Below is the list of birds that I observed at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge last weekend. I ended up with 70 different species, 23 first of the year (FOY) birds and 7 Lifers.
I decided to split up my 2007 Nature Checklist into 5 different categories; Butterflies & Skippers, Amphibians, Reptiles, Mammals and Birds! Mammals (28) are the next family in my series of species that I have kept track of within Western New York State.
Instead of heading home early from work today to take a nap (like I wanted to do) . . . . I just kept busy spending the day with Adele looking butterflies and dragonflies that are still flying around. We only located 3 Monarch butterflies, 2 Darner species and a dozen or so Familiar Bluets over in Quaker Lake. I have closed the Owl Nets this evening due to a storm pushing through the area just after dusk (which gives me a rest day). . . . so here are a few random pictures I have taken that I wanted to share. (more…)
This weekend I attended the New York State Ornithological Association Annual Meeting in Batavia, New York. This meeting was hosted by the Buffalo Ornithological Society and I would like to say “thanks” for doing such an astonishing job organizing everything. You guessed it . . . . I had a LIFER this weekend!! (more…)
So many photos of our amazing banding day at Braddock Bay Bird Observatory . . . . I just had to split the pictures into 3 different post!! The first post is about warblers. I figured that I would look up “Warbler” in Wikipedia and they state “They are mostly brownish or dull greenish in color, of small size, easier seen than heard, and harder to determine to species. To Old World birders, “warblers” are the the archetypal “LBJ” (“little brown job”).” Must have been a non birder who wrote that . . . . warblers are easy to identify when looking at all their fieldmarks!!! (more…)
During the kids fishing derby this weekend the DEC staff biologist were on site to hand-out educational information on fishing, etc. . . . they had also captured a few fish to placed into a fish tank for everyone to view up close! But, what was most amazing is that when they were capturing the minnows and fish . . . . they came across a mudpuppy along the waters edge. He stated that they witnessed this mudpuppy entangled with a little Water Snake. And it was the mudpuppy that had the upper end of the snake battle!! I call that “salamander power” and would have LOVED to see that battle!! (more…)
Yesterday the Recreation Department hosted their first fishing derby here in Allegany State Park. This derby was for kids aged 15 and under with over 150 children who registered to participate in this event. I was asked to help with the fishing tournament at one of the check in stations to report their captures (then release their fish due to this being a catch and release event). (more…)
Song Sparrow (most captured species)
I have finally gone through all of my 2007 SWAT MAPS (Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship) raw data this week. It has been hard trying to focus on this report with “other” new higher speed internet distractions that I have been having recently. Regarding the SWAT report: we had 6 banding sessions and able to capture a total of 164 different individuals with 34 same year recaptures. We used 8 (12 meter) polyester mist-nets and banded for 6 hours after the official sunrise time. That gave us a total of 198 captures for the station and we were very happy with the excellent year that we had. Even with the need to close the station early due to the Long-tailed Weasel that terrorizing us. We are not sure what we will do with next season (regarding the weasel) but we have all winter to figure something out. (more…)
If you don’t see me online for the next few days. . . . I will be going bug eyed entering many numbers and letters into two different databases! This is the part of bird banding that isn’t as much fun as being with the birds. I will try to take some breaks to see what everyone is up to this week!
A very light colored juvenile Downy Woodpecker
We had a wonderful day banding birds over at the SWAT MAPS (Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship) banding station today. We had a family visit who has been camping here in the park for a very long time, two couples from buffalo make it down, Young Naturalist C (who was the Banding Assistant for the day) and her sister Young Naturalist E visit the banding station. But, you ask, “who was the unwanted visitor??”!! I will get to it . . . . I promise!! (more…)
The female Long Dash was quickly flapping her wings and attracting the male.
Today I spent the day catching up on things I have been neglecting for a while!! Some of these things included sleep, things around the house, spending time with the cats and some time with the family. It was too nice of a day not to enjoy the outside, so I took a quick walk down into the Wolf Run area of Allegany State Park to search for Butterflies (which I have also been neglecting). (more…)
Twelve-spotted Skimmer and group
Today was the Western New York training session for the New York Dragonfly and Damselfly Survey which has been organized by the NYS Natural Heritage Program. Funds for this project have come from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services State Wildlife Grants Program which is administered by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. This year’s training session was held at the Roger Tory Peterson Institute and is the same location where the training was held two years ago. (more…)
I finally had the opportunity to edit a few of my birding photos from my 110 species bird-a-thon that I participated in last Thursday. I located 19 first for 2007’s (CHECK) and many of which I thought might have been too late in the spring to find. My total count for 2007 is up to 179 species for the year and it is still possible to get many more species throughout the summer. Mike, you will have a hard time trying to catch up with me!! Although this is the point where I really need to start working hard for any specific species that I need to find. So finding these 19 first for the year had really made me happy! They include the: (more…)
Temperature ranged from 45.0 – 61.5 degree’s F and the weather would quickly change from cloudy, to sunny, and rain would go from drizzle to downpour. This was one of the worse days for take pictures and I was only able captured a few decent photos. You might ask “so, why was this the best day ever??”
Team T-BIRD (Tim Baird and myself) helped celebrate Jamestown Audubon Society’s 50th anniversary by participating in their Bird-A-Thon. This is our teams first year in chasing the birdies and we decided to visit the Allegany State Park/Allegheny River area. We located 26 species of warblers (not including the Brewster’s Warbler we located), 5 species of vireos and 6 species of thrush. Ok, I will stop teasing you . . . . (more…)
Last Saturday (12 May 2007) on International Migratory Bird Day the Cattaraugus County Bird Club attended our annual trip to Presque Isle State Park in Erie Pennsylvania. Although the temperatures were very chilly, we had a wonderful day with 72 species of birds!! We found 13 species of warblers and I was able to add 11 species as first for 2007’s!! (more…)
This weekend Young Naturalist J and myself had a spontaneous trip to Braddock Bay Bird Observatory to practice taking birds out of mist-nets. It is always great way to see how other bird-banders run their banding station and to make some new contacts. Sunday evening I headed over to their house to get ready for our adventure and within a very short period of time (in their bird feeders) we located three first for 2007’s for me. The first was a Ruby-throated Hummingbird (CHECK) at their hummingbird feeder, then the Orchard Oriole (CHECK) showed up at the grape jelly (I was very excited with this bird) and then just before dusk we had an Indigo Bunting (CHECK) show up at the platform feeder! It was so much fun watching these amazing little birds and all while eating ice-cream at their kitchen table. Monday, I tried getting a video of the Orchard Oriole but was only able capture this clip of the Baltimore Oriole feeding on some Grape Jelly. Isn’t it nice to have these great birds around again?? (more…)
Dragonfly Eye gave me a call yesterday and asked if I wanted to join him in search of the Boghaunter. If you are not familiar of the Boghaunter (I wasn’t), it is a rare Dragonfly that is frequently found in areas associated with bogs. Jeremy informed me that none of the Boghaunter species have ever been found at Allenburg Bog (Cattaraugus County, NY) area. He wanted to visit the bog to see if we could find any of them flying yet. Of course I am always up for an adventure and couldn’t resist in also taking the time to look for newly arrived warblers! (more…)
As anticipated, today was a wonderful “new” species day with 5 first for 2007s and a Cabbage White (CHECK) butterfly. The second that I walked outside (to head to work) I heard two Red-eyed Vireos signing (CHECK) in the trees across the street. I didn’t want to go to work but knew in 8 more hours that I would be enjoying the birdies again.
Northern Parula way up in the pines. (more…)
It is great finding Trilliums again!
Migrants are starting to move through the area! Yesterday evening I heard and saw my first Yellow-rumped Warbler (CHECK) for 2007. When I had first heard the butter butt, I had thought it could have been a Yellow-throated Warbler since they do have a some what similar song!! It appears the YTWA’s have not made it back yet and will be my next quest in locating!! I was happy to have followed many Pine Warblers around yesterday (although they wouldn’t let me photograph them so high up along the tree tops). So many places to go, so many bird sounds around me and yesterday I found myself taking my truck to the shop for some work! Uggg! (more…)
Today I participated in the Buffalo Ornithological Society (BOS) Count were I cover the lower half of section 24 (Allegany State Park – go figure). The BOS conducts three annual bird counts during the months of April, May, and October. The count dates are targeted to periods of significant bird migration and have been ongoing since 1935. Normally I locate around 50 species during the April count but rarely have to deal with a nor easter storm that just arrived. We woke up to snow on the ground and quickly the weather turned into mixed rain/snow. By noon it was entirely rain coming down and it wasn’t an easy day to be out birding. I worked hard and only able to come up with 40 species (see list below). Adding birds that I did see yesterday (and not today) I could have easily been over 50 but blame the low numbers due to this storm. Typically the April BOS count gives me an opportunity to locate Blue-headed Vireo, Barn Swallow, Louisiana Waterthrush, Broadwing Hawk, and 3-4 species of Butterflies (not this year). I did have some species of waterfowl that normally have moved through the area already. (more…)
Wild Turkey wondering through the snow!
Today was a wonderful day with 43 species and a ton of photos. I decided to spit the post up between waterfowl (part 1) and non waterfowl (part 2). I started my day over at Red House Lake and one of the first birds I saw were 2 Eastern Meadowlarks (CHECK, first for 2007)!! I jumped out of my truck and took a long series of photos of these two first of the year birds (for the blog). Then I got a little too close and they flew away!! Going to review my pictures, I realized that I didn’t have a memory card in my camera!! Ugg – no pictures of Meadowlarks today!! I then headed to the woods in search of a Goshawk territory that I know about. Didn’t get dive bombed but did quickly observe the Goshawk passing overhead (CHECK, first for 2007)!! While searching for the Goshawk, I also come across an American Woodcock, Turkey Vulture and a Common Raven. This Wild Turkey (in picture above) greeted me once I returned back to my truck! (more…)
Common Merganser Pair
Today was a wonderful day with 43 species and a ton of photos. I decided to spit the post up between waterfowl (part 1) and non waterfowl (part 2).
Red House Lake had a good majority of the species today. The 4 Common Loons, 4 Scaup species, 2 Red-breasted Merganser and a Northern Shoveler were the highlighted birds. I also saw the more common waterfowl like 3 Bufflehead, 6 Common Merganser, 4 Pied-billed Grebe, Mallard and Canada Goose swimming around. (more…)
The snow is finally starting to melt with temperatures in the 40’s today. This evening I decided to head over to the Quaker side of Allegany State Park to do a little birding. Despite the rain that started falling, I saw some wonderful birds. Ospreys were fishing with only one dive attempt which came up empty. There were numerous loons and mergansers that I was able to see swimming around. I enjoyed finding a Double Crested Cormorant near the overspill, but wait . . . what is that flying?? Bonaparte’s Gull, CHECK first for the year!! Not one but three or four could be seen flying around the lake. This is the only time of the year which we can locate these gulls flying through this area and I was starting to worry that I would miss seeing them this year due to this crazy weather. All these gulls were adults in their alternate (breeding) plumage, like we typically find them in this area. I hope they stick around for my count that I am doing on Sunday.
Other ducks observed included Ring-necked Ducks, Horned Grebes and Buffleheads. I decided to drive over to where my bluebird boxes were located and thought I had seen a Kestrel up in the tree. I turned the truck around (so I can see better due to the rain and check out the Osprey Nest). I slowly made it back to the falcon and something wasn’t right?? Kestrels don’t have banded tails like that?? the color pattern isn’t right?? Could this bird be it a Merlin?? I pulled the field guide out! Sure enough, Merlin, CHECK first for the year!! This poor bird wasn’t enjoying the rain and very skittish. I tried to move my truck a little closer for a better photo and away it went. Not bad for a rainy day, at least it wasn’t snowing (whoops, it was snowing in the higher elevations).
There is no surprise that the North East has been blasted with a cold front and the storm has rudely moved through the area dropping over a foot of snow. Last Thursday I found myself here in Allegany State Park driving the roads looking for birds that are not well equipped for our kind of winters.