Don and a Fluff Ball
Saturday evening a fellow bird bander Don Watt and his family joined me for some Saw-whet Owl banding here in Allegany State Park. He is interested in starting his own owl banding station and joined me to get a better idea on how I am catching these tiny owls. I was happy to capture a Northern Saw-whet Owl for them just before they headed home (High Five!). (more…)
Last night (9th October) was another successful evening with my Northern Saw-whet Owl Banding Project here in Allegany State Park. I opened the nets just after dusk and then headed out for my first net check at 8pm. I had hoped for some owls but was more dazzled by the number of lighting bug (or firefly) larva that I found moving along the ground. (more…)
Every day is feeling more like fall with a few leaves changing color and goldenrods becoming bright yellow. I only had two (maybe three) hummingbirds visiting my hummingbird feeder this morning and couldn’t find any Chimney Swifts this evening (assuming they are all gone now). During the daylight hours there was a migrant Phoebe wondering around the yard. I can’t even tell you the last time I saw an Eastern Phoebe in my neighborhood. As much as I hate to admit it . . . . fall is here and migrants are moving south in full force. (more…)
This morning our SWAT MAPS banding station was scheduled for banding. I woke up with light rain but the weather man said that it wouldn’t rain until 11am. So, onward to the banding station and luckily it did stopped. . . . I decided to open the nets and give some banding a try. An hour into the banding session it started to rain again (uggg). I had just started doing a net check, so I decided to just close all the nets up. Birds were singing up a storm, we had captured a family of Redstarts, a Yellow Warbler, two male Magnolia Warblers and a Gray Catbird. The rain continued for about 45 minutes while I processed the captured birds and I then finally decided to cancel the session (just before the rain stopped). Do I open the nets again or do I keep them closed till Sunday?? Decisions, decisions!!! I figured the nets were close already; I would just reschedule the banding until next Sunday. I then went home to crawled back into bed!! I had woken up to the sun shining in my window and singing birds outside the window!! Ok, the sun was only out for a few seconds but I just knew at that point that I made the wrong decision in closing early! I hope that my make-up day is full of good birdies! (BTW: The time of this post would be when I would be closing up my nets.)
So . . . . Happy 4th of July! Now off to a Chicken Barbeque!!
click on the maps to see them enlarge or see the animation.
I was reviewing the Weather Underground website to see what this weekend’s weather was looking like. I then noticed that the NEXRAD images for Western New York showed a large movement of birds moving through the area. Watch the font map (below-right) at the point at 9:30 when bazillion of birds suddenly appear on the map (green)! Now that you know Tom’s Forcast, wake up early (before going to work) and spend some time Birding! If you are not sure how to read these maps, please visit my post “how to observe migration at night” and I hope that this post will answer any question you might have regarding Radar Ornithology.
It seems like I am never able to get to bed early because of both my nature blog and flickr. Writing was not one of my best subjects in school and it can take me a while to write something up. I take all my pictures in the RAW format, so editing the pictures can take some time. Then there are so many wonderful photostreams and nature blogs that I visit every night. Not including trying to keep up with emails, ect.. I always find myself going to bed much later than I should and have a hard time waking up each morning. Not this morning!! I went to bed early after watching the 11pm news that the morning was going to be beautiful (cold but beautiful) and just knew I needed to do some sunrise birding.
Around noon yesterday there were numerous Severe Thunderstorm warnings issued by the National Weather Service! Once I got the report; I jumped right onto NEXRAD radar to see what was going on. There were numerous green, yellow and red images moving directly towards Allegany State Park. We started to prepare to notify everyone what was about to hit.
We witnessed rain like I have never seen before! With the ground over saturated, water started to puddle up everywhere!! A fellow worker called me over to her window to show me how the rain was moving sideways. I was just amazed at how the wind was pushing the puddles on the roads like waves on the beach. In just over an hour the rain had stopped with sunny and clear sky. I knew at this point this was truly a goofy day. The sun didn’t last long before the rain started up again but this time it didn’t come down as hard. Streams were rising quickly and we are all concerned that there could be some flooding.
About 3pm the lights started flickering and then you guess it, everything became dark. Things started to became hectic, phones ringing, people talking, ect..!! Didn’t take long before we realized that the power outage stretched further than just the park! Preliminary talk by police was that National Grid is expecting to get everything going again by 8pm (ya right). I needed to reschedule my haircut appointment and then decided to join my parents (who also didn’t have power) for a fish fry at my uncle’s restaurant (who did have power). I truly enjoyed seeing everyone and we had a wonderful meal. But we had no clue what to expect once we got home.
I saw my boss at the police office and decided to stop in to see what was going on. I learned that they had just got the emergency generator hooked up to the Administration Building and that there was a fire going in the fire place. The earliest the power will be turned back on is around 5am in the morning. I quickly went back home and spent a little time with the kitties. I figured that I would grab my laptop and return to the Administration Building to pass the time with power.
Back at the Administration Building there were a few families there who were also trying to get out of the darkness and stay warm. Last October they had experienced the week long power outage up in Buffalo. I pulled the TV out for the kids and we all watched the “Christmas Vacation” movie!! A few employees and myself had some wonderful conversations about what we had experienced throughout the day. I really enjoyed myself and glad that I decided to spend my evening with everyone (and with electricity). I was unable to connect to the internet (to update the blog) due to my phone service being out. So, I decided to head to bed early for once.
I noticed that my furnace started working again around 5:30 in the morning. I woke up with snow on the ground and found temps inside got as low as 48 degrees F. My phone service still isn’t working but now that the state of emergency and the driving ban has been lifted; I plan on going into town to find some phone service to upload this blog.
Update: I called windstream and they told me that someone will check my house by 5pm Monday evening (maybe sooner). I am not sure when I will be able to update the blog again (yes still have dial up).