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Back to Chautauqua!

Chautauqua, NY

all seasons in one day 79 °F

Last saturday I finally made it back to Chautauqua, NY as a young artist with the Opera Conservatory program.

A few days ago I went exploring the woods out behind the Chautauqua Cemetery (in the daytime, mind you!) and found a beautifully tranquil stream to bird and herp.

Soon, I snapped a quick photo of a male CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER; however, right after, the last remaining battery on my camera died. The thing is, since I electrocuted the château back in France with my faulty adapter for the camera charger, I was not able to charge the camera there. Furthermore, I had packed my camera charger in my checked bag which was subsequently lost by Air France (again!) on my way back from Europe. As a result, it had been almost two weeks since I was able to charge my camera.

Unfortunately, of course that was right when my favorite warbler, a HOODED, zoomed right in to my pishing. At least it came close enough for an identifiable iPhone photo!

To my delight, I found the stream to be inhabited by a sizable population of Northern Two-lined Salamanders, a species that was a lifer for me just last month (also in NY state)! This was a nice bright adult individual:

I also observed the juvenile, gilled form (released after a quick photo):

There were plenty of Green Frogs to be had, as well as this nice warty American Toad. Maybe the toad means there are Hognose snakes around? Fingers crossed.

It was a nice excursion. Bird-of-the-day for monday goes to the Hooded with runner-up to the Chestnut-sided Warbler; it is always great to see these species on their breeding grounds and it is amazing to see them (as well as all the amphibians!) hanging on in the fragmented slivers of woodland remaining in the Chautauqua area.

Just yesterday we had our annual Sing-in — it was wonderful to finally hear our full group of 37 singers performing anything from Handel da capos to musical theater classics. I sang a Mahler lied titled “In diesem Wetter.” Thanks for the photo, Anna Maria!

The boys after a successful sing-in:

And today finally my tardy suitcase arrived! The driver told me he has delivered lost baggage to Bellinger Residence Hall at Chautauqua in the past.

And right outside Bellinger, a MERLIN was perched up in a nearby conifer! Super cool — I have been seeing it around a lot these days so I suspect it is nesting nearby. According to a local ornithologist, they are becoming increasingly-common nesters in western New York! Super cool to see this woodland species adapting to more suburban-like habitats. It will serve as my bird-of-the-day for today, despite the crappy iPhone pic!

Good birding,
World Life List: 1138 Species

Posted by skwclar 00:23 Archived in USA

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