Dreams are a funny thing. Sometimes they come true. Andrew had a particular dream the night before which included a few interesting details. One pretty much happened and began with the capture of our very first bird of the day.
A Brown Thrasher flew into Net 3 just after dawn. Moments later, a Barred Owl swooped down toward the net and landed in the branches of the overhanging tree. Volunteers hurried down and the owl flew off as they extracted the Thrasher.
Volunteers headed down the path to check nets and Andrew stood watch as the owl stayed in the area. His dream involved fighting off the owl, physically blocking it from migrating birds. Now it moved from branch to branch staring back and seeming to focus in on noises nearby. It eventually flew back into the woods. Soon, a couple of Gray Catbirds were brought back to the table.
William was checking the area near the marsh for any birds. He had stopped to ID them. One of the birds was a female Painted Bunting munching on grass seeds from new plants that have sprung up since we have dried out.
A couple of minutes later a second female joined in. Too bad the light was in the wrong position.
Another Brown Thrasher flew into Net 3. That net is usually pretty quiet and now we had 2 Thrashers back to back. Odd. The bird was rather squawky as we got it out and we tried to shush it lest it brought the owl back.
Well, that couldn't happen anyway. Why? The Barred Owl was trapped in Net 11 after trying to poach a Catbird. The dream was correct but fate occupied us with one bird so we couldn't deflect the owl down the lane.
We brought her back to the table to show the other volunteers and to make sure she was recorded as a capture before heading her back into the woods across the river.
We were disappointed in our resident owl. Sure, there is a chick to feed but there is plenty of food out there without her needing to poach. Sigh.
Out by the lake at Net 21, Andrew heard several Swamp Sparrows. He pished to get them into view and hoped maybe into the net. No luck so he headed back. By the time other volunteers came down one had indeed flown in.
The weather was very enjoyable today but forecast to get warm quickly. American Alligators took time to bask in the early sunlight.
So did a few turtles.
Bumble Bees and other bees took time visiting flowers of the Primrose Willows near the lake.
Butterflies sipped dew from various ground cover, too.
Net 21 continued to be active. A migrant Common Yellowthroat was waiting for us on the next check.
We were expecting even more migrants today but we will take a new adult male Common Yellowthroat anytime.
Next to the Yellowthroat at the same time was another Swamp Sparrow! They are in their breeding plumage and will soon leave the state.
We recaptured a young Carolina Wren that was first banded last year.
We returned to the marsh late in the morning looking for the female Painted Buntings. They flew off quickly but then we spotted something else in the foliage. It was still in bad light and behind branches but you can tell form the rainbow that it was a male.
Time to close the nets. For some reason, even through the river is very low, one of the American Alligators decided to leave the lake and head upstream. Must have had some reason.
Where the heck are the returning migrants? Hard to tell. NEXRAD suggests that most birds are traveling through Mexico and up the middle of the States right now. Not much using the Eastern corridor at all. Maybe by next weekend.
Earth Day at Lake Lotus is Saturday from 10 AM to 2 PM. we will be giving banding demonstrations in the park for the festival. Stop on by to see us. We will also be doing our usual Sunday back across the river on Sunday. For more information about the Earth Day festival, go to: this link
Next (planned) Banding Day: Saturday, April 22nd and Sunday, April 23rd.
All nets will be opened by 6:30 A.M.