Saturday, June 28, 2014

Research Roundup: Week of 6/23/2014


Writing this on Tuesday and I already can't remember where I was yesterday. Ah yes, Lackawanna State Park. There's an hour glass shaped field and I did a point count (listened for birds for 10 minutes standing in one spot). Not much there at all. The fields had Red-winged Blackbirds (RWBL) but not much else. This field reminded me of the cool-season grassland at 205. Lots of RWBL and milkweed. Two points = 20 minutes of surveying and two hours of driving. I need to figure out something else to do while I'm there. I ended up with one tick that I found on my clipboard. Hooray rubber boots. The coolest thing were the tree swallows. 

Then I went to scout the Jacob's Property gas pipleine. Here's the site looking one way then the other. Surveyed it because they're going to widen it and I wanted to get a baseline. Plus, we can consider this a grassland too, right? Maybe.

Here's a cool lichen. Wait, what did I just say????


Surveyed the gas line easement on our property on 115 that we should call the Jacob's Property after the family that gave it to the university. This is one of my favorite places - not the gas line but the woods around it. The gas line had lots of Common Yellowthroats, and Indigo Bunting or two, and an Eastern Towhee. The pond had a few Tree Swallows that ventured into the easement. Here is a flower growing in the pipeline and in the woods. No idea what is. 


Then I went off to the smaller grassland site at SGL119 (Francis Walter Dam). There was a Red-tailed Hawk sitting at the edge and I was fussed at the entire time by Killdeer. Then a few of the usual suspects (=Field and Song Sparrows, Mourning Dove).

Went back to school met up with the crew and went to Wilkes-Barre Mountain. I just needed to see how to get there. Holy hell it's not easy: steep, rocky, giant puddles. Oh well. It was worth it. A nice view of the valley.  Lot's of Allegheny Mound Ants and some interesting flowers. I've give details of the birds when I do the surveys. Had no ticks on me and one in the sweep sample that I did.


Took the day off since it was supposed to storm. Not so much. Wish I could say I was productive in the office.


Back to Wilkes-Barre Mountain. Did two bird survey points. The Ford Explorer, by the way, does much better off-roading than the Silverado. Nothing unusual up there. Again, no Indigo Buntings although I know they're there. Is there a mid-summer lull in calling??? Tomorrow is the farthest site. Let's see if I can get up in time.


Went to State Game Land 036 this morning. Left home at 320 AM and got there around 530. A beautiful site. A huge site. Coolest thing that happened was the the three Common Ravens that come out from the woods to inspect what I was doing. They flew within 20 meters are less then circles and went off. Hair on the back goes up when you see a flock of ravens headed directly at you. The site is full of Grasshopper Sparrows and other GMS (grassland, meadow, savannah birds). A Northern Harrier (gray bird below) flew across the site being chased by Red-winged Blackbirds

Done with my first round of point counts!  Monday starts anew. 



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