Journal archives for May 2020

May 22, 2020

Field Orno Day 5: Geprags Community Park

Today we went to Geprags Community Park. Upon arrival at ~6:40 am. the temperature was ~55 degrees F, with ~62% humidity and the wind was blowing East at ~3mph. Upon departure at ~11:30 the temperature was ~76 degrees F, with ~34% humidity, and the wind was blowing S-SW at ~8mph. The habitat here consisted of an early successional forest with shrubby forest edges leading into large grassland areas. Great mix of habitat types! It is also near the Laplatte River.

I was a little discouraged this morning since I did not do well on the last cumulative quiz cause I kind of panicked while taking it. This week has been a bit overwhelming since I started with very little knowledge/experience with identifying birds and have been given so much to remember over a short period of just 5 days. Also, after waking up early and walking outside for 5-6 hours in the sun then trying to study the whole afternoon/night while feeling tired is quite difficult.

However, my experience birding today really changed my attitude because I was able to really see how much progress I have made since day one of this class in the field. Day one I was really only relying on sight since I did not know a lot of bird calls, hence all of the photos. However, today, along with Grace, I was able to hear a bird, ID it by sound only, then follow the sound to go see the bird singing. It honestly was the most rewarding feeling being able to follow the sound to see that it was indeed the bird we identified using only sound. I was also able to get some really great audio clips of most of the birds we heard since we tracked them and got really close. I was very happy that we saw a handful of species that I have never seen/heard in person before! Following the sounds also was also really effective in terms of memorizing them and associating them with the species. I definitely feel more confident in identifying all the birds I heard today by sound now!

Despite the feeling of being a little overwhelmed, this class has been very enjoyable and has gotten me even more excited about birds! I am definitely going to continue birding outside of this class because I feel like I am improving every day! Definitely have become a bird nerd and i'm proud!

Posted on May 22, 2020 22:44 by taylorehwa taylorehwa | 30 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

May 18, 2020

Field Orno Day 1: Colchester Pond

I walked the 3-mile loop of around Colchester Pond today and was able to ID 27 different species of birds via sight or sound. I captured as many photos of the ones I saw as possible. Colchester pond is a wetland habitat surrounded by open grassland fields on one side, and dense forest on the other. Almost all of the birds were found on the open grassland/shrubland side of the pond. It was approximately 47 degrees F upon arrival (7 am.) and approximately 65 degrees F upon departure (12:30 pm.). Wind was blowing at 4-8 MPH in a northern direction. The humidity was 65% upon arrival and 36% upon departure.

Posted on May 18, 2020 20:57 by taylorehwa taylorehwa | 23 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

May 19, 2020

Field Orno Day 2: Catamount Outdoor Family Center

Today I walked the trails of the Catamount Outdoor Family Center. One set of trails were through fragmented forests with a large power line running through the center. The other set of trails, which were the focus of these observations, were through a large uphill open grassland and shrub land habitat. Upon arriving at ~6:50 am. the temperature was ~47 degrees F, and the wind was blowing ~3 mph from NNW. The wind got up to ~10 mph blowing in from the North and the temperature reached 68 degrees F before departing at around 12:20. This time around I was able to ID more birds by sound. Starting tomorrow though, my goal is to focus on getting as many sound recordings as possible and including them in these iNaturalist posts. I think doing that would more effectively help me learn to find more species, as well as study since i'm sure I will pick out a few different birds calls in the background of each recording. The highlights from today were the Chestnut-sided Warbler, House Wren, and Swamp Sparrow. This was my first time observing these birds which is why I don't have photos of them because I spent so long trying to ID them!

Posted on May 19, 2020 20:51 by taylorehwa taylorehwa | 22 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

May 20, 2020

Field Orno Day 3: Camel's Hump

Today I hiked up and down Camel's Hump via the Burrows Trailhead. I am particularly proud of myself today because I challenged myself both physically and mentally. The hike was long, and towards the top it was quite slippery since the ice and snow hadn't fully melted. However, it was SO worth it because I was able to hear and see SO MANY new species! Today I didn't bring my camera so that I could focus on just analyzing the birds using sound which really paid off. I feel like I learned a lot more by just going off of sound and using that to find the birds. I took as many recordings as possible! Sadly, I missed out on recording some really cool birds I heard such as the Magnolia Warbler and the Winter Wren because by the time I ID'd them via sound and pulled out my phone to record them they had stopped calling or flown away.

When I arrived at Camel's Hump at ~7am the temperature was ~49 degrees F, with the humidity at 71% and the wind blowing SW at ~5mph. Upon departure at ~12:10pm., the temperature had risen to ~70 degrees F, the humidity was ~34%, and the wind was blowing W at ~7mph.

Posted on May 20, 2020 22:13 by taylorehwa taylorehwa | 21 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

May 21, 2020

Field Orno Day 4: Delta Park

Today I hit my all time high in terms of number of species seen/heard. It was hard to get interpretable recordings because there were SO many birds all calling over one another, lots of people walking/talking on the bike path, and it was windy so the sound of wind washed out birds in the recordings sometimes. All the bird pictures are accredited to Elizabeth Kaufmann! I am particularly proud though of my recording of the Warbling Vireo! I heard/saw a lot of firsts for me today such as the Belted Kingfisher, Great Crested Flycatcher, Caspian Tern, and the Barn Swallow.

Upon arriving at Delta Park, it was ~56 degrees F with scattered clouds, ~37% humidity, and the wind was blowing NNW at ~9 mph. While there, the wind peaked at 16 mph in the northern direction. Upon departure the temperature had risen to ~72 degrees F, the wind was blowing NE at ~8 mph, and the humidity lowered to ~26%.

The habitat was very much mixed which is probably why I was able to see so many different species today! The park was along the Winooski River which explains how I saw the Warbling Vireo since it is a primarily riparian species. The park also had a great coastline along Lake Champlain so I was able to see a lot of water birds such as the Caspian Tern. Further inland there were marshes and shrubby vegetation. The entrance to the park is within a neighborhood that hosted some suburban species like the Northern Cardinal that we saw. Along the bike path, either side was surrounded by dense patches of forestland, some parts were fragmented by roads and houses.

Posted on May 21, 2020 20:30 by taylorehwa taylorehwa | 0 comments | Leave a comment