Posts Tagged ‘banding birds’

Saturday, November 18, 2023

Northern Lights, fishing loons, and a lone muskrat

Northern Lights over Indian Lake

Here we are in the third week of November and there is no snow on the ground. The temperatures dipped low the last couple nights (18 [degrees] the first night, Nov. 12, and 12 [degrees] on Nov. 13) which put a skim of ice on the pond. There is a lone muskrat in the pond. [It] will be looking for a “get out of pond” card soon as there is no vegetation left for it to eat, as I pulled it all out. On the night of Nov. 6, there was a great show of the Northern Lights. Some folks in Indian Lake got a great photo which some friends sent [to] me.

Locally, some folks saw it [Northern Lights] over Seventh Lake, but no photos [were] taken (that I’ve seen.) Looking at the forecast [on] Saturday night [Nov. 11,] there was another show expected and my grandson. Nathan, and I were prepared to get out and get some shots. [Unfortunately,] that didn’t happen as the clouds never parted. It was [expected] to peak just after dark, but the clouds stayed overhead right through the night.

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Saturday, May 27, 2023

Final days banding birds at the Crown Point Banding Station, approx. 750 birds banded

Gordon Howard banding a bird with the watchful eyes of children

The Crown Point Banding Station closed its doors on Saturday, May 20, with a good crew taking down tents, canopies, [a] weather station, and nets in short order by 11 a.m. The rain that was predicted went around us and the strong winds also didn’t come while we were picking up. Tom Barber had the nets up (and a few birds already bagged) when I got up at 5:30 a.m. He had picked six June bugs from the nets while putting them up and I found just one in the nets I put up. As I came out of the tent he said, “The Gray Catbirds are biting this morning and that was the first bird, I picked out of the main net lane.” He said, “I got a new bird for the year, a Brown-Headed Cowbird out of the North net.”

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Saturday, May 20, 2023

Crown Point Banding Station: New birds, beautiful sunrises, and cuckoo flowers

Canada Warbler

Here I am again at the Ticonderoga Library, getting a break from the Crown Point Banding Station after catching some nice birds this morning [May 16.]  [We will be] looking out for some thunderstorms this afternoon, which should knock down some birds that have been flying right over us for a couple days. We caught some new birds (for this year) to band this morning, [including] Tree Swallow, Canada Warbler, and a Brown Thrasher just before I left (which is the bird on the cover of the bird list for the Crown Point Historic Site.)

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Saturday, May 13, 2023

A Favorite Pastime: Banding birds at the Crown Point Banding Station

White blooming hepatica.

[I’m] writing this from the Ticonderoga Library…a real nice library [that is] open Tuesday through Saturday. I’m at the Crown Point Banding Station for a couple weeks trying to catch migrating birds coming from the south to their homes in the north (and some right at and around the station itself.) We’ve had lots of visitors in the four days we have been open…both people and birds. We thought we might have missed the migrants with all the warm weather we had earlier in the year, but not so.

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Saturday, May 6, 2023

ADK Spring: Wildflowers, rain showers & migrating birds

Virginia bluebells

[Locally, the weather] has been April showers that bring May flowers, and it also lessened the fire danger by keeping the leaf litter wet. The outdoor burning ban is still on until May 14. If we get some more warm days, the trees should be pushing out their leaves and flowers. Several wildflowers have popped out from the leaf cover and showed us their beauty. Yellow coltsfoot lines the roadsides in many places and the flowers face the sun as it goes from east to west. It looks like a dandelion flower, but it has little leaves on the stem of the flowers. Wild oats is a single yellow hanging bell, [and] the trout lily is out everywhere with its yellow flower and speckled green and brown leaves.

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Saturday, April 15, 2023

Spying crocuses, banding birds & enjoying Spring weather

Crocus

Our weather has been rather pleasant with nice days up into the forties and fifties, and then cooling down [at] night into the teens. The folks to the north of us got a bad ice storm, knocking out power in many parts of Canada. We had some thunderstorms roll through here on Wednesday [April 5] with some hail, but nothing like the quarter-size hail they got up in Martinsburg by Lowville. I had taken my truck down to Utica for repairs, and they gave me a brand-new [Toyota] RAV4 to take home that day.

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Saturday, April 1, 2023

“Winter” Recap: Banding more than 300 Evening Grosbeaks

 Fisher

We are having the tail end of the winter that didn’t happen here anyway. The folks out in the mountains of California and Nevada are looking at over 16 feet of snow in many places, with more coming this week with another atmospheric river coming ashore. Their reservoirs should be more than full when all this melts. Down south in Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia fifteen tornadoes ripped through parts of these states, killing 26 and leaving hundreds homeless.

Rescuers continue to search for loved ones of residents of a Mississippi town destroyed by a tornado that was on the ground for over ninety miles. In Rolling Fork, a delta town of 2,000, hardly anyone escaped the storm without losing someone they knew or loved. More storms are going through that same area later this week, with more tornadoes and heavy rain forecast all the way to the east coast.

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Saturday, December 3, 2022

Full Pine Marten traps, enduring Evening Grosbeak nip

The tracking snow is mostly gone after the all-night rain and the water is running in my little brook. I did get the blower out for the second storm and shortly after I jumped on to my skis and went around the loop out back just because I could. The Forest Rangers had a couple difficult rescues in Lewis County, working in more than four feet of snow. Working with the local snow groomer breaking trail, they completed both rescues. I saw a new rig that I hadn’t seen before, a truck on snow tracks which might come in handy in other situations in snow country. Some other hikers got off the trails in the High Peaks in the snowstorm and they were luckily found [in good health] not far from the trails. Hikers and hunters should check the weather before going out and maybe wait for a better day, rather than risking their lives and the lives of the rescuers.

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Saturday, November 26, 2022

Witnessing more than 50 birds battling for seeds in freshly fallen snow

The birds were battling for the seeds this morning [November 21] as the snow fell so intensely. There were over fifty Evening Grosbeaks fighting for space on the platform, and in the mix were two Red Wing Blackbirds who missed the flight south. They have been here for about a week now and they can hold their own with the Grosbeaks. The five or six Blue Jays are a little weary of all the Grosbeaks, and they wait their turn to get a mouth full of seeds. They must have a big stockpile of seeds somewhere, as they have been hauling them away all fall. There might be a forest full of sunflowers come spring, if any of them start to grow. They probably wouldn’t last very long, as the deer like those little plants.

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Saturday, November 19, 2022

Photographing Election Day eclipse, banding over 100 American Goldfinches

Clocks are all set back an hour, so that sunset comes earlier now. If you are out and about it is always good to have a headlamp or flashlight in your pack, and not rely on using your cell phone light to get out of the woods. So many this summer have been stuck on a trail somewhere because they ran out of light. Plan your hike or hunt, so that you can get out of the woods before dark. The eclipse of the moon on Election Day morning was very nice. I saw it start to cover the moon a little after 3 a.m., and by 4 a.m. the moon had a pretty orange glow. I went down to Fourth Lake to take photos, as it was too low in the sky to get them at Eight Acre Wood. The wind was a little nasty coming off the lake, so I stood behind the car door to take the photos through the big pines at the Inlet beach (as the state boat launch is still closed off.)

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Saturday, November 12, 2022

Banding a Sharp Shinned Hawk unscathed, growing chestnut trees to help fight off blight

The weather remains more like September than November as temperatures have gotten up in the sixties several days now. We’ve had some hard frosts which has done in most of the greenery in the woods except some of the ferns that remain green all winter even under the snow. The deer have been working on the fern curls already since there is a lack of a mass crop of nuts of any kind. I saw where they were working on the black cherries that dropped from the trees just like eating nuts, but I don’t think the nutrient- or fat making-value is the same in the cherries as in the beech or acorn nuts.

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Saturday, November 5, 2022

Taking a snack break as they fly south: Observing over 100 birds at feeders

Here it is the end of the month and there is still no snow on the ground, just a few flurries a couple times. I’ve seen two feet [of snow] on the opening day of Big Game Season 10/25 years ago. There was quite a backup of vehicles without chains trying to move in the Moose River Area. Ted Payne plowed all the roads with his pickup truck and his truck box full of sand. He took some extra gas that day, but got the job done. Another time, earlier in October, they were replacing the bridge over the Moose River.

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Saturday, May 28, 2022

Final days at the Crown Point Banding Station: 424 birds of 54 species banded

Back in Inlet again where the leaves have popped out and I missed many of my daffodils as they bloomed during the warm spell while I was away. My little Yellow Lady’s Slippers are even starting to
bloom. Of course the blackflies are out, which is one thing I didn’t have to fight at the Crown Point Banding Station. There are no running water streams near the station so no blackflies, but we did have a few mosquitoes some evenings. We did see a few bats, which may have fed on these.

Another bug that gets into our nets while they are put up overnight is the June bug. They are not fun to pick out at daylight while putting up the nets, but we only had a few of these this year. The conclusion of our 47th year ended Saturday, May 21 with three new bird species that day. First was a Great Crested Flycatcher which had been singing since day one in the area. Number two was a Yellow-Bellied Flycatcher that was heading north to a bog of choice, and the third was a Black- and- White Warbler which had been seen the day before and nearly the last bird caught on Saturday before we closed the nets.

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Saturday, May 21, 2022

Crown Point Banding Station record: Banding a Yellow-Breasted Chat and Hairy Woodpecker for the first time

Another week gone by at the Crown Point Banding Station, and we survived the big storms that rolled through yesterday afternoon (May 16.) We pulled the nets, and took the canopies off their structures (as possible 60 MPH winds were predicted, and these sun shelters are only rated for no more than 15 MPH.) We sat in our vehicles as the storms passed mostly to the north and south, but there were a couple that went right overhead and dumped rain on us. To the north we heard that quarter-inch hail had accumulated to an inch on the ground.
We had several exciting events during the week up in the sky, including the blood moon on Sunday night (May 15)… that was neat. I had photographed this a couple times before over Limekiln Lake. We had rain showers during the afternoon that day, but I got to see the full moon rise only to have it go under a big black cloud for about an hour during which I napped in a chair outside. When I woke up, the moon was just popping out again about one third covered already. I took photos as it gradually covered turning a bright orange and completely covered about 11:30. I went to bed then as more clouds were moving in and covered it again. After the storms yesterday it was cloudy most of the night. This morning, May 17, just before we put the nets up I photographed the nearly full moon in some neat clouds.

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