It was a nice day to be out on our final morning of Session 8. As expected, we only captured local birds. Completely typical this time of year and why we stop for June and July. The first Carolina Wren of the day escaped before getting into a bag but we got a second soon afterwards. A juvenile.
Next up was a new female Northern Cardinal. Where are all of these new birds coming from?
Things are a bit drier around as Tropical Storm Bonnie cruised up to South Carolina and pulled most other moisture away from us. Still, it was plenty wet out by the lake and prevented us from reaching the shore. Not much out on the lake, anyway.
Cicadas started calling early and though the mosquitoes were not too bad, there were plenty of dragonflies around to hunt them.
Many dry runs later Richard and Christine did catch something. A Leopard Frog. We have now caught two in the past two weeks. No, we can't band them...
As we were taking nets down for the Summer break, a male Northern Cardinal flew into Net 17. We first banded this bird just a few months ago. Sorry for the poor shots as we left the point and shoot at home. Doh!
On the way home, Andrew stopped over to the ranger's office to remind them we were done for a while. Frank mentioned a new visitor to the office. A Ruby-throated Hummingbird has set up a nest right outside their window.
She returned as they watched the nest with a bit of fluff to rest the eggs in a nice pillow. Hummingbird nests are primarily constructed of lichen and spider web and other fluffy, soft material.
Frank and Andrew retreated to the office for a while to give her space to get back to work and she finally returned to sit in the cup. This shot is from within the office.
They snuck outside to get a different angle but the light wasn't that great. It is still great to find this tiny bird on her tiny nest and young birds should be appearing in a couple of weeks.
The Moon followed us home. It was an interesting Session 8. Time to take final data and send it to the lab and compare this year's catches to all of the previous ones.
We will be back from time to time to do maintenance and then prepare for Session 9 on the first Sunday of August. This was a very wet Session from beginning to end. What will next year bring? Can't wait to find out.
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, August 14th.
All nets will be opened by 6:21 A.M.