Seen This Week

Blackpoll warbler, Presque Isle, 12 May 2024 (photo by Charity Kheshgi)

18 May 2024

Best birds this week were seen at Presque Isle State Park on Sunday 12 May while birding with Charity and Kaleem Kheshgi. At Leo’s Landing many of the birds were at eye level including this blackpoll warbler and the barn and bank swallows.

Barn and bank swallows, Presque Isle, 12 May 2024 (photo by Charity Kheshgi)

Even the treetop birds, like this yellow-throated vireo, cooperated for photographs.

Yellow-throated vireo, Presque Isle, 12 May 2024 (photo by Charity Kheshgi)

Was this redstart was looking askance at us? Or eyeing a bug?

American redstart, Presque Isle, 12 May 2024 (photo by Charity Kheshgi)

I had high hopes for the Bird Banding at Hays Woods on Wednesday 15 May but we were in for a surprise. No birds to band! Bummer. 🙁 This restart, banded earlier in the week, shows what we could have seen.

American redstart at Bird Lab banding (photo by Kate St. John)

After we left the banding station we had good looks at a scarlet tanager and found this Kentucky flat millipede (Apheloria virginiensis). It’s colored black and orange because it’s toxic.

  • It secretes cyanide compounds as a defense. Don’t touch it!
  • You might find one perched and dying on top of a twig. That’s because it can host the parasitic fungus Arthrophaga myriapodina which causes infected individuals to climb to an elevated spot before death (per Wikipedia). Eeeew.
Centipede Aphelosia virginiensis, Hays Woods, 15 May 2024 (photo by Kate St. John)

This week there were flowers in the tulip trees (Liriodendron) obscured by thick leaves. This flower came into view when a squirrel bit off the twig and didn’t retrieve the branch.

Tulip tree flower and leaves, 16 May 2024 (photo by Kate St. John)

Instead of rain on Wednesday we had a beautiful sunrise.

Sunrise 14 May 2024 (photo by Kate St. John)

To make up for no rain on Wednesday it’s pouring right now on Saturday.

2 thoughts on “Seen This Week

  1. A most informative and beautiful post….except for the bug carrying cyanide!! 🙂 Have a wonderful weekend, Kate!

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