Sunday, July 14, 2013

2013 Jay Watch, Part 2.

Time for Day 2 of my Jay Watch volunteering on a new route. Many of our Lake Lotus banders came out and Susan joined me on this trek on new points through the Lake Monroe Conservation Area. Unlike yesterday, however, not many Florida Scrub Jays were to be found. Some of these areas are not prime habitat but we have to check them all the same just in case.

Like any trip out to the area, though, we had plenty of flowers to grab our attention as we called for the birds. One pretty little yellow flower, a member of the St. John's Wort family, was along the roadside.

St. John's Wort

As always, the Loblolly Bay was putting on a beautiful display all over the place.

Loblolly Bay

We saw a few White-tailed Deer as we wound through the back trails from stop to stop. This female was foraging in the high grass.

White-tailed Deer

Many more insects were around today, including this Skipper...


...and a female Eastern Amberwing.

Eastern Amberwing

One of our stops was near another group's checkpoint. As we approached their stop we could see that they had a few Jays to count. We got out to observe and I managed a photo of one of the birds. A juvenile! Excellent. However, these would be the only Scrub Jays we got to see all morning.

Florida Scrub Jay

One of my last spots was on an open area that had a pond-like depression nearby. After I did my calling I wandered over to see what flowers might be there. I was pleased to find a Rhexia blooming among the green grasses.


Our final stop was a walk into the scrub. Eastern Towhees were calling all around us. I was able to get close to one of the males singing on territory.

Eastern Towhee

Heading back up to trail to meet the truck, I spotted a female Towhee trying to hide in the trees.

Eastern Towhee

Our counting spots exhausted, we returned to the parking area to pack up and head out. All in all, not a bad weekend. Several juvenile birds were seen this year which is a very good sign. Hopefully, other locations had the same results. We shall find out at the meeting later in the year. Then, it will be back out here next Summer for another weekend of science and discovery.

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