May 22nd – Boot-sucking Goop

Braving the boot-sucking goop….. -DOL

Wow! We seem to have jumped right into Summer….again. The sun and heat have been rapidly evaporating the pond and associated wet spots. The water is leaving and in its stead is…goop. Messy, deep, boot-sucking goop. I prefer wading through shallow water courses to getting mired in this stuff. [I can’t imagine how troops during the the First World War lived with this stuff daily – and all the time – in the trenches. No wonder “trench foot” was such a problem….to say nothing of exploding shells and bullets.]

Hauntingly beautiful – early morning mist at the Farm. -MMG

As the Spring migration winds down, we have pushed to try and reach a banding goal for the farm site: 600 birds. We reached that today! We were using only 9 nets (half of the number used at Ruthven) so it’s quite an accomplishment. Any birds banded between now and May 31st are gravy.

To achieve this we have been banding daily at the farm but only intermittently at the Lowville site. It’s simply a person-power issue: not enough qualified banders to go around. Too bad because that site gets some interesting birds. On Thursday when we banded only 10 birds they did 52 (of 20 spp) at Lowville, almost all of them long-distance migrants. I think that birds that have been held up in their flight north due to poor weather conditions in the southern States are simply pushing through, in this case jumping Lakes Erie and Ontario in a single flight in order to be closer to their nesting area. [And today they did a Connecticut Warbler!]
Pictures from the last couple of days:

Eastern Kingbird. Today Dave found one sitting on a nest! These birds don’t waste time. -KMP

We have been seeing Eastern Meadowlarks since the beginning of April. I’m curious to see what happens when the fields they have been frequenting have been tilled for soybeans. -KMP

Great Crested Flycatchers are common here now – their raucous call giving away their location high in the willows. -KMP

The black “saddle” of a male Magnolia Warbler. Most migrant warblers have blown through. -KMP

Patience pays off – Virginia Rail….after a long time waiting silently at the edge of the reeds. -KMP

Painted Turtles – a few days ago. Didn’t see ANY on the sunning platforms today; I think it’s too hot for them. -KMP

Male Bay-breasted Warbler from a few days ago. Most have passed through. -MMG

A beaver has been checking out the pond. He will have to dam the outlet end if he wants to make it his home. -MMG

Up to 3 Green Herons have been seen regularly along the river. -RG

Hmmm… to get a long stick into a small hole…..House Wren with a problem (which it ended up solving). –MMG

Always a treat: male Indigo Bunting. -DOL

We were getting Myrtle Warblers unusually late into May…but they’re all gone now. -RG

Local Sandhill Cranes are busy with recently hatched young. -KMP

Yellow-billed Cuckoo. -MMG

Pearl Crescent. -KMP

Painted Skimmer. -KMP


3 thoughts on “May 22nd – Boot-sucking Goop

  1. Great photos! Congratulations on 600 birds banded.I have so missed lending a hand. Next fall for sure!

  2. As always very interesting for us to read. I hope we get some rain to replenish the pond. I am quite amazed at the number and variety of birds you have seen, Thanks for keeping us informed. Liz

  3. Yes, I think the Fall will be VERY interesting. Make sure you get your vaccinations!

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