Trans Scend Survival

Trans: Latin prefix implying "across" or "Beyond", often used in gender nonconforming situations – Scend: Archaic word describing a strong "surge" or "wave", originating with 15th century english sailors – Survival: 15th century english compound word describing an existence only worth transcending.

Category: Nature Observations (page 2 of 7)

Pre-dawn Fox Park Lot Walk (Birding by Ear)

Walking through the 'burbs in the dark can be exciting.  About an 45 minutes before sunrise, I walked to the base area of Fox park and found these 15 birds.  While I didn't see them, I could certainly hear them!

Species Count
Mourning Dove 1
Downy Woodpecker 1
Eastern Phoebe 3
Blue Jay 1
American Crow 3
Black-capped Chickadee 4
Tufted Titmouse 3
House Wren 2
Wood Thrush 1
American Robin 2
Northern Mockingbird 1
Ovenbird 2
Chipping Sparrow 1
Song Sparrow 1
Northern Cardinal 1



Well.  There comes a time when one remembering the right things at the right time equates to a high-stakes venture in academia.

Below is a gallery of photos taken today, comprised almost entirely out of bark, leaves, and twigs.  This is my study guide for the upcoming natural history final exam.  It is not near complete; but for a walk through the woods and a significant number of hours behind a camera, computer, and coffee cup, I think it will do for now.  Frogs, tracks, and birds are not covered here.



Hunting for Trees = BIRDS

Today, I went lurking about Langdon Woods in search of as many trees as possible.  I took over 300 photos of bark, leaves, and twigs, aiming to highlight the growth patterns and key ID features of the trees on the PSU natural history final exam.   This went well, and I will be posting these Tree-I-Dee's as soon as I get through the pictures.

The following photos are the result of chance and some enthusiastic "pishing" I did to draw in the birds, so I would not need to get to off course.

  1.  Redstart Warbler.  This is almost certainly a breeding male in full attire.   The Redstart song is often heard through these New Hampshire forests these days.  This fellow responded very well to "pish" sounds, and danced over to me to see what the fuss was about.

2. Black-and-White Warbler.  These Warblers have a weezy, squeaky sound almost identical to a rusty wheel. They act like Nuthatches but "dance" up and down the tree more enthusiastically, which is often a good way to tell which is which.

3.  Hermit Thrush.  These amber-toned thrushes have a beautiful song, but the only thrush singing today was the large Ovenbird population.   More characteristic to the forests on the sides of white mountains, they will all sing together about an half an hour before sunrise.  The proper thrushes (not including robin) of NH seem to follow an altitude metric:  Ovenbird lives at the bottom, Hermit lives in the low hills, Swainson's sings in the mossy forest below the krumholz, and Bicknell's rules them all, only breeding above four thousand feet.  !!!


Fox Park to Langdon: Morning Birds!

Without further ado:

This morning, I went birding across the campus starting at sunrise.  Below is the species list, and two ID shots- Ruby-crowned kinglet and Yellow warbler.

2 Canada Goose
2 Mourning Dove
1 Red-bellied Woodpecker
1 Downy Woodpecker
2 Eastern Phoebe
2 Blue Jay
2 American Crow
1 Common Raven
3 Black-capped Chickadee
2 Tufted Titmouse
1 House Wren
2 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
2 American Robin
1 Northern Mockingbird
1 Ovenbird
1 Black-and-white Warbler
1 Yellow Warbler
1 Black-throated Blue Warbler
1 Chipping Sparrow
2 White-throated Sparrow
1 Song Sparrow
1 Northern Cardinal
1 Common Grackle
1 House Finch
1 American Goldfinch
2 House Sparrow

*1 Black-throated Green Warbler, *Yellow-rumped Warbler found later.

Number of Taxa: 26 + 2

Above is a Ruby-crowned Kinglet.  Note the crown is not ruby colored.

Above is a deeply-hued Yellow Warbler.  A pure sounding, "Sweet-sweet-sweet, so-so Sweet!"- heard all over the forest an parking lots alike.


The Big Len List

This morning at 7am, very few birds were singing.  Behind the Rugby  field in a solid rain, a small group of people stood with their noses to the sky.  This is PSU's very own Len R.  -led class on vertebrate zoology.  Now, please note I do not take this class, but I know a thing or two about Len.   Len is a bird master; this means vertebrate zoology in the springtime may just equate to an excellent excuse to find and learn about birds and warblers on the premise of a college class.  Thank goodness warblers have backbones.

The following list was compiled mostly by Len and another student (who also is not taking the course...).

The louisiana waterthrush, black and white warbler, and a glowing male redstart (all of which are warblers, despite the different naming conventions) really hit this walk out of the park for me.



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