September 13th – What’s This Wet Stuff?

Black-throated Green Warbler - one of 8 species of warbler encountered at Ruthven today.

Black-throated Green Warbler – one of 8 species of warbler encountered at Ruthven today.


I just got back from 2 weeks in Kazakhstan, most of it at Chokpak Ornithological Station which is nestled against the foot of the Tien Shan Mountains, 530 kilometers east of Almaty. Kazakhstan is an arid country and the area around Chokpak was very dry. Just walking along the dirt tracks through the steppe would raise dust. Opening nets was a “dry” affair, very unlike Ruthven. This morning I was struck by how heavy the dew can be in our area – a significant source of water for plants. My feet were drenched after just one net round. It took until about 10 o’clock for the sun to dry up the heaviest of it in the thicker grass.
A few black feathers coming in on the head (especially around the base of the bill) tell us this is a male Blackpoll Warbler.

A few black feathers coming in on the head (especially around the base of the bill) tell us this is a male Blackpoll Warbler.


Birds trickled through the site…..not big numbers but nice variety; e.g., 50% of the 26 birds banded were warblers, representing 8 species. I much prefer “our” warblers to Old World Warblers which are very drab and difficult to tell apart if they’re not singing (and you’re not holding them in your hand).
Yellow feet and legs........Blackpoll Warbler.

Yellow feet and legs……..Blackpoll Warbler.


Banded 26:
1 Downy Woodpecker
2 Eastern Wood Pewees
4 Gray Catbirds
1 Brown Thrasher
1 Philadelphia Vireo
2 Red-eyed Vireos
1 Tennessee Warbler
1 Nashville Warbler
4 Magnolia Warblers
1 Black-throated Greed Warbler
1 Bay-breasted Warbler
3 Blackpoll Warblers
1 American Redstart
1 Wilson’s Warbler
2 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 40 spp.
Rick

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