June 3-4 were travel days to start this field season. I first drove from Newbury, NH to visit my in-laws, John and Donna Henry, in Phillipsburg, PA.
John was very disappointed that an alleged Eastern Racoon had been feasting on goldfish and snails he had bought for his new backyard waterfowl fountain. He has painstakingly been building it for the past few months and added the fish and snails as a finishing touch. As I was preparing to leave, John was busy working on a remedy for the raccoon. I drove on 4 June to my first study site in Alcona County in northeastern Michigan.
Driving through Ohio and southern Michigan provided reminders of the current financial crisis and the troubled auto industry. I passed by a GM plant and a Chrysler plant that had been temporarily or permanently closed down. The vast parking lots were empty, much like a professional sports stadium several hours after the conclusion of a sporting event.
I did manage a quick photo of Lake Huron - see above. One aspect of my study is to analyze the effect of the Great Lakes as a potential barrier between the major song patterns within the species' range of the Mourning Warbler.
This morning, 5 June, I found and recorded my first Mourning Warblers northeast of Glennie, MI.
I am keeping daylists of bird sightings. The daylists (click here) will be posted at my website.
My field work has been generously supported by a Summer Research Grant from Saint Anselm College.