Sunday, June 24, 2007


Fort Peck, MT - Since a picture is worth a thousand words I decided to throw together a bunch of photos to explain some of the highlights of my June so far.
The big news here last week was THE STORM. It was a menacing green wall coming towards us last Saturday. We were with friends for a barbecue north of Glasgow and we watched the storm roll in from the west. It was one of the most impressive storms I have witnessed here. Lots of sustained hail and rain. In the areas that were hit hardest, very little vegetation was left standing. Leaves and bark were removed from trees. I did a BBS route yesterday that had the first few points within the storm path and bird life was noticeably diminished from previous years. As you might imagine there was plenty of damage to Glasgow and a few surrounding communities. Fortunately the storm moved north of Fort Peck so we had no damage to our house. The photo below is courtesy of the Glasgow Weather Service. More photos can be found here and here.

I have been doing a number of Breeding Bird Surveys. Some are official routes and others I have established to monitor bird populations in areas without official routes. These are photos of some Mountain Plovers I found during one of my unofficial routes in south Valley County.

Other birds found during these surveys include nesting Swainson's Hawks.

We have also started a bird banding project north of Glasgow. It is a station designed to monitor avian productivity and survival (MAPS) and follows a standard protocol as part of a national program. It has been tough getting it established with the record rains this spring (nearly 11.5 inches this year which is 6.1 inches greater than the yearly average to date).
Pictured below is Sabrina McNew, a volunteer from Pomona College in California and a few of the birds we captured and banded during our first banding day last week.

Sabrina with a Western Kingbird

Female Yellow-breasted Chat

Field Sparrow
I have also been spending some good time with my family. Benton played T-ball this year. Watching these youngsters learn how to play is good entertainment. Many of his games were rained out this year but he still had lots of fun in the games he did have.

We also went swimming last week. We all had a good time in the water.

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