Days: Sunday, November 15th.
All nets will be opened by 6:15 A.M.

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