Last evening, six dedicated volunteers turned up in Hammock Park to prepare the net lanes for the fall banding season. The park is quite wet and there was a LOT of growth but as my Dad always used to say, “Many hands makes light work”. In about an hour, we had the bushes trimmed and the grass cut back to nestle the nets into place. Now lets hope that this Sunday brings lots of migrants our way:)
After several years of effort and looking at the data gathered during our 7 years of banding in Hammock Park, I came to the conclusion last year that I need to move the station to a more productive location. Over the last year, we looked at several different locations along the Gulf Coast and settled on Caladesi Island State Park as the best location. The habitat is in very good shape, there are a few oak hammocks on the south end of the island and very supportive park staff.
I had hoped to start banding on the island this fall season but had a delay with one of the permits required to change our location. I have the FDEP permit and the Federal permit and hope to have the revised Fish and Wildlife permit by mid-October. If all goes well, we will be able to band our last Sunday in October out on the island. I have included a map of the island with the approximate location of the new banding station (which is in a restricted area).
As you can imagine, there are a lot of additional logistics to this new location but I am hopeful that it will all be worth it with a higher capture rate of birds. I am searching for a local boat captain volunteer who would be willing to transport 6 – 8 volunteers out to the island early Sunday mornings. If anyone can help out or knows someone with a boat in the Clearwater/Dunedin area please let me know.
Thank you all for your continued support of this exciting, avian research project.