Date: 5/16/18 9:01 am
From: pep4223 <pep4223...>
Subject: Warblers and Weather - Jefferson County yard
I thought "APRIL showers bring MAY flowers" ????? As you know, we've had our share of May, not April, showers. Here is my yard rain data for May to date, recorded when I empty the gauge the following morning.

May 6 - 0.4 inch

May 10 - trace

May 13 - 0.7 inch

May 14 - 0.3 inch

May 15 - 0.5 inch

May 16 (last night) - 2.9 inches

I noticed on May 15, in between storms after the sun came out, that the American Toads singing in my pond had laid strings of eggs on my sidewalk at the base of my steps, a few feet from the rain swollen pond. It was a real shame, as the sun came out early that morning, and by the time I found the egg strings, they were dessicated, flattened, and stuck to my flagstone sidewalk. Like a bird who spends its energy laying a clutch of eggs, only to lose it quickly, it was sad to see wasted effort expended by a toad.

This morning, after nearly 3 inches of rain, those same toad egg strings that were stuck to the sidewalk, had re-energized and were soft and near normal size. I couldn't believe it was possible. No, they were not freshly laid eggs. So I got the lid from my compost bin, added pond water, scraped up as many eggs as I could with a knife off the sidewalk, and left the lid with the egg scrapings by the pond. As I was doing this, a toad was singing in the background. My science project is to see if any of these rehydrated eggs hatch. I'm also hoping a toad lays more eggs in the lid.

In the Eastern Panhandle, we appear to be having a good share of lingering migrating warblers this season due to all the storms. Yesterday's yard warblers were:

American Redstart 1

Magnolia Warbler 1

Blackpoll Warbler 3

Common Yellowthroat 1

The most interested thing to me was the fact that this Common Yellowthroat was engaged in singing its WITCHITY WITCHITY song, which is the first time I can recall having a yellowthroat in the yard singing as if it were in a wetland. It sure feels like a wetland out there today. It's raining now.


Jefferson County, WV
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