zaterdag 24 september 2011

A.... Black Bear!

Since I've been here I've been looking out for Black Bears, because I really wanted to see one. I wasn't lucky to get to see one yet, though. A week ago I found a footprint on the road but that was it. But today I saw my first Black Bear ever, not bad! While we were banding birds in the lab it was time for a round to check the nets again. I went to check the pond nets, situated on the right side of the area. Mary checked the 'left section', Heather checked the Backfield and Brandon went up the road, for the Road Nets. While I came to my first nets I heard Brandon radio us: a Black Bear at 25! Whaaat! I took a quick sprint of 500m to get to the road and from a large distance I could already see the Black Bear. It was justing sitting on the road. While I got closer (Brandon was only 30m away from the bear) the Bear started to sniff and wander around the nets situated there. Afterwards it looked in our direction, stood there for a while, and took off into the woods. After the bear had left I checked the pond nets and had a good round, including 2 Palm Warblers. The entire morning was good. The highlights of this morning were 3 Palm Warblers, 1 Yellow-breasted Chat (lifer), 1 Flicker and the recap Prairie Warbler from last week. Like last week we had a day with 3 Connecticut Warblers again, which is a high number as this species is considered to be quite rare.

Early this morning, around 6.15 just before we headed out to the banding station we heard 3 Barred Owls, singing just in the trees in front of our cabin. I made a reasonable recording with my cellphone on which you can hear the owls singing. The song sounds quite funny, reminding of a barking dog a little. Click on this link for the recording:
Singing Barred Owls .

Today we also had a (school)group of kids visiting the banding lab. The young kids already knew a lot about the birdspecies, which was nice to see.
The group looking at the flight tunnel. The visitors looked a bit Amish-like, with their clothing, I liked to see it, it was something I hadn't seen very often. 

The banding totals:

Northern Flicker 1 -
Eastern Wood-Pewee 3 -
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher1 -
Acadian Flycatcher 2 -
Eastern Phoebe 4 -
Blue-headed Vireo 1 -
Red-eyed Vireo 4 -
Blue Jay 1 -
Gray-cheeked Thrush 1 -
Swainson's Thrush 9 -
Wood Thrush 2 -
Gray Catbird 7 -
Tennessee Warbler 3 -
Nashville Warbler 4 -
Northern Parula 1 -
Chestnut-sided Warbler 1 -
Magnolia Warbler 9 -
Black-throated Blue Warbler 3 -
Palm Warbler 3 -
American Redstart 7 -
Ovenbird 1 -
Northern Waterthrush 1 -
Connecticut Warbler 3 -
Common Yellowthroat 13 -
Hooded Warbler 5 -
Wilson's Warbler 1 -
Yellow-breasted Chat 1 -
Scarlet Tanager 8 -
Eastern Towhee 3 -
Song Sparrow 5 -
Swamp Sparrow 2 -
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 1 -
Indigo Bunting 2 -

Total 113, 33 species

Prairie Warbler, hatching year, banded a week ago, recaptured today, quite unusual recap!

In the late afternoon I went for a walk. I did a walk around the banding area and I saw some good stuff! While I arrived at the Crisp Pond I saw 5+ Phoebe's foraging on insect. Soon I saw a Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher feeding, which was only my second observation of this species since my stay so far. I was able to take some good pictures:
Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher

I came across this small turtle while walking along the pond too:

I walked through the Backfield where I saw a lot of Scarlet Tanagers, some Phoebe's, some Wood-Pewee's, a Downy Woodpecker and this Monarch:
Monarch

As I was still in at the Backfield I heard lots of birds going crazy, and figured: whats going on??? The Blue Jays were screaming in a tree along the road. There were certainly 20 of them present. I figured there must be  a raptor or something like that over there. Soon the group got mixed and I saw 3 Brown Thrashers
, some Catbirds, a lot of Chickadees, 3 Titmice and so on. Once I arrived at the tree I found nothing.. hmm strange. But then when I walked around the tree and looked up the trunk I found a gigantic Black Rat Snake!!!
Black Rat Snake, probably one of the biggest snakes I've ever seen, great!

Now I'm going to sleep.........!

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