We had another soggy start to the day from previous rains. Yet another bridge has been claimed by the river. It was also oddly quiet for the longest time. There was no real dawn's chorus and there were not many birds flying or calling.
Just when we were preparing ourselves for a zero catch day, Maria got a male Hooded Warbler as we neared 9 AM. A nice migrant for us. It seems that Hooded Warblers mainly stick to the coast during Fall migration.
Our guest for the day, Lorri, got to release our little black & yellow beauty.
That was not the only black & yellow creature of the day. A large Argiope is still setting up its web in one of the Air Potato patches by the river.
Becki found a Red-spotted purple, (Limenitis arthemis), along the net lanes. A new butterfly for our checklist.
She also spotted one of the loud Red-shouldered Hawks that were hunting this morning.
Meanwhile, Maria was documenting the mating Air Potato Beetles.
The rains have been mostly on this side of town during the week. We almost decided against setting up Net 21 since the water was so high but we set it anyway. As previously mentioned, we lost one of the bridge palettes but the set nearest the net were still hanging on.
Apple Snail eggs are also hanging on all along the river. These are invasive snails but Limpkins love them.
This Anhinga spent all morning watching us and unlike most other Anhinga it just sat there playing peek-a-boo.
The second half of the morning was a lot more active. The next bird brought to the table was another Louisiana Waterthrush for the season.
It has been a while since we captured a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher but we will take any we can get.
Proving that it was a good thing to open Net 21, Maria came back from checking it all excited. She got our first ever Pileated Woodpecker at Lake Lotus. This is a juvenile male most likely born here on the property.
By the way, banding a Pileated Woodpecker is a two person job.
Maria insisted that she get a photo with catch after we banded him. He returned the favor by flicking a wing tip in her eye as he flew back into the woods.
We finished the end of the day with a few birds as we closed nets. First up was a juvenile Northern Parula. Yet another new addition born in the park.
A great addition to the day was Christine getting a juvenile male American Redstart in Net 14. The best clues for a juvenile male is the pronounced orange armpit patches and this bird had the added clue of some black feathers beginning to come in on the head.
The final bird of the morning was another Northern Parula. This one was an adult male. Males are told by the rusty band across their chest.
When you are finding Northern Parula, you don't often see the patterns on their backs. In the hand you can see all of those cool colors on their heads and back.
Overall, a pretty good day. Slow start but a strong ending. Bird numbers increase through the next month and we can't wait until next Sunday. Especially since we are also starting to watch increasing activity in the Atlantic. Might we be hit by a tropical storm by then? Stay tuned...
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, August 28th.
All nets will be opened by 6:30 A.M.