Sunday, August 30, 2009

School starts soon :( and some migrants

Well, I go back to school on Wednesday. Ignoring the fact that I will be bored out of my mind starting in a few days, quite a good number of migrants have been popping up in my area. This morning I got up early, but as a result of the rain, very few birds were migrating. The only nocturnal flight call I heard was that of a Rose-breasted Grosbeak.

The lack of songbirds was disappointing, but several Barred Owls were calling, putting me in a slightly better mood. To top of the predawn chorus of the owls, katydids, crickets, etc. was a bunch of "singing" Pickerel Frogs, which sound like someone snoring. These awesome amphibians called until almost sunrise.

This morning, I was at the Lehigh Gap Nature Center ( for some birding. There were a few flocks of migrants, including one large flock that contained American Redstarts, Black-throated Green, Nashville, Prairie, and Cape May Warblers, and several Red-eyed Vireos. Large, sorry, HUGE flocks of Chimney Swifts and swallows (Tree and Northern Rough-winged) flew north (shouldn't they be headed south???) through the gap. Several raptors were also on the move; a kestrel, an Osprey, and Sharp-shinned, Broad-winged, and Red-tailed Hawks were seen. The only other "good" bird was a Double-crested Cormorant, which, unexplainably, was flying north like the swifts and swallows.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Cecropia moth caterpillar

This afternoon I found a Cecropia Moth (Hyalophora cecropia) caterpillar sitting on some lowbush blueberry beneath a few gray birches. I thought I would share some photos:

Friday, August 14, 2009

Veery flight call recording

This morning, I posted the flight call count from my deck in Kunkletown, PA. I have also been doing some recording for my sound field guide, which will appear on the Lehigh Gap Nature Center's website ( I have mainly recorded Veery calls, so here is an example of the call and spectogram.

Veery large numbers

This morning, I slept in, and did not get up until around 5 to listen for migrants. Before I heard any songbirds, a Barred Owl called from the creek at the bottom of the ridge. My final counts for flight calls were:

Swainson's Thrush-2 (low compared to other days)

I conducted a bird survey at the Lehigh Gap Nature Center ( this morning and found lots of migrating Eastern Kingbirds. A male Blue Grosbeak was singing in the grassland.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

more migrants

This morning I counted 54 Veery calls and 15 Swainson's Thrush calls. I also heard a Barred Owl and and Eastern Screech-Owl.

Monday, August 10, 2009

migration has started

This morning I got up at around 4:20 to listen for any early migrants. As I let the dog out, I heard the characteristic peep of a migrating Swainson's Thrush! I decided to sit out on the deck for the rest of the morning. Between 4:20 and 5:30, I heard 62 Veery calls, 10 Swainson's Thrush calls, and a bunch of other zips and zeeps.