Friday, June 4, 2010

First week of June

We have had a stretch of beautiful warm sunny weather - punctuated by scattered showers and thunderstorms. Dragonflies are out in force, insect-eating birds are busy feeding youngsters and our local mammals have been noticeable too.

Eastern Striped Skunk, Mephitis mephitis, photo: T. Parlapiano

The many robin babies are in evidence - out of the nest, fluttering around after the parents and begging for earthworms. House Wrens, Yellow Warblers, Song Sparrows and more can be heard singing on their territories.

One lunchtime I heard a distant vireo singing, pursued it and was quite puzzled by the song. Occasionally it threw in thrush-like notes and catbird-like notes but always with the clear strong voice of a vireo. Finally I got the binoculars on it, a Red-eyed Vireo - not new, but still a great bird to see - especially after I worked so hard to find it.

Glad to report this week that Tom sighted Tree Swallows, and hopefully they're investigating one of the many nest boxes. So that's a new bird for campus - yippee.

Bird wrap-up for the week:
with contributions by Tom, Nate, Maureen, Vinny, Debby and me

Wild Turkey
Red-tailed Hawk
Ring-billed Gull
Mourning Dove
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Blue Jay
American Crow

Tree Swallow, Tachycineta bicolor
Barn Swallow
Red-eyed Vireo
House Wren
Carolina Wren
Tufted Titmouse
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Cedar Waxwing
European Starling

Northern Cardinal
House Finch
American Goldfinch
Song Sparrow
Yellow Warbler
Brown-headed Cowbird
Common Grackle
Red-winged Blackbird
House Sparrow

Twenty nine species for this week.

I'll leave you with this little movie I made one lunchtime, as I crossed the Oyster River on stepping-stones. Turn up your volume, the sound of the running water is better than the quality of the video image!

Have a great weekend.

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