Journal archives for May 2020

May 21, 2020

Free Birding

Pine Hill Park, a natural area filled with hidden gems of vegetation, streams, habitats, and of course, birds! At 6:45 am, I arrived, the air was a brisk 45 degrees Fahrenheit and the sky didn't have a single cloud. I knew it was going to be a good birding day when the first thing I saw when I went outside this morning was a Ruby-throated Hummingbird fly right past my head. I started my journey looping through the lower, middle, and upper trials of Giorgetti park and ended up popping up on Crusher road where there was a strip of powerlines. Aside from the powerlines was an old quarry area that had a couple buildings still intact and an abundance of shrubbery. I spent the first couple hours here where I soon saw who was living around the area. The highlight of my time there was being about 10 feet away from a foraging Eastern Towhee and Chestnut-sided Warbler. Along with those two species, the woodpeckers were going to town, pecking away at a few different trees in the area. After I collected an abundance of recordings from this spot I figured it was time to continue the adventure through Pine Hill Park. Once I was in denser areas with birch, beech, witch hazel, etc. it was a bit harder to get more specific recordings of species. Regardless, today was rich in life and habitats (coniferous, deciduous, mixed, and shrubland); a great day for the birding books.

Posted on May 21, 2020 23:50 by chey_conn chey_conn | 19 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

May 22, 2020

Final Bird

Finishing up the week, my last adventure was to Cadwell Loop found in Pittsford, VT. I arrived around 6:30 am, another beautiful blue sky day starting off at 54 degrees Fahrenheit. I must say, out of all my years growing up around here, I've never been to Cadwell Loop and I must admit some shame. This loop was something out of a fairytale, sun shining through flowering apple trees, the red covered bridge with a steady riverbed underneath it, and an abundance of bird activity greeted you. The birds seemed comfortable in this habitat where I was able to see over 20 species just through my binoculars. My first spot of the morning was an American Redstart, it was on a hanging branch over the trail. A surprising spot to say the least since I finally got to see that amazing colorization that they hold. As I continued, I spotted nearly 10 species in the first few bends of the loop. These included Common Yellowthroat, American Goldfinch, Northern Cardinal, Song Sparrow, etc. This area was a mixture of meadows, dense deciduous and coniferous woods, wetlands, and shrubbery. It was a great learning opportunity to use our knowledge from class to place a certain species and identify it within their relative habitat. Though I wasn't able to spot any reptiles, I did spot two foraging deer on the edge of a meadow while I was trying to scope out a Gray Catbird. As I made my way back to my car I met a woman named Sue, she and I exchanged some notes from our morning birding and observed a few species around us. It's always a wonderful opportunity to collaborate and gain knowledge from an experienced birder. I am thankful to have met a few experienced birders along my journeys this week and hope to be able to go birding in groups again soon!

Posted on May 22, 2020 23:53 by chey_conn chey_conn | 28 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

May 18, 2020

Marsh Life

The day is May 18, 2020, a cloudy Monday morning with light rain. As I come down the road that leads to the West Rutland Marsh Boardwalk, I'm encased by wheat growing on either side of me. This boardwalk is one of my favorite spots to catch the sunset and hear/see all the wildlife the marsh holds. The marsh is surrounded by dense forests which makes for an astonishing total landscape. The marsh itself is filled with wheat, cattails, red-dogwood, water iris, a variety of grasses and so much more. As I start my birding experience at 7:09 am, I take in some information listed on the kiosk right before the boardwalk. The main picture is of a Virginia Rail which in text, reads that this is a breeding site for such birds including American Bittern, Least Bittern, and Sora. On the other side of the kiosk, it provides an abundant list of birds that are found at the marsh throughout the whole year. Some of these for the month of May include Canada Goose, Hooded Merganser, Ruffed Grouse, American Black Duck, Double-crested Cormorant, Green Heron, etc. I believe when I first got there I was greeted at the front of the boardwalk by a little swamp sparrow along with an abundance of calls and songs. It was truly a dense ecosystem. I concluded my birding around 11:00 am when a few too many elders came to do the same.

Posted on May 18, 2020 21:24 by chey_conn chey_conn | 11 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

May 20, 2020

Shrubland and Grassland Life

The date is May 19, 2020, a Tuesday. The destination is about 35 miles from my home base, I set out to the Helen Buckner Preservation Area in West Haven, VT and arrived around 7:30 am. I was unsure if I was even going to be able to bird at this site due to some repaving of the road being done but after waiting a few moments I was able to park at the kiosk in the preservation area. It was a great day to set out for a birding adventure being sunny with only a few clouds and the temperature already being 45 degrees Fahrenheit before 8:00 am. A marsh leads to an abundance of grasslands and shrubs, the perfect spot for a diverse ecosystem. Though it was hard to spot these species, hearing them was unremarkable. My first sporting was a Wood Duck perched up in a tree, a beautiful first species to spot, to say the least. I was able to record some fascinating calls of Blue-winged Warbler, American Bittern, Woodpeckers, etc. Unfortunately, some species like House Wren, Song Sparrow, Osprey, Yellow Warbler, etc. were too quick to capture a photo. Regardless, today's birding adventure was rich in diversity and a great learning opportunity.

Posted on May 20, 2020 00:18 by chey_conn chey_conn | 22 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Forest Life

It was a beautiful, blue sky Tuesday morning (6:50 am), May 20, 2020. I'm the first to arrive at Aitken State Forest, soon to be sharing the trail with a couple of older ladies. As they part up the trail for Bald Moutain, I make my way down a different road for about 45 minutes. At first, I was a little discouraged because there wasn't much activity going on except the abundance of chipmunk calls. As I turned around and began my journey up Bald Mountain, that soon changed. It was almost like I was watching a couple's show where there were two Black-capped Chickadees dancing with each other and then right after, two Black-throated Green Warblers. Though, those were the only species I really saw in this dense mixed forest. The forest itself was a beautiful composition of pines, beech, maple, oak, and even a few flowering species like bleeding heart and trillium. Throughout my way up to the peak of the mountain, I heard one Woodpecker going to town on a tree somewhere, unfortunately, I was unable to spot it. I knew it was a Pileated Woodpecker because of it's distinct 'laughing' call, but oh how I wish I was able to see it too. Most of the time I had to wait for a species to send out another call because all my recording would pick up was the loud call of a chipmunk. Though that was one of the biggest challenges today, Aitken State Forest did not disappoint in the number of species I was able to get a good recording on. I hope to go back there soon to see what else it will have in store for me, let alone, see that gorgeous view again.

Posted on May 20, 2020 23:37 by chey_conn chey_conn | 18 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment