MORails 2014 round 1

Each season of my project is broken down into four rounds of surveys. We visit each region of the state four times and we’ve just finished up our first set of visits to each region.

Despite a murphy’s law esq series of ATV problems, we’ve completed over 80 surveys and the birds are here, which is more then we could say this time last year.

Its also been very hot (heat index over 100 for over a week). I think it may have been impacting the birds response to our surveys, when we detected birds on surveys they tended not to fly, or if they did fly they didn’t fly far. I can’t blame them, it was difficult being out in soup like air.

Highlights of the past few weeks, a female Sora flew up and hit me in the face. Found some cranky crayfish at Clarence Cannon, I don’t think they liked the heat either.

The NE part of the state had some flooding in July from the Mississippi River, luckily the water has receeded and the veg is coming back. The flood left the cattails looking interesting.


Teal migration has begun, mostly Blue-winged Teal so far. This is also very different then last year when teal didn’t really come through till late September.

The radar is on fire most nights with birds migrating south so we are looking forward to more and more birds and the arrival of the other rail species as the season continues.

Season by the Numbers

Trips to the ATV repair place - 5

ATVs borrowed while others are being fixed - 4

Surveys completed = 84

Sora observed = 114

Written on September 1, 2014