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Re: Changing scene
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- Subject: Re: Changing scene
- From: Joshua Stuart Rose <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Sun, 7 May 2000 03:03:10 -0400 (EDT)
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I'm up late grading exams, but don't think that it'll keep me from the
Jordan Lake count, starting in about three hours... I hope the hot sunny
weather won't disperse too many of the migrants.
Anyway, like Bob Perkins, I've lost my Rose-breasted Grosbeaks. They
started visiting one feeder, the one furthest from the house and closest
to the brush pile, the first day they arrived. They did so for about
three days, and have not been back since. I think I still have one White-
throated Sparrow around, and a Song Sparrow showed up day before last,
the first time in weeks. I have not seen a single Chipping Sparrow since
the invasion week, when there were dozens. For probably the same reason,
I have had no Indigo Buntings or Blue Grosbeaks at my feeders; apparently
too darn woodsy.
Most of the migrant warblers vanished along with the grosbeaks. The
exceptions are Black-throated Blue, which I've heard hourly and seen
daily; and American Redstart, which suddenly started singing in the Duke
Forest yesterday (no visual confirmation yet). Parulas are still around
as well; those might be local breeders.
I did hear and briefly see a Common Nighthawk Thursday evening, my (if
not Durham's) first of the year.
I also led five other grad students up Occoneechee Mountain Thursday
morning. That place is spectacular! Mostly for the Mountain Laurels,
which are exploding with flowers right now! A friend demonstrated how
their spring-loaded stamens catapulted pollen onto bees. I was hoping the
Mountain might accumulate some migrants (you know, like that Kennesaw
place near Atlanta), but no such luck. All birds were breeders, except
maybe the Ovenbird. Other sightings were Prairie Warbler, Indigo Bunting,
Green Heron, Red-eyed Vireo, a few others. One interesting development:
they're building an observation deck at the overlook! Would make a great
place for hawk-watching, except that it faces west and has very little
north or south exposure. Oh well, at least it's great for sunsets... The
place had an impressive diversity of dragonflies, as subscribers to that
listserv already know. But the plants were the real show, even though all
the Trailing Arbutus had finished for the year.
Thanks to the many who replied to my Columbine query. A friend actually
pointed out some Columbines in a flower bed in front of Bio Sci, 100
yards or so from the two "wild" flowers I reported, so perhaps they were
feral. I have not had a chance to lure my botanically inclined friends
over to investigate further.
Better get back to work. Good birding, especially to those up at the CBC
meeting and to my fellow Jordan Lake counters...
Joshua S. Rose
Department of Zoology