Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Snow Birds Vacate - Nesting Birds Stay

Well, alot has happened since my last post.  Mom and Dave visited and stayed with us for a few days.  My neice Meaghan graduated from high school! Which was one reason for Mom and Dave's visit.  We had a busy week or so with very little birding opportunities. 

This past weekend, Connie and I headed back to the cabin in Potter County for some chores and, as it turns out, rest.  We planned to hike, ride our motorcycles, paint, get the plumber and the bug guy.  We only got the plumber, one ride and one hike due to rain and pure exhaustion. People who know me will be shocked to learn that I splept until 9 AM on Saturday after working a full day on Friday, driving to the cabin and arriving at 1:45 AM.  I haven't slept until 9 AM since I was 14 years old and had the flu.

As it turns out, we didn't need to go far for the birds.  Here is the list of birds that are right in our yard or close proximity this year:

Warblers - Blackburnian, Black and White, Am. Redstart, Nashville, Hooded, Yellow-rumped, Common Yellow Throat, Yellow Warbler
Other birds - Great Crested and Least Flycatchers, Phoebe, Cedar Waxwings, Indigo Buntings, Tree Swallows, Bluebirds, Hermit Thrush, Wood Thrush, Turkeys, Ruffed Grouse (w/ 8 babies), Towhees, Pileated Woodpeckers, Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers and more.

Wildlife this trip includes plenty of deer and a close up look at a Porcupine.  Those things are much bigger than I thought. They look like Beavers with really pointy fur!  And they can move faster than I thought too but we stayed far enough away to still be able to drink beer without leaking it all over.

I did manage to get so many fly bites on my head and neck that I look like I have Chicken Pox! Gross.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

More Camera Woes

We went to Connie's cabin in Potter County over Memorial Day weekend as we normally do.  I was determined to get you some photos of birds and other wildlife.  That all came crashing to an end - literally - when I slipped on some wet slate at the quarry and broke the camera.  I think it still takes photos but I can't see them on the LCD screen which is smashed.  Ugh.  One more thing to get fixed.

Anyway, you will have to take my word for the wildlife that we saw this trip which included:
  • another up-close look at a Timber Rattlesnake (5-6 feet long) which was trying to cross the dirt road as we zipped past it on our motorcycles.  We turned around and got a really close look at it before it slithered back into the grass. 
  • another close-up look at a Black Bear which was also trying to cross a dirt road.  I was standing next to my motorcycle talking to Di when her eyes got wide and she started saying "Oh, my, God" a few times while looking past me.  And there it was, a big black bear about 30 yards away looking back at us.  My reaction was to get back on the motorcycle and get ready to make a fast get away.  No need to worry though, the bear just turned around calmly and ambled back into the woods.
  • chipmunks galore.  More chipmunks than I have ever seen  before in my life which thoroughly exhausted the dogs. Roxy became acquainted with the pain of the electric fence which the forestry department uses to keep deer away from new plantings!  She ran right into it while chasing one of those Chipmunks. "Yiiiipe, yiiiipe, yiiiipe" as she ran back down the road toward us.  HA.
  • oh, and birds - including Black-throated Blue and Black-throated Green warblers which have been conspicuously missing from our earlier trips at migration spots, both Cuckoos, a Barred Owl hooting ("who cooks for you") in broad daylight, tons of Chestnut-sided warblers, Cedar Waxwings and both Orioles (Baltimore and Orchard).  We were frustrated while birding the forests as we could hear lots of birds but had a hard time seeing them even though the trees were leafless due to . . .
  • tent Caterpillars were everywhere.  To the point that it sounded like it was raining all of the time due to the amount of caterpillar poop falling from the tops of the trees.  The trees looked like winter/early spring with the amount of missing leaves.  It is really worrisome.  I hope that the trees recover.

That's all for now.  I will try to get some photos soon.