Outdoor Adventures with Gary Lee - Vol. 111
The temperatures in the Northwestern states broke all record highs at the beginning of the week, many in triple digits for the first time ever recorded. This heat was also felt in the Canadian Rockies westward. We finally got some rain and in the last couple days, maybe a little more than needed. Many of the streams in the Plains were running high with all the culverts could handle, but none that I know of went over the road. I measured 2 and a half inches in the two-day rain. Some of the loons got their chicks off just in time before the water rose.
The pair on Sixth Lake pulled off their third nest, which I didn’t find, with two chicks on the water, as reported this morning by Kim Egenhofer. If anyone knows where they nested, please let me know. Their first two tries were in old nesting sites, and they lost both before I even started watching them in the end of May. Then they played games for the next month and I would see one of the banded birds, but not the other one. I knew they were nesting, but I didn’t find the nest site.
Many other loons have hatched their chicks, so if you see them on the water, give them some space as they have enough predators to watchout for without ducking boats and jet-skies. There are many Bald Eagles around and they just wait for a chance to pick off a chick or duckling when the parents are distracted by boats or canoes.
The Annual Loon Census will be July 17th from 8 to 9 Saturday morning, still lots of lakes available to count on. Information on our website www.adkloon.org/ny-loon-census or by calling 518-354-8636.
Ted Hicks and I got up to the Stillwater Restaurant this morning to band hummers at 7:30 and there were over fifty people waiting on the porch to watch the banding operation. There weren’t that many birds, as many of them are still on nests, but we managed to get 15 new ones and one that we had banded on Memorial Weekend. Most of the kids that were there got to hold a bird and some of the adults did also. Many of the visitors had a great breakfast made by Marian and some went across the street and had coffee at the store before Marian and Joe got there. Their big new dog, Shadow, had to greet anyone new who came on the porch and once she got up on the bench to point one of the little hummers in the holding box.
Many of our neighbors to the east, around Lake George, Lake Champlain and into Vermont, are having their forests eaten by gypsy moths. In many places, the trees are completely defoliated, not a leaf left on them. My brother said they are working on the big oak trees in his yard in Willsboro, but he still had some leaves. The ground is even slippery from their poop; there are that many of them.
A tree can be defoliated twice in one year and still survive, but it sure doesn’t help the health of the tree.
So far, they haven’t hit in this area, but if you look at your beech trees, you will see it is going to be another banner year for nuts from these trees. It was two years ago when this happened and the mice and chipmunk population went into orbit eating this abundant crop of nuts, so be prepared; it could happen again.
The cone crop looks good also, but that’s another story. See ya.
Photo above: Shadow pointing a hummer