Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Getting Back on the Horse

Andrew here. Sorry for the lack of postings. My father passed away unexpectedly Friday, April 22nd. Had to cancel our demo at the Lake Lotus Earth Day and I have been just a little busy.

Observances and memorials are for Friday and Saturday but I plan on getting out for next Sunday. I will need some fresh air and we just might get some late migrants.

Only one month left in our banding season.
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, May 1st.
All nets will be opened by 6:15 A.M.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Cool Morning, Nice Mix

A late cold front pushed through Friday night leaving us with morning temperatures in the upper 50's to begin our day. Only a few more weeks to get some migrants and it was a very pleasant surprise to find a Prothonotary Warbler in a net just after sunrise.


We caught a pair of Northern Cardinals in the same net. Nesting is in full swing!

Northern Cardinal

Also just off the nest is a foraging Carolina Wren.

Carolina Wren

This is probably the last of the House Wrens for the season. They come down in the Fall and stay all through the Winter. Last week they were singing.

House Wren

Not much out on the lake today. Didn't even hear a Common Gallinule. Must be busy. Something did make a quick appearance out near the Window on the Lake. An American Bittern. Seconds after this shot it simply vanished back into the vegetation.

American Bittern

For some reason it has been pretty quiet around Net 21 since we moved it into the Willow and Maples. Just not much feeding down there. However, today we had two birds caught at the same time. First was a male Common Yellowthroat.

Common Yellowthroat

The best surprise was the bird right next to it. An Indigo Bunting! Seems like we manage to catch one around Earth Day which is next Friday.

Indigo Bunting

Nick got to hold and release the Indigo Bunting for its remaining journey to the North.

Indigo Bunting

Great-crested Flycatchers have been back for weeks but they are staying high in the trees so far.

Great-crested Flycatcher

Our final bird of the day was another species we see around Earth Day. A Black-throated Blue Warbler. We will have to wait for next Fall to see anymore of them.

Black-throated Blue Warbler

A rather interesting day until the wind picked up again.
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, April 24th.
All nets will be opened by 6:30 A.M.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Of Migrants and Raptors

(Getting caught up on blog posts that were not possible due to a crashed computer. Forgive us if the photos are out of actual order. Memory is a tricky thing! The species documentation is still correct. -Andrew)

Migration is picking up in both directions on this typical Spring morning. Some birds will be heading North soon like our first bird of the day, a House Wren

House Wren

Our locals like this Carolina Wren are settling in to nest and raise the next generation by the river.

Carolina Wren

More North-bound birds soon followed like Gray Catbirds. Why they even leave Florida is beyond me. They breed as far South as Georgia.

Gray Catbird

We recaptured a familiar Gray Catbird today. Mr. White Chin! This is the third time we have captured it.

Gray Catbird

Our first surprise of the day was a beautiful adult Northern Parula. Fledglings are just now being heard in the trees.

Northern Parula

Second surprise was not too far behind. A Louisiana Waterthrush headed home somewhere to the North and West.

Louisiana Waterthrush

Down the lanes the Thistle is beginning to bloom in earnest.


Dragonflies are coming out in larger numbers, too.


Out over the lake, the resident Osprey searches for breakfast near the fishing pier.


Since we moved Net 21, Richard decided to plant a couple of Wax Myrtles along the river before you reach the lake. Hope they hold on through the rainy season.

Wax Myrtle

Down in the river, the Alligator Gar are staging at the bend to pick off unsuspecting prey.They have also been seen into the marsh after a heavy rain. This one was about 3 feet long.

Alligator Gar

Our next surprise of the day was found closer to the banding table. We caught an adult Sharp-shinned Hawk! The eyes really give it away. Adults have red eyes, juveniles are golden.

Sharp-shinned Hawk

Such an exciting catch! Sharp-shinned Hawks are another Winter visitor and should be gone soon.

Sharp-shinned Hawk

Even more interesting, what is this bug crawling on Andrew's arm? Pretty.


Almost as pretty as the male Northern Cardinal we captured as the morning was winding down.

Northern Cardinal

Across from Net 11 we found a new moth for us. Becky did some sleuthing and discovered it was an Eight-spotted Forester, (Alypia octomaculata).

Eight-spotted Forester

We missed whatever ate all of the last crop of holly berries but the trees are blooming once again already.


We captured one more bird as we were closing nets. An adult male Blue-gray Gnatcatcher. They have been teasing us for most of the Winter/Spring. Nice mono-brow!

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

An excellent mix today and Spring migration is just kicking in.
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, April 10th.
All nets will be opened by 6:30 A.M.