Sunday, August 13, 2017

Migrants Moving In

We had a very dry week and we were hoping to have no troubles getting to Net 21 at the end of the lanes which were flooded last week. Then, Saturday afternoon gifted us with rains that lasted until around 10 PM. Hopes dimmed. No way we could get out there this week, right? Well, it was flooded, but we could skip over the small pass with a strong jump. Most of us with longer legs, anyway.


Andrew had brought in palettes in preparations for last week so he placed them in the muddy lane leading to the net, replacing one that was rotting away. Migrants were being heard all along the river so we didn't want to miss a chance to catch some at the end of the lanes. Turned out to be a good decision.


Our first bird of the day was actually the last we banded last weekend. A juvenile Carolina Wren was in Net 2, behind the banding table.

Carolina Wren

The next trip to Net 21 yielded a large feeding flock of migrant. At one point we had 5 Prothonotary Warblers in view at one time which is rare. This birds are usually seen one at a time. Also out with them were Yellow-thoated, Yellow, Black and White, Prairie, and the Prothonotary Warblers, Northern Parula, Red-eyed Vireo, woodpeckers, Titmice, Cardinals...all sorts of birds moving through.

While watching them, we captured one of the Prothonotary Warblers.

Prothonotary Warbler

The next bird that came in was another juvenile Carolina Wren near the table area.

Carolina Wren

Though the day was a bit sultry, it was fairly cool under the oaks. It is always a pretty morning out in the woods.

Sun Rays

Right next to where that shot was taken Christine noticed an Argiope with prey.


For the first time ever, we captured a second Prothonotary Warbler in one day. They were all over by the lake today.

Prothonotary Warbler

Back at Net 21 a Black and White Warbler was feeding all over the trees but never went into the net just feet away. Still fun to watch as it moves along the trees.

Black and White Warbler

Still grateful for all of our clearing friends, the Air Potato Beetle. Lets us move through the days knowing they can clear the plants better than us as they gnaw through those invasive vines. Saves us so much time and energy.

Air Potato Beetle

While we were closing up for the morning, we found a Northern Parula in Net 21. That makes that net the main net of the day! Use to be it always was but last year it fell short. Fingers crossed that it returns to our most productive spot as it had been until last year. Just need to keep it above the water line.

Northern Parula

We did hear an Ovenbird today and this is the time we usually start to get them, along with Waterthrushes. Let the fun begin!!!
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, August 20th.
All nets will be opened by 6:30 A.M.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Session 10 Begins

It is hard to believe that the end of this Session will mark 10 years of banding at Lake Lotus. Today was the first day of the new Session and the birds captured are typical of this time of year. All local Carolina Wrens, just like the first week of last year. However, migrants are on the way already and we should begin to get some of them as soon as next week.

Inches of rain fell in the month of July but, fortunately, we only lost one palette to the flooding. Two more were brought in to replace that one and one that is falling apart. Sadly, more rain from last week flooded the end of the trail again so we could not make it out there today. The good news is that when we came out to clean up before this weekend we found that those previous floods actually cleared out the vegetation that can take a day to clear.

Little Wekiva

As for birds, the only game in town today were Carolina Wrens. All of the juveniles are out and about but still feeding with the adults. The first bird was disgraced with a poor cell phone shot since the SD card was out of the regular camera. Still, it was the first bird of the year, so...

Carolina Wren

The next bird was an adult but the last was another juvenile heavily molting into the adult stage and was more interesting. Feathers were found in Net 11 and probably was a Northern Cardinal but we did not get to band it.

Carolina Wren

There was a feeding flock seen during the morning that was full of interesting birds. Too bad that they were 30 feet up in the pines and oaks. Among them were migrants like Yellow-throated Vireos, Black and White Warblers, Yellow Warbler, Yellow-throated Warbler, Prairie Warbler, and locals like a lot of Blue-gray Gnatcatchers and Tufted Titmice.

Our archives show that we typically begin to capture migrants in mid-August so we are hopeful. All poles are secured and anchor lines are in place, with new clothes pins marking each position. Time to record some data!
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, August 13th.
All nets will be opened by 6:25 A.M.