Twenty early morning birders joined me today (10/15) for the TAS bird walk in Bill Baggs Cape Florida SP. There were plenty of birds flitting around and we ended up with a respectable 41 species (43 if we count the in-hand Gray-cheeked Thrush and Swainson's Warbler). We tallied 12 warbler species, including a Chestnut-sided spotted by Raul. In addition to warblers, we had Painted Buntings, White-eyed and Red-eyed Vireos, White-crowned Pigeons, increasing Gray Catbirds and an amazing raptor show. Merlins and Peregrine Falcons were around all morning and the accipiters started thermalling at 10:30 AM.
As we observed Nature's strategy for storm survival and recovery, we noticed that Golden Silk Orb-Weaver Spiders (commonly called Banana Spiders) had moved their webs lower. We discussed the tensile strength of these spider webs, where a single thread of anchor silk exceeds steel by a factor of 8. We witnessed this phenomenon first hand when an Ovenbird got caught in a web. A group effort rescued the bird, which seemed no worse for wear.
Many thanks to Cape Florida Banding Station for sharing birds and information with us. Also, thank you to the Cape Florida rangers and managers for their encouragement. Best of all, thank you to the walk participants!