It is breeding bird survey season. Many are already in progress. This morning, I conducted the Breeding Bird Survey (a.k.a. the Forest Bird Monitoring Program) for the National Park Service at Jockey Hollow National Historical Park. The Vermont Center for Ecostudies manages this program.
The survey took longer than anticipated for the following reasons:
1. Fallen trees courtesy of superstorm Sandy turned some sections of the route into an obstacle course.
2. I was having too much fun observing the Cicadas.
There was some concern that Brood II might not reach awesome proportions in the Morris/Harding Township areas that other nearby locations gloated about.
That was until today. Jockey Hollow was simply overwhelmed by Cicadas. Exuviae were everywhere: Beech Trees, Japanese Barberry, Christmas Fern. Living Cicadas were seen on tree trunks, flying slowly from one perch to another, landing on me occasionally. The sound of the Cicadas created a roar along Tempe Wick Road. Meanwhile, a woodland habitat survey had to be conducted. 3-4 Hooded Warblers, Worm-eating Warbler and the typical Scarlet Tanagers, Eastern Wood-Pewees Ovenbirds, Veerys, Wood Thrushes and Pileated Woodpeckers, etc. were tallied.
The White-eyed Vireo continues at the Whitehead Rd. section of Patriot’s Path in the Washington Valley section of Morris Township.
The Yellow-breasted Chat is still chatting away at the Washington Valley Road section of Patriots Path. It is on the west side of the field. The Chat is easily heard but nearly impossible to see. The field surrounding the trees the Chat favors is protected by poison ivy on one side and waste deep vegetation on the other.
The Yellow-breasted Chat on Pleasant Plains Road, Great Swamp NWR was not detected today.