Sunday, December 13, 2015

Wind, Wet, Wildlife

We arrived dark and early, as usual, and found a bit more moisture still around and wind was in the forecast by 10 AM. Still, we managed a few good finds throughout the morning.

Two Northern Cardinals were captured just before dawn. The first was a recapture that we first banded 3 1/2 years ago on the opposite side of the river on Earth Day. Still going strong.

Northern Cardinal

A couple of new juvenile Gray Catbirds were netted, as well.

Gray Catbird

We now hear more House Wrens than we are catching but we will take what we can get.

House Wren

The extra moisture did one fun thing as the Sun rose higher. It settled in all of the Bowl and Doily Spider web and gave them a nice glow.

Bowl and Doily Spider

Once the light was up a bit more we could tell the wind was not too far behind as large clouds quickly scuttled past.


Dotted Smartweed is popping up in camps as we near the mouth of the river.

Dotted Smartweed

Double-crested Cormorants are seen out on the lake or flying in from time to time but they are seldom seen resting on the sand bar.

Double-crested Cormorant

Leaves were still cloaked in water even as the wind began to pick up.


You could hardly tell the breeze was increasing as we took a look at the Window on the Lake where the water was calm for a little longer.

Window on the Lake

A funny thing happens when you stand very still by the lake. Birds begin to fly in right next to you. This Little Blue Heron landed just a few feet from Andrew.

Little-blue Heron

While he was studying the bird he noticed something in one of the nearby branches. A Ladybug!


A Blue-gray Gnatcatcher also flew in while feeding through the Willow branches. It got so close it could even be photographed in focus before flying off.

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Lynn spotted a Limpkin perched in one Willlow over Net 21. The pair were chasing each other all over the priority all morning.


Christine found what we are deciding is a Three-spotted Skipper, also by Net 21. Skippers are increasing in number up and down the river side.

Three-spotted Skipper

An Argiope stayed on patrol in the surrounding vegetation...


...while a Caterpillar searched around a twig.


This bug looks a lot like a Box Elder bug but we have never seen one this bright red. Maybe a related species we have located yet?


Back an the table, we captured a new Hermit Thrush.

Hermit Thrush

Lynn got a better shot of the tan edging on the feather indicating it is a young bird.

Hermit Thrush

We also caught our 2nd Eastern Palm Warbler of the season. Still waiting on the Yellow-rumps.

Eastern Palm Warbler

Finally, a recaptured Carolina Wren was processed and released just before we ended the day.

Carolina Wren

A nice collection of finds all around today. Next week is forecast to be much cooler and a lot of us will be volunteering with various Christmas Bird Counts across the state. Happy birding to all!
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, December 20th.
All nets will be opened by 6:45 A.M.

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