Journal archives for May 2020

May 15, 2020

2020 Plans and Hopes

Hello to anyone seeing this!
Whether you know me, follow me or just happen to be here, welcome. I'm a young birder in Chicago Illinois and am learning to become more of an overall naturalist. In early 2020 and late 2019, I spent countless hours planning trips and adventures to see as many species of living things as possible. So far, I'm not even at half of where I wanted to be by this point. COVID-19 is causing a lot of damage to everyone's lives, but I just like everyone else am finding a way to make it work. So far, on my journey to see 265 species of birds in Cook County, IL in 2020 is going quite well. I'm at 215, which is 5 birds behind where I wanted to be at this point. Still a great number with the highlights being Ross's Goose, Harlequin Duck, Wild Turkey, Snowy Egret, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, White-faced Ibis, Bell's Vireo, Yellow-headed Blackbird, Kentucky, Cerulean, Worm-eating and Townsend's Warblers. In July and August, I will be hopefully traveling to western North Carolina for a long distance running camp where I hope to add 100 new species to my naturalist year and life list and run a total of 65 miles in the 6 day long camp. I will also be going to Southeast Arizona for a week in August in search of 200 species of birds and 450 species of living things. A week after SEAZ, a weekend to the Sleeping Bear Dunes in northern Michigan hoping to get 200 species of living things. Throughout the summer weekend trips and day trips to various locations close and farther away from home to get to experience many forms of nature.

Salamanders have recently fascinated me to the point where in March I didn't even care about the Pileated Woodpeckers and Rusty Blackbirds at the forest preserves, I wanted to flip every log possible to see a salamander. I now have seen many salamanders, but all at the last place I thought I'd find them, a forest preserve as far south as you can go in Cook County.

Butterflies flew into my life last year as well. I started to notice how they were everywhere, and there were some that has subtle differences from others, and three weeks later I could already ID almost all of the U.S. butterflies.

The natural world has always held a really special place in my heart, as when I was a toddler I became fascinated with cuttlefish. Cuttlefish turned into paleo-bugs, then paleo-sharks, then literally every single prehistoric animal.

Check out my iNat big year project here to track the things I'm seeing in my COVID-19 lockdown trips, and everything else.

Stay safe,

Posted on May 15, 2020 12:46 AM by brdnrdr brdnrdr | 1 comment | Leave a comment

May 17, 2020

A Record of Salamanders

Today was not going to be the day to go out birding, but we still did. We went to the most secluded and out of the way place you can go in Cook County to look for birds and herps. We actually stopped at a few fluddles before we stopped at the forest preserve, and picked up White-rumped sandpiper and Dunlin as the two year birds of the day. Later in the day we would get an adult in full breeding plumage American Golden-Plover, and species that has been slightly more common in Cook County this year. A the FP, we ended up flipping probably about 50-80 logs in total with an end result of 16 salamanders! All ambystomas, it was still a record! We even flipped a log with a Unisexual Mole (laterale/laterale/jeffersonianum hybrid complex) that was as long as my hand!

A very productive day even though it was raining quite hard.

Posted on May 17, 2020 05:45 PM by brdnrdr brdnrdr | 0 comments | Leave a comment

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