Thursday, June 19, 2008
I finally got to do some birding, to look for summer breeders. Had it not been for a rarity showing up, I probably would have stayed home and sat in front of a screen most of the afternoon. As it turned out, I got home from writing my second exam, and checked my email to find "Franklin's Gull - echo bay area" as a title! Reading it quickly, Bob Knudsen reported that somebody called him with the news and he checked it out. The time? 9:00 a.m., June 19...it's only 11:10 as I'm reading this! So, by 12 I'd gotten permission to use the truck, eaten, grabbed my stuff, and gotten underway. I stopped in at Echo Bay first where there were 20 Black Terns, about the same as last year, and a few Marsh Wrens singing. Next stop, FRGU! It was there right when I pulled up, and John was already there digiscoping it (#265 for SSM!). Nice bird, adult in full breeding plumage. I got a few crappy pics that I'll try to post sometime soon. After that I decided to cruise around and try to find some other birds that I'd missed in the spring migration. Had some luck, adding Great Crested Flycatcher, but missed Eastern Pewee and Sedge Wren. I also found 4 Yellow-billed Cuckoos and 3 Warbling Vireos, the former is pretty rare around here, but last year and this year have been an explosion of Tent Caterpillars, making more food available. Warbling Vireos are also pretty hard to find away from the Locks, which is the only reliable site to see them around here. During my 4 hour cruise-around, I managed to see 83 species, including 12 species of warblers. I also saw some Chimney Swifts flying around my house this evening, so I finished the 'day' with 84 species, pretty good for mid-June.