May 28th – The Sun’s Anvil

Vesper Sparrow - an umcommon "visitor" from surrounding agricultural fields.

Some of you may remember the great epic film Lawrence of Arabia with Peter O’Toole. There’s one very poignant scene in which the rag-tag Arab army sets out to take the city of Aqaba from the Turks. To do so they have to cross the huge Nefud Desert, a crossing that takes many days. As they approach the edge of it, the sun is just coming up and the background music hints at the sizzling heat they will endure. One of the warriors points out to the sandy expanse, shimmering with heat waves, and calls it the “sun’s anvil”. [After the crossing I had to skip out and get a drink…]
Early this morning I heard that same music when I turned to the east and saw the sun peeking out over the disappearing clouds. I was approaching the sun’s anvil…..or it was approaching me.

It got hot quickly…and sticky. By noon the temperature was 32 degrees and the humidex pushed it toward the 40 mark. Hardly Spring weather! As we had lots of very competent volunteers around I “bailed” and lead a group of enthusiastic birders down the river edge to the old train bridge and then, after enjoying the view (and the breeze), back through the agricultural fields. It was a hot trek.

We are just beginning to band the first of this year’s crop of new young birds: White-breasted Nuthatch, American Robin, Song Sparrow, House Finch. These are just the harbingers of the hordes to come.

May 28th, Banded 25:
1 Eastern Phoebe
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
2 American Robins
2 Gray Catbirds
4 Cedar WaxwingsMay 27th,
1 Red-eyed Vireo
1 Yellow Warbler
1 Common Yellow Throat
1 Indigo Bunting
2 Song Sparrows
1 Red-winged Blackbird
2 House Finches
6 American Goldfinches

May 28th, ET’s: 61 spp.

Female Canada Warbler - much plainer than its male counterpart.

May 27th, Banded 27:
1 Eastern Wood Pewee
1 Traill’s Flycatcher
1 Blue Jay
2 White-breasted Nuthatches
1 House Wren
1 Carolina Wren
1 Eastern Bluebird
1 Gray Catbird
2 Cedar Waxwings
1 Yellow Warbler
1 Common Yellowthroat
1 Wilson’s Warbler
1 Canada Warbler
1 Vesper Sparrow
1 Song Sparrow
2 Red-winged Blackbirds
1 Baltimore Oriole
7 American Goldfinches

May 27th, ET’s; 59 spp.

Photo Gallery: [I have a bunch of pictures to post but I’m having difficulty uploading them.]

Dame's Rocket highlights the Carolinian Trail. -C. Jones

A hillside of Dame's Rocket. -C. Jones


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