A cold day, but a productive one

The weather here has been nothing short of nutty lately.  From the mid-80s last week to the low 60s this week (45 this morning!).  Clear and sunny one day and tornadoes the next.  Wind, hail, rain, and even an earthquake! (I think the earthquake is unconfirmed, but don’t quote me on that.)

If I feel confused by this weather, I can only imagine how the migrating birds feel!  Or the ones that are already sitting on eggs and/or nestlings!   Poor birds.

The Lake Sinclair Dam is a large local power plant that is currently home to FOUR Osprey nests!  Today for lab, we drove out there and got some exclusive access to the nests and despite the winds, it was an incredible, if cold, experience.

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We started the day birding near the Lake/River, and we saw quite a number of species and in short a period of time.  I wasn’t expecting to see so many with the weather, but the birds still need to eat, so they were pretty active.

Today’s total was 25 species in only an hour and forty minutes!   Some highlights were Brown-headed Nuthatches doing some mating chases, the Ospreys (obviously) and the OSPREY NESTLINGS!!!   There weren’t too many migratory birds, but the Blue-Grey Gnatcatchers were out in decent numbers, the Cedar Waxwings are still hanging around, and there were some Northern-Rough Winged Swallows mixed in with a TON of Cliff Swallows.  Full eBird checklist is here.

Sadly, I didn’t get a photo of any of the nests.  Sometimes, my excitement to see the birds makes me forget that I need to document them.  Well….I suppose need is a bit extreme, though pictures do make more interesting blog posts.  

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The view from the walkway was incredible and I did manage to capture that.   

We had a shorter birding day because the undergraduate research presentations are going on today.  They were great and well worth giving up an hour of precious birding time.  

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