Outdoor Adventures with Gary Lee - Vol. 104
The trees sure came out while I was at Crown Point as temperatures got up into the 80’s. We could use some rain now to keep the wildflowers popping and the trees, most of which are in flower producing fruit or nuts this season. We did have a frost last night right at 32 degrees here at Eight Acre Wood. I don’t think I’ve seen the flowers on the local apple trees in such numbers as they are this year. If all those become fruit, it will take props under the limbs to hold them up. I hope it is the same up in the tops of the black cherries and beech trees, so the wild animals and birds have a treat this fall. The fruit trees in the Champlain Valley were all covered with flowers.
My son Mitch took a short hike the other day into Ferd’s Bog with his friend Jessie. This was her first hike in the Adirondacks, so it was only fitting that they saw a cow moose out on the bog to the left of the boardwalk. My son said the moose stayed out there for fifteen or twenty minutes, feeding on shrubs. It might take a few more hikes before she sees another moose.
The blackflies, on the other hand, are out in force. The cold temperatures held them at bay this morning, but by ten they were all hungry. There seem to be lots of mosquitoes also and they seem to be ready for a nibble even after they follow you into the house.
Ted Hicks and I will be banding Hummers at the Stillwater Restaurant Saturday 5/29 from 8 to 11 am. You might want some bug dope or a bug jacket as there may be some blackflies among the hummers. You will see these little birds up close and personal.
The second week at Crown Point Banding Station was good at the beginning, but slow at the end when temperatures went into the 80’s. We did pick up some good birds; a Blue-winged Warbler the best as we had only caught two of these in the previous 45 years. We also caught two Mourning Warblers, which are the last warblers to travel north to find a home. One neat return that we caught was a male Bluebird that I banded as a juvenile in one of the many boxes there last year. Now he has his own family in the same box I banded him. We got two more Northern Flickers, which are tough birds to catch. We had Bobolinks calling and nesting in the field near the station, but never did catch one this year. I saw bands on one male, so maybe he was smarter as he had been in the nets in another year. Also saw bands on an Eastern Kingbird that we never caught, but we did catch two others who were in a territory chase and blundered into the nets.
We had Woodcock doing courtship flights every night the first week and set up a net where he had been landing in the dark. The first flight the next night we caught and banded the male bird. We pulled the net and he kept on flying and calling all night.
Another bird that I only heard while at the station was a Whip-poor-will, which sang from dark, well into the morning light. I played a tape one night and he retreated from the caller. We also had a Screech Owl hunting around the area, but didn’t catch it.
We banded 54 different species and saw or heard over 100 species during the two weeks.
Some Loons are already nesting, so give them some space as they must fight off the black flies just like you do, but that’s another story. See ya.
Photo above: Sunset Crown Point
Storm coming Crown Point