Outdoor Adventures with Gary Lee - Vol. 165


Outdoor Adventures with Gary Lee - Vol. 165

Fairly typical weather for the Adirondacks with warm days and cool nights with fog over the lakes brought about by the cool air over the warmer lake surface. We again had a couple rainy periods, so I didn’t have to water the garden or the flower beds. The flowers have been going like gangbusters, lots of greenery and many blooms. The bee balm is in full flower, and I was just looking out the window before dark and there were six hummers searching out each red bloom and fighting over the next one.

Great Grand Daughter Milly Jade Peterson has been the hit of every party for our family out in the Rochester area, as the photo will show. She is already a real show off. 

Speaking of hummers, Ted Hicks and I plan on being at Stillwater banding hummers on Saturday the 6th, but that hasn’t been set in stone yet. Keep checking Marian’s website for the restaurant and get the right date. We usually get there about 7:30 and band until about eleven, depending on how many birds are around. Right now, they are about at their peak number wise with the little ones out of the nest and males still hanging on territory. 

Many of the little birds have started to gang up and some have already moved south. I hadn’t seen a Tree or Barn Swallow in a couple of weeks and then on Thursday, I was checking the Loons on Beaver Lake-Lewis County and a Barn Swallow flew by. They may have had a late nest and it was still feeding young. There sure is a great flying bug supply right now with green drakes coming off the water everywhere. This is good for the Cedar Waxwings who are one of the last birds to nest during this season. They sometimes take apart American Goldfinch nests to build theirs. They don’t make much of a nest on a couple tree branches, lay their eggs and fourteen days later they have babies. With this many bugs, the young should have no problem getting out of the nest in about the same amount of days. Then you will see the young hanging out in berry producing trees and bushes, waiting for a piece of fruit to be passed down to them. It’s going to be about the same time this year when the wild raisins are going to ripen, and they are covered with fruit everywhere I’ve been. 

Some folks aren’t having a particularly good week weather wise with all the flooding in Kentucky and neighboring states. There have been thirty-five confirmed deaths in Kentucky with several others missing. More rain is expected this week on top of all the flooding they have. They say this is like a hundred-year flood, but more like a thousand-year flood in that area.

Out west, they sure could use some of that rain, as many fires are still burning out of control. The McKinney Fire, the largest in California so far this year, is at more than 55,000 acres. Two people were found dead in their car in their driveway before they could escape the flames. Over one hundred homes have been burned in this uncontrolled blaze. Our prayers go out to all those who are suffering in these floods and fires.

I’ve spent the last three nights 9PM to 5AM banding Loons right in this area on many of the lakes that I monitor weekly. Working out of the ESF Property in Newcomb, we stayed at the Huntington Lodge and cabins there. The first night we went right out on Arbutus Lake where there was a pair with one chick and started off with a bang as we caught all three birds. Both adults needed bands, which they are now wearing. The male the next morning was shaking his leg out of the water showing us his new bands. There was a Bald Eagle around the lake that had the pair on defense most of the time as they protected their chick. 

From there, we traveled to the Cedar River Flow, where we went up the flow with a big boat and a canoe in the fog. A single Loon called to us along the South shore, but it had no chicks and we never did find the pair and the chick as they hid in the fog bank. We got off there as the sun was coming up as you don’t get them all. 

The second night we went to Moss Lake visitor night where only a few were waiting for us. We went out and caught the pair and the chick, one adult was unbanded, so it got bands plus having blood and feathers taken; the other only had to have blood and feathers taken. We traveled to Nick’s Lake and only saw a single bird in the fog and caught none. We traveled next to Limekiln Lake where we found the pair and chick right off the boat launch. We caught both birds and chick and processed them. As we were doing that, the second team went to the island territory, but they didn’t find the pair and two chicks there, also in the fog, as we watched the sun come up another morning. 

The third night we traveled to Beaver Lake in Lewis County where there was a pair and a chick. Henry Schaab, who lives right on the lake, met us and told us the pair were up the river at the inlet today, so we traveled all the way up and found the female and one chick that was big enough to be banded. This pair had been caught before and this male was one of our transmitter birds in 2003 and we took out the transmitter in 2004. He and his mate are still nesting in the same nest site as they did back then. Tried for the chick, but it outfoxed us and we went away empty handed. We went to Francis Lake, just down the road and caught the female Loon and the three-week-old chick and processed them. We then traveled to Twitchell Lake where there were two pairs with chicks. We bumped into the pair with two chicks just up from the landing in the fog. I had the male in the net, but before I could get him into the boat, he climbed out of the net. This spooked the chicks and we caught nothing there. The other crew was working the second pair and their light died, so we went up the lake, but daylight overtook us, and they could see us, and we could see them without the light. We didn’t get skunked, but that’s loon banding; you don’t get them all, just like fishing. 

Three more nights of loon banding in the Saranac Lake area, but that’s another story. See ya.   

Photo above: Star gazer Lily                           

baby Milly 
Milly showing off 

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  • Harry Rissetto 05/08/2022 5:44pm (3 days ago)

    We have two local hummers and two feeding stations. They quarrel constantly for space Such is life.

  • Harry Rissetto 05/08/2022 5:44pm (3 days ago)

    We have two local hummers and two feeding stations. They quarrel constantly for space Such is life.

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