Groundhogs Day 2014 in Allegany State Park
To all my blogging friends; I Allegany Tom on the 2nd of February 2014, did not see my shadow when I woke up this morning (actually had snow falling and was a whiteout). I predict that spring will come early this year.
Found an Eastern Mole dead in the road today. I forgot how big these guys are. It has been a few years since I can remember seeing one.
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Snow Buntings, Gulls and Ducks
Had a great bird day today. Where I was working, had a huge flock (~25) of Snow Buntings in the grape vines. (CHECK) They would fly in a group to another spot in the grapes and then 10 mins later do it all over again.
My Christmas Bird Count 2010
Patty and I participated in the Saint Bonaventure Christmas Bird Count for the Cattaraugus County Bird Club in section 3 today as we do every year. Since I have moved over to Chautauqua County . . . . I had the opportunity to show my territory to Lisa who is new to the area and looking for a count spot to do. This probably will not be my last CBC with Catt. Co but this will give me the chance to explore other areas with other counters. Having an area that doesn’t include much water . . . I thought we had a great day with 21 species of birds!
Banded Junco in the Administration Building
You never know when something unexpected will happen. I got a phone call this morning saying “A bird is in the building”!! Down the steps I go . . . . . hmm it’s Junco!! Took about 10 minutes and we got the bird in the corner!! I realized holding it that it had a band on its leg . . . . 2400 series!! I think to myself “I did have bands in that series”. Sure enough it was a bird that I banded back on 11th of December 2005. I never would have expected five years and five days later this bird would end up in my hand again. Guess that is why bird banders band birds . . . . get recaptures that tell us that this girl loves the winter in Allegany State Park!
I was shocked when this Red-bellied Woodpecker rolled into the feeders yesterday! Little skittish but still not afraid to take control of those feeds . . . maybe not as bold as the Blue Jays!!
My first Tree Sparrows arrived at the new house just last week and they have already taken hold at the feeders! They are such stunning LBJ’s!!
Bufflehead on Red House Lake
Had some Buffleheads out on Red House Lake today here in Allegany State Park. It is great seeing these cute little duckies visiting the park!!
Butterflies on my Finger
You always need to stay close to nature . . . . have you ever given a try to holding a butterfly on your finger?
The Nature Conservancy
Exciting News: The Nature Conservancy has recently published an article on Critical Linkages: Resolving the Conflict Between Roads and Wildlife. With permission TNC used video footage of the Spotted Salamanders that I have filmed here in Allegany State Park. They also used the above photo in the cover of the Massachusetts Nature Conservancy Newsletter.
Tess at Swat
Just over 100 days old and Tess is already enjoying bird banding! I can’t wait for her to get older and start to explore what nature has to offer her.
Common Merganser mom and babies
Today found a mother Merganser walking her babies down a drainage ditch. Mom quickly flew when I first saw them and babies followed (see following videos from my iPhone)
Happy Mothers Day
Happy Mothers Day Everyone because we all know your job is never done!
Willet at Red House Lake
On Monday (May 3rd) during my daily walk around Red House Lake with Mackenzie (dog) . . . we encountered 17 Willets (CHECK- first of the year) hanging out on the beach. This is my first time every seeing Willets within Allegany State Park.
I had lots of butterflies flying around today. Gray Comma (CHECK), Tiger Swallowtail (CHECK), Juvenal Dusywing (CHECK) . . . . all first of the years today. The Clouded Sulphur, West Virginia White, Eastern Comma and Spring Azure have been seen previously.
Flying on Red House Lake (2007)
I observed a few hundred Tree Swallows flying over Red House Lake today with big snowflakes in the air!! Seeing this behavior reminded of the day in 2007 when I found a dozen birds cuddling together to keep warm. These birds just don’t do well in cold temperatures and my heart was broken after finding a few dozen of them dead in the bird boxes. Lucky this weather isn’t proposed to last for as many days as in the 2007’s storm.
West Virginia White
Saw my first of the year West Virginia Whites (CHECK) flying around today. I just love these guys!
Yellow Violet and Spring Beauty
Spring has been moving faster than I can keep up with. Today had my first of the year Spring Beauty and Yellow Violets.
TV and Robins
I have been seeing Turkey Vultures flying most everywhere this past week. They are such neat birds!! After a dusting of snow last night the Robin’s are flocking to the roads. I just love this time of the year! But make sure you drive slow as to not hit any!
Salamander Movement Tonight
Allegany State Park has had some outstanding temperatures recently and I have been anticipating this night for the past few weeks! The migration of the Spotted Salamander starts each spring when these yellow spotted creatures emerge from the ground and slowly work their way towards their breeding pools.
Butterflies Courtship and Nest Building
Temperatures reached in the 60’s yesterday with my first butterfly of the year “Mourning Cloak” (CHECK), courtship displays from Red-shouldered Hawks, and American Crows gathering nesting material. True signs that spring has finally arrived.
Grebe and Killdeer
I had a great yesterday. Red House Lake showed a few Horned Grebe’s (CHECK) swimming around with the Canada Goose. It was great seeing them along with Buffleheads and Wood ducks. I just love this time of the year!!!
Song Sparrow photo from May 2008
Had my first Song Sparrow for 2010 today (CHECK)! I actually saw many along Red House Lake while walking the dog but only heard one singing near the house this morning.