Monday, May 7, 2012

Monday Phenology: May 7, 2012

Posted by Kirk
This is a transcript of the Monday Phenology podcast. If you are reading via email you can click here to listen.

The sun came up this morning at 5:53 AM and set again at 8:26 PM. The sun is now coming up in the 5:00 hour and we'll stay here until the solstice. The earliest sunrise in the twin cities is 5:25 am so not much further to go. Today was 14 hours,  33 minutes and 25 seconds long and we're still gaining 2 and a half minutes per day.

Nature's Week in Review:

Monday morning there was 0.1 inches of rain in the rain gauge. Blue-grey gnatcatchers and Clay-colored Sparrows showed up at work in the morning but I managed to miss both. On the way home I heard a Sora but didn't manage to see it in the little time I had. A Black Bear showed up at work and tore into our seed storage area, ripping open a locked garbage can. There are photos on the website. 

Tuesday I saw the Blue-grey Gnatcatchers when I arrived at work and it only took a quick walk to the prairie to spot the Clay-colored Sparrows as well. Winds steadily picked up throughout the day.

By Wednesday morning we had .83 inches of rain.  It got into the 80s by the afternoon. We had many new first of the year birds at work. Brown Thrasher, Blue-winged warbler, Northern Waterthrush, Western Palm Warbler. Of those, I only personally saw the Palm Warbler. Our cameras revealed the bear came back Tuesday night. We captured it on video this time. Sunrise was at 6:00 am on Wednesday which was the last sunrise in the 6:00 hour. The sun won't rise this late again until August 2.

Thursday was a great day for birds. I stepped out for a short lunchtime hike and was rewarded by Nashville Warbers, a Baltimore Oriole, Black-and-white Warber, Blue-winged Warbler, Ruby-crowned Kinglet. Add to that a Rose-breasted Grosbeak I saw out the window from my desk. At the end of the day I also saw a Yellow Warbler, Least Flycatcher and an Eastern Towhee. That was eight new species for the year in one day! American Toads were hitting their full stride today and singing like mad. It sounded great.

Friday morning there was .77 inches of rain in the rain gauge from all the rain we had on Thursday. I went out on a hike to help the bird banders Friday morning and I picked up a number of new birds for the year. Warbling Vireo, Tennessee Warbler, Brown Thrasher, American Redstart. I also heard Wood Thrush and Great Crested Flycatcher. The black and white warblers and ruby-crowned kinglets were making themselves seen too.

Saturday morning we had .3 inches of rain in the gauge. When the rain came down Friday night it was heavy but didn't last long. During the day Saturday, I was at Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis for the annual Great Strides walk to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. My focus was on family so I didn't notice many birds aside from a loon, some coots and a mallard. The mallard had ducklings which reminds me I saw the first goslings of the year earlier this week.

Sunday morning we had 1.14 inches of rain in the gauge. Everything else was a wet blur.

The week ahead:
This next week will be all about warblers. Watch for Canada Warblers, Wilson's Warblers, Northern Parula, etc. I think we'll have all of the warblers by the end of the week. This will also be a good week to look for mushrooms what with all the rain. If you're into fungus get out there and explore.