4 Aug 2013, Lake Lotus
Today was the first day of the new season at bird banding with the Wekiva Basin Banding group run by Andrew Boyle. When we are not banding birds, what are we doing? ...
... looking for other beautiful creatures. We saw an awesome caterpillar and some trees were active with a Black-and-white Warbler, Yellow-throated Vireo, Blue-headed Vireo, Yellow-throated Warbler, along with the usual forest birds.
This is a Blue-ringed Dancer damselfly whose habitat is small streams and rivers where there is plenty of herbaceous vegetation. That describes our bird banding area perfectly as the Little Wekiva River runs the length of our banding area and it is thick with vegetation. In the pre-destruction days of Florida a couple hundred years ago, the Little Wekiva River was a substantial river. Now, it is a small stream that empties into its big brother, the Wekiva River.
Fall migration is just getting started. Introduce the awe and wonderment of migration to your child or grandchild. There are many ways to do that. Stop by our banding station during the next couple months (pre-arrange that with us). The east coast will have falcons migrating starting in late September. The Florida Keys Hawkwatch is one of the best places in the world to witness the awe of migration. Last year, we set two world records for number of Peregrine Falcons passing our watch. If interested in learning more, contact me.
3 Aug 2013, Lake Apopka
This Viceroy is one of the easier butterflies to photograph. Some species are next to impossible to capture an image of as the dart around and never seem to stop and rest.
Is that a "proud parent" smirk on this adult Black-bellied Whistling-Duck? It is interesting how the chicks have the striped face and other plumage that is nothing like their plumage as an adult.
1 Aug 2013, Katie's Landing
The Sandhill Crane is a bird of pastures, meadows, grasslands, parks--usually. A pair this day chose a stroll walking along side the banks of the Wekiva River, struttin' and huffin' and puffin' and fluffin' its feathers to look cool knowing its photo was being taken.
Katie's Landing is a launch area for kayaks and canoes, part of the Lower Wekiva River Preserve State Park. I come here to see what river birds there are among the waders and ducks in season. Bald Eagles and Osprey fish the river and it is a good place for Swallow-tailed Kites.