|June provided another month of odd weather but it will probably average out to somewhat normal. Migration is over so it (the weather) doesnít have as big an effect on birds as the strange April and May weather.
The pair of Canada Geese is having better luck than last year and all six goslings are still alive and well. Both Mallards and Wood Ducks have had very good reproduction success. I think there are more ducklings of each species than I have ever seen on Powderhorn. Of course, there is no way to get a good count. One Wood Duck had a litter of 26, which, if I am counting the same litter, is now down to 22.
Edgar, the female partial albino Mallard, has only one duckling. I donít know if this is related to albinism. Some of the other Mallards have only one duckling and Mallards usually have much lower numbers of ducklings than Wood Ducks (usually 8 or less while Wood Ducks often have a dozen or more).
The Herons have been on the lake often until the very high water at the end of June. One morning, I saw three Great Blue Herons, three Green Herons and one Egret all on the lake at the same time. I have not seen a Black-crowned Night Heron all month but I think they are there late at night. I have not seen a Double-crested Cormorant on the lake all year but I saw one fly over the lake on June 19.
I saw one hawk in the park and one in the yard last month, but not well enough to identify either one.
A pair of Hairy Woodpeckers had babies in a tree cavity near the temporarily relocated rock pile west of the teahouse. They were a very noisy group, but I could never see more than one baby at a time. They usually lay from four to six eggs. The nest now appears to be empty. On June 15, a female Hairy and almost full-grown baby spent some time in the backyard.
I see an Eastern Kingbird in the park quite often. I think it is the male and has a mate and young in the western part of Powderhorn. I have seen a male Baltimore Oriole in the park once in June. Last year I saw one twice. A White-breasted Nuthatch, unusual in the summer, was north of the lake late in the month.
Chimney Swifts are regular visitors over the lake late in the day and, while participating in the Lake Street cleanup on June 8, I saw many of them over Lake Street in the morning.
The more or less final report on the search for Ivory-billed Woodpeckers is in, and it is not good. The team of experts searching Louisiana swamps thought they heard the birdís distinctive drumming. Analysis of 4000 hours of digital recording data showed that the sounds were distant gunshots and the largest member of the woodpecker family is probably extinct, as many have thought, because of habitat loss.
Now for some non-bird sightings:
All the frog mating calls in May must have worked as there are now thousands and thousands of tadpoles visible around the edges of the lake.
A deer was seen in the southwest part of the neighborhood on June 2. This is close to where one was seen 8 or 10 years ago. I didnít see either deer but the observers were very reliable in both cases.
June bugs arrived in the backyard two days before their namesake month and for something completely different, I saw the space shuttle go by on June 11, a beautiful evening for sitting in the yard.
Comments and observations are always welcome. Send them to me, in care of the Southside Pride. Thank you.
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