Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Recent happenings

I haven't been out in the field for much of anything lately, other than work. With the hot weather we have been getting, the Butler's Gartersnakes that I have been tracking have been moving much greater distances than usual!

Butler's Gartersnake from my study site

Yesterday, I found a little snapping turtle running as fast as a turtle can run in the middle of an open field, heading towards a drain. This drain dried out last year, save for one small corner in which a Painted Turtle and 2 snapping turtles hung out. I am guessing that this little guy is one of the ones from last year!

Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina)

The usual breeders are all settled in on my study site. It is pretty hard to go anywhere where there is a woodlot without hearing the trill of a Red-bellied Woodpecker or the repeated phrases of Indigo Buntings. I had my first Alder Flycatcher for the study site yesterday (presumably a migrant) and finally got Black-billed Cuckoo for the year as I had one calling.  Other than that, there is not much singing in this heat! Gone are the days where I could see/hear 75 species on the study site alone in the day. Now it is the same 30-40 species every day.

In February I went on an all out epic bird-fueled adventure with 3 buddies to California, Arizona, and New Mexico. I'll start posting day by day recaps soon!

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