Observation start time: 10:00:00 Observation end time: 16:00:00 Total observation time: 6 hours
Official Counter: Katrina Fenton
Observers: Holly Baur, Pam Hunt
Visitors: Today's 54 visitors included kindergarten and 3rd grade students from Jennie Blake Elementary School.
Weather: Valley fog obscured everything beyond the trees ringing the orchard for the better part of the morning, though Carter Hill itself was bathed in sunlight. A network of cirrus wafted through the sky like snowy diurnal auroras, while cumulus built to billowing towers over the mountains to the west. The wind was light and variable, though it seemed to favor the southern quadrant. Temperatures rose from the 70s to brush 90.
Raptor Observations: Local Red-tailed Hawks hunted the edges of the orchard while American Kestrels snagged dragonflies on the wing as they passed on through. The sky lent itself well to picking out high and distant specks, which were invariably either Sharp-shinned Hawks or insects, usually the later.
Non-raptor Observations: A total of 42 avian species were observed at the orchard, only 6 of which were raptors. A Mourning Dove perched on the platform watched me set up for the day with cautious curiosity, unwilling to fly off for several minutes even though I was only a few yards away. Other highlights included a late Eastern Wood-pewee singing in the distance and 8 species of warblers.
Non-raptor Day List: Mourning Dove (8), Belted Kingfisher (1), Downy Woodpecker (1), Hairy Woodpecker (1), Northern Flicker (2), Eastern Wood-pewee (1), Eastern Phoebe (2), Blue Jay (5), American Crow (1), Common Raven (2), Black-capped Chickadee (4), Tufted Titmouse (2), White-breasted Nuthatch (1), Eastern Bluebird (5), American Robin (1), Gray Catbird (1), Cedar Waxwing (2), Black-throated Blue Warbler (1), Yellow-rumped Warbler (1), Black-throated Green Warbler (1), Palm Warbler (1), Blackburnian Warbler (1), Blackpoll Warbler (3), Common Yellowthroat (1), Wilson's Warbler (1), Chipping Sparrow (~50), Savannah Sparrow (6), Song Sparrow (~20), Lincoln's Sparrow (5), White-throated Sparrow (~30), White-crowned Sparrow (1), Dark-eyed Junco (1), Northern Cardinal (1), Indigo Bunting (2), House Finch (2), American Goldfinch- 6
Monarch Butterfly- 11 (plus another 20 or so that spent the day actively feeding on the red clover)
Predictions: One more day of obnoxiously unseasonable heat before a cold front sweeps through tomorrow night. The wind will be out of the SW at 5-10mph, and there might be some lingering morning fog to contend with. Far from ideal conditions from a migration standpoint, but it's always worth slathering on the sunscreen and bringing a 10 gallon jug of your favorite summer thirst quencher to see what might turn up in the orchard. ======================================================================== Report submitted by Katrina Fenton (<trina16...>) Carter Hill Observatory information may be found at: www.nhaudubon.org