Thursday, July 2, 2015

Summer research week 7

Monday 6/22/2015 @ Beltzville State Park and Campbell's Ledge

Sunrise at Beltzville. No rain!  So it was a success. The field is full of Grasshopper Sparrows and Bobolinks and a smattering of Indigo Bunting and Field Sparrows along the edge. 

I only have three points there so I drove down to the boat launch and added a point. I was greeted by Cliff Swallows - a first for the point counts. They must be nesting on the bridge. I notice tire tracks going back and forth across the field. When I finished the count, a tracker pulled up and told me they just covered the field in herbicide. Awesome. The field was wet and I had blue stain on my pants. So it goes. They're planting warm season plants next week. I guess the birds that are currently in the field don't mind. 

Drove back up to Wilkes, picked up the crew (Amanda and Chrissy) and off to Campbell's Ledge. It's really an ATV trail but up we went with the van. My god, do I want a jeep.

Not a very successful afternoon but what a view. Captured Indigo Bunting and Red-eyed Vireo and did get tissue samples. Missed Scarlet Tanager, Field Sparrow, another Indigo Bunting, and a Downy Woodpecker that all flew by the nets. We'll be back.

We now have everything we need to do DNA barcoding. Let's see how that goes. 

Tuesday 6/23/2015 @  Campbell's Ledge and Lab

Nice early morning out to Campbell's Ledge just north of Pittston, PA. We took the van up the other day but this was a bad idea. So, in the dark, up I went with my backpack on and bear-strength pepper spray strapped to that. All was quiet... only two birds detected so kind of lame. Much more interesting on the way down. At least 5 singing Worm-eating Warblers and my first Pennsylvania Hooded Warbler. Turkey ran across the road and not too many deer flies... but many nonetheless. The best thing of the morning was a pair of dung beetles rolling dung. 

In the afternoon, our lab was joined by three high-schoolers and a guest student from NYU. I am genuinely excited to see the lab cranking like this. The kids are smart and the mentors (Amanda, Chrissy, Sebastian) are awesome. Once we know what we're doing, some great science is going to happen! 

WEDNESDAY 6/24/2015  Rain : ( 

THURSDAY 6/25/2015 @ Rickett's Glen State Park and WEBS 2.0

Silence of the Indigos continues. Picked up a few but nothing like what it was a few weeks ago. No surprises in this count round. Least and Alder Flycatchers near the Hayfield parking lot and Tree Swallows everywhere - family groups zipping around.

This is why they call them Tree Swallows

FRIDAY 6/26/2015

I'm ashamed. I woke up at 415, turned off the alarm, and went back to sleep. I don't even remember how I justified it. I wanted to get up to Wilkes-Barre Mountain but the back up entrance off the 81 entrance ramp now has Volkswagen-sized boulders blocking the entrance so I was going to go.. anywhere else. But here I am at 645 typing this up. 

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