Tuesday, April 29, 2014

So much to see

This time of the year is amazing.  There is so much to see everywhere you look.  Hawks are everywhere, kestrels, Broad-winged, Red-tails, Sharpies, and Coopers.  The migration is full on now.  Lots of Warblers trickling in.  Good size flock of Yellow-rumped up in the Co. Park. Yesterday I watched a fox hunting a field.  The last two days I've seen the leusistic Red-tail Hawk in the same field as the fox.  I also found a nest where he/she hangs out.  It doesn't look like anyone is in it, I need to put my scope on it. 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Basha Kill

Today was my first shift up at the Basha Kill as a Nature Watch volunteer.  Who knew just how much fun volunteer work could be!  I really believe that everyone should volunteer to help with something.  How much better would this world be if we all helped in some way?  Pick your passion and go for it, the rewards are far greater then the time and effort you put in.  The Basha Kill is now becoming my newest obsession, everywhere you look there are birds.  I can't wait to get up there again. 

Saturday, April 26, 2014


I was being super lazy today and never got up the energy to walk the dog until just before 4pm today.  The expected rain has started to fall so I grabbed a rain coat from my car and headed up the trail.  I love being in the forest when it is raining.  It feels so peaceful.  I was going to cut the hike short as it was raining harder and for some reason I just continued on.  When ever I get out there I never want to leave.  I walked to the back side of the pond and suddenly the sun came out, it was still raining and I thought to myself, I'm going to get a RAINBOW!  I hurried along on the trail and soon as I got closer to the end of the pond I saw it peeking out of the trees, there it was!  A gorgeous rainbow!  I ran down the hill and onto the field, and enjoyed a magical moment.   It was just amazing!  After I watched the rainbow disappear I headed back to the trail and guess what was in the tops of all the trees.....YES....the Wood Warblers!  Like clockwork they have returned! 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


We got some very sad news last night about a good friend.  Today while chatting on my cell phone  parked on my clients private road, about this person,  a Bald Eagle began circling over.  :-)  Nature is always there for me.  My hubby got good news,  so happy for us, but so deeply deeply sad for our friend and his family. 

I heard tonight that the owlet I found a month back is about to fledge, I hope to get out and see him! 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


I took Monty up to Cascade Park after the rain started.  I was a little annoyed at myself that I had waited all day to get out to the park, especially since it's Earth Day.  Well....I'm so happy I waited!  I had the park to myself, as it was starting to pour.  Soon as I stepped out of the car I could hear the toads calling.  We did our walk around to pond, and when we got to the trail closest to the lake,  I started seeing Toads everywhere!  At one point I was watching  6 pairs in ampluxus all laying eggs.    What a wonderful treat, nature never disappoints me. I was super stressed and felt like it had all poured out of me as I watched the miracle
 of life. 

Friday, April 18, 2014


On Wisner Road!  Both Red Tail nests have females sitting on eggs. Nothing else to report.

Thursday, April 17, 2014


Yesterday I volunteered at the Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge counting ducks.  It was great fun.  Soon as I arrived there was an Osprey flying over.  Species we counted were Shoveler, GW & BW Teal, Mallard,  Black, Pintail.  There were also couple GB Herons.  FOY Warblers for me, Yellow-rumpted and Prairie.  Heard GB Gnatcatchers.  4 Speices of Swallows flying right in front of us.  Lots of Beaver sign along the river. Later on I heard my first Very up in the Co. Park.

Today I walked a dog up in a field, and what did I hear and see?  2 Meadowlarks!  It's been years since I've last seen one. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Water Snakes

4 Northern Water Snakes and a Garter Snake up at Cascade Lake.  Dozens of Toads singing.  Northern Waterthrush in several locations.  Beaver sign!!!  So excited, there might be a Beaver back at the lake. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014


Last night Bobby accompanied me on my first NAAMP window to collect data.  My territory is in Harriman State Park.  It took a total of 2.5 hours of my time.  I loved it!  Nothing like being outside in the dark looking at the moon, stars, smelling the fresh air and listening to frogs and toads calling in the night. It was a still night, with temps ranging from 55-48.  I was also blessed to hear several woodcock preeting and then doing their arial display.  Wonderful way to spend a evening. 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

72 degrees

A squirrel got hit by a car in front of our house,  a TV was there very quickly.  There are huge kettles of them, all just returning home after a long Winter. 

Today over at our land we found 4 Garter snakes.  All were soaking up the sunshine and looked very healthy.

Our Vernal Pool on the land had more then 40 Spotted Salamander egg masses and 2 Wood Frog egg masses.   The most I've seen in the 4  years we've owned it.  I can not wait to live there and be able to walk out the door of my house and be at a Vernal Pool in minutes.

Friday, April 11, 2014

More VP activity

The Wood Frogs have laid their eggs and so have the Spotted Salamanders.  I think that I have a good handle on when the males and females arrive, and the fact that they stay in the Pool for several days after arriving.  We are expecting more rain in a little while and I would expect the females to all leave tonight.  As always a beautiful time alone in the woods.  So peaceful. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014


Today I volunteered at the Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge for a couple of hours.  I helped survey a few different  vernal pools. We collected data about each pool while wading through in waders.  I loved it! One of the pools had Jefferson Salamander eggs!  Most only contained Wood Frog eggs.  I even loved it when I got stuck in the mud, fell to my knees and filled the waders with water. After we finished up with the Vernal Pools,  I was taken to a Heron Rookery to check on it. What an amazing paradise.    A gorgeous wet land full of beavers, ducks, turtles and 25 or so occupied Great Blue Heron nests.  Last week two otters were seen there, very exciting for my friend who works at the refuge..  I feel very privileged to see something so amazing, it made my day.  I also saw a flock of Turkeys and Rusty Blackbirds.

On my way home I stopped to check on two suspected Red-tail nests, BOTH had birds sitting on eggs!  What a day!

Photo by Matt Zeitler

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Mourning Cloak

Mourning Cloak, Nymphalis antiopa. Our first butterfly to emerge after the long winter.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Spotted Salamanders


Spotted Salamander
The last couple of days I've made multiple trips up to the Vernal Pools in the County Park.  Last night we went up in the pouring rain and spent 2 hours looking at Salamanders.  Beautiful creatures.  There were also Wood Frogs and Spring Peepers out.  Today there are more Spermatophores and only one additional egg mass.  I think that  the Spotteds we saw last night were males, and that the females are also in the vernal pools now after a night of rain.  I expect they will start laying eggs tonight after the cover of darkness.  I heard my first Water-thrush! 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Tree swallows

As I drove past Greenwood Lake this afternoon, there were Tree Swallows flying all over the place!  It was a rainy cold day, so I'm sure that is the only place they could find food today.

 I went with my son today to take him for his first Helicopter Flight lesson, he has decided that is his career direction!  I had a great time.  So wonderful to see him so excited.  My oldest son is still in NZ living life to the fullest.  He has had an incredible 7 months there now.  He is off to AU soon, and then to TN to work as a.....white water rafting guide!  After that....Peacecorps.  My 2nd son is working for a solar power company.  I couldn't feel any prouder then I do at this moment. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

My favorite creature on earth besides dogs!

Gorgeous female.  So happy to see my first turtle of the season! 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Red Shoulders

4 Red-shouldered hawks flying over Cascade Lake this afternoon. They were doing a Arial ballet.  I expect it's last years pair and their young.  So exciting they will be nesting there again.  Phoebes calling.  Turtles sunning. Perfect day for a walk in the woods.  I ended up doing my loop 2x as I dropped something and had to return to the park to find it, only to finish my 2nd loop and see it hanging on the fence.  Someone was kind enough to leave it.  I love my town.