It was a foggy start before dawn and took a while to clear. However, that was helped along due to higher and higher winds. So the day was fairly quiet but typical for this time of year. Our first bird of the day was a new Hermit Thrush.
Gray Catbirds are being a bit quiet lately but we are still catching them.
We are having to keep a close eye on one of our resident Barred Owls who is trying to take advantage of our work. It is looking a little shabby and trying to grab easy snacks.
It was prowling around the river and then up in the branches before moving on. Stay outta our nets!
A new fence has gone up across the river. This replaced the older one which was being eroded away after Matthew and other flooding events.
We banded this Northern Cardinal three years ago. Oddly, it still have some black on its bill. Should be solid orange by now.
There were not a lot of Kinglets calling today but we managed to get one female Ruby-crowned Kinglet as the winds increased.
The Earth Smoke blooms are just beginning. It won't be long until the area is carpeted with them.
Andrew stopped by his favorite little pond looking for ducks but was more surprised to find a pair of Sandhill Cranes grazing by the water.
The main target, however, is always the Hooded Mergansers. There were several there and many photos were taken. The light was cooperative for once. The males didn't get as spooked, either.
A pair of female Hooded Mergansers were even more in a posing mood. Andrew will post a lot more photos soon on his blog and share a link.
We will be taking a couple weeks of to enjoy the season with family and friends. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!
Before we go, our friends a the upcoming Birdapalooza Fest requested we post a message about the event where we will be presenting a banding demo for the 5th year.
Lake Apopka Wildlife Festival and Birdapalooza, January 21, 2017
On Saturday January 21, 2017 join Orange County and partners at the 5th annual FREE family-oriented Lake Apopka Wildlife Festival and Birdapalooza at Orange County’s Magnolia Park, 2929 S Binion Rd, Apopka, FL 32703. Enjoy guided bus tours (limited first-come seating), and guided walking and biking nature tours for children and adults on the Lake Apopka Loop Trail. For the entire family there are live animal demonstrations, bird banding, tree giveaways, music, airboat rides (for a fee), owl pellet dissections, entertainment by IBEX Puppetry, bounce houses, face painting, exhibitors, nature-oriented merchandise vendors and food trucks. Schedule is at http://www.birdapalooza.com and updates are on FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/Birdapalooza/. In addition to this free festival, Orange Audubon Society offers birding and photo trips and keynote speakers on Friday and Sunday. See www.orangeaudubonfl.org/birdapalooza for details. If any questions, call 407-637-2525.
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, January 15th.
All nets will be opened by 6:50 A.M.