Looks like a normal start to July

Looks like a normal start to July

After a busy holiday weekend, things should return to normal — well, maybe the new normal. The temperature today in Northern Indiana is supposed to reach 93, with the heat index over 100 F. This is not the first such day this summer. We had a much-needed rain overnight, with more predicted for the next three days.

We had a family gathering here in Goshen over the holiday. All of us value family times like this, probably more than ever. Last week we had to deal with a family health situation that involved a two-day hospital stay. Additionally, a young family of four friends from church all were home with COVID-19. It was a reminder times are not really back to normal.

On the birding scene, it looks like a normal start to July. The bird alerts haven’t had a lot to report. A summer tanager in Wayne County is always a notable find, especially one that comes to feeders. Willets have been reported at several places along Lake Erie, and blue grosbeaks have shown up at various places in Ohio and Indiana.

We talked to my brother and his wife in New Mexico over the weekend since they didn’t make it to the reunion. They have had over 4 inches of early monsoon rains in the very dry Southwestern New Mexico mountains. Everything looks green, quite a change from the normal late June, early July weather. They have a lot of interesting birds at their feeders including four species of orioles. A recent orchard oriole was a rare find for that part of the state. The San Francisco River runs through their little town of Glenwood. The huge cottonwood trees provide habitat for common black hawks, along with a variety of other raptors.

Here at our place in Goshen, Indiana, we have the usual summer resident birds. Robins are everywhere. If I turn on the Merlin birding app, it almost always hears robins at any time of day and even before daylight. We also have eastern wood pewees, red-eyed and warbling vireos, and sometimes a yellow-throated vireo. House and Carolina wrens are always present, as well as all the regular feeder visitors.

Nighthawks are around morning and evening, sometimes even in the middle of the day. Cooper’s hawks make regular flights through the yard, and the nesting bald eagles from the nearby lake can usually be seen somewhere in the neighborhood. It’s been a good year for cedar waxwings, and a pair of blue-gray gnatcatchers are nesting close to the house. Catbirds call from the shrubs at the back of the property while mourning doves, house finches, chipping sparrows and other birds compete with always-present squirrels around the feeders. A song sparrow has recently joined the group.

Because we live close to a small lake, we hear and see kingfishers, wood ducks, mallards and great blue herons. Green herons sometimes fly by, and pileated woodpeckers are in the neighborhood. There is always something going on for those of us who enjoy birds.

Good birding.

Bruce Glick can be emailed at bglick2@gmail.com.