Welcome to the Vinalhaven Sightings Report-
November 23rd, 2013
Highlights – Bat stuff – including bat hopping video, Red-throated Loon, Carolina Wren, Kittiwakes, Razorbills, Gannets, evolution of a Sunset, Yellowlegs falls in the water, blah, blah, blah and other stuff.
|this deer is dead|
Alright – Silly distractions and hunting season have left this VSR feeling “a little thin”. At this time of the year we keep out of the woods as much as sanity allows. I was actually told I was “brave” the other day for going in the woods. My being “brave” well – “it could happen” (Judy Tenuta). I didn’t even come close to being shot that day. Anyway – continue to wear Orange when out and about.
Contact the VSR – firstname.lastname@example.org . for all of your “contactual needs”, naturally speaking of course.
Tiit trick – “click it or squint it!” Click the photos to enlarge.
Congrats - On behalf of everyone who has ever read a VSR, we extent a huge “congratulations” to Colleen and Jim Conlan on being the first married team (not on the VSR staff) to have both partners send in photos for a particular VSR. I think we all knew it was going to be them.
A certificate in honor of their achievement is in the mail with the certificate for the owl band Faith Osgood and I reported. In other words, it may take a while. You still should be touched by such an honor. Here’s what they sent in…
|bat out of the belfry|
photo by Jim Conlan
Anyway, Jim sent in this photo of what appears to be a Northern Myotis Bat (Myotis septentrionalis) doing push-ups or something. Note the “long ears and long narrow tragus” (judgment call and not a nice one – sorry sensitive ear and tragus people) and what appears to be “pinkish/brown facial skin”. For those wondering - “The tragus is used in echolocation to help direct sound to the ear”- Fiona Reid, Peterson Guide to Mammals of N.A. . I thought that was called “the ear”. Anyway…
|help I'm a rock|
Jim also shares this video of the same bat bouncing along the ground. Or hopping. Or something. Maybe too many fermented apples? We (the royal “we” again) joke of course, these aren’t fruit bats, but seeing a bat in this state raising concerns for sure. Colleen thought he was hurt, Jim thought it might have been cold and disoriented. We are certainly not Bat-ologists or anything, but it looks like something is up with this dude. No white-nose fungus though, so it has that going for him….which is nice. He hopped over to some shrubs, hung out and relaxed and has not been seen since – alive….or dead or whatever. Anyone know a good bat interpreter?
|snail with white stuff. hand not identified|
photo by Colleen Conlan
Colleen reports – “We see these little yellow snails all season long. Now all of them seem to be covered over with this white lid.” And asks “ Do snails close up shop for the winter?”.
“Boy, man. God, spraint” – A snail question! Where’s that land snail guy when you need him?
Well, a quick “something” search turned up a Wiki (“where would we be without wiki?” – Jersey state motto) page on land snails. Here’s what we lifted from the “hibernations and estivation”
“Hibernation and estivation
Some snails hibernate during the winter (typically October through April in the Northern Hemisphere). They may also estivate in the summer in drought conditions. If snails are not able to hibernate, the snail can die or its species may even go extinct like the Aldabra banded snail. To stay moist during hibernation, a snail seals its shell opening with a dry layer of mucus called an epiphragm.” – wiki
|amy and leif checking out the|
Wiki is so funny. First off, who the hell wrote this?
Snail Tangent Alert! – STA! - “If snails are not able to hibernate, the snail can die or its species may even go extinct like the aldabra banded snail.” This kind of implies that the Aldabra Banded snail went extinct because it wasn’t able to hibernate. That might be a stretch, word is a “change in the weather” – (less rainfall – longer, hotter summers) on the one atoll in the Indian Ocean where the snail was found resulted in its quick descent from super numerous to no more. Here’s what wiki says about the Aldabra Banded Snail –
“The Aldabra banded snail was endemic to Aldabra Atoll in the Indian Ocean. In 1906 it was the most common snail species on the atoll.
|wolf's milk is beautiful this time of year|
Nice one people. Sure, being able to estivate for the summer would have been good trick for these gastropods, but the snails never had to close up shop before so their lack of that certain adaptation can’t really be blamed for their demise. You could also say their lack of wings caused their extinction – if they could have flown away they would have survived! Anyway- STA over! “Nice tangent” as they say. Or, “what are we talking about?”.
|does this Merulius undercarriage make you tremble?|
Anyway, so the white stuff is probably some white mucus drying up to make the “epiphragm” or protective covering that allows them to stay moist and survive the winter. Anyway, that’s it about snails for now. Thanks for sharing!
Funky Tweeters – (Bird spraint) -
|Wren and suet|
photo by Sally
|wren looking good|
photo by Sally
Evolution of a sunset in 9 phases– (11/19) was a nice evening for a sunset. This is the best time of the year for sunsets. Thank you pollution from Ohio!!!!!!!
|phase 1 - got there a little too early|
|phase 2 - tuckin' behind some clouds|
|phase 3 - still behind clouds|
|phase 4 - closer|
|phase 5 - sunlight going up!|
|phase 6 - out of the way ferry!!!|
|phase 7 - have you set yet?|
|phase 8 - cool lines|
|phase 9 - afterburn|
|great cormorants on "great cormorant rock"|
|crappy kittiwake photo|
|hi, i'm an iceland gull|
|surf scoters getting the heck|
out of dodge - or the way!
Red-throated Loon – Greens Island - John Drury reports a Red-throated Loon fly-by (11/1) …”also had bufflehead oct 30, purpl sand nov 1, red throat loon nov 1, oldsquaw nov 1”
Always lots to see on Greens. Thanks for sharing!
Around the island – State Beach – Red-necked Grebes (high counts – 40+), Oldtails, Northern Gannet, Black Guillemots, sunsets….Pleasant River – Hooded Mergs, Bonaparte’s Gulls, Greater Yellowlegs, Bald Eagles…Carver’s Pond – Canada Geese, Hooded Mergs, Bufflehead, Bald Eagles…
|it all started out fine|
Greater Yellowlegs knocked over by incoming tide - Pleasant River.
|i meant to do that|
|road to recovery|
Bonaparte's Gulls - have been stating their presence with authority at Pleasant River, Basin Bridge and from the Ferry. These shots were from the basin bridge. Good spot to look for Bonies and Balds (eagles that is)
There is probably a lot more that is being overlooked here. That's the way it goes.
on the other hand we jumped into a leaf pile, so nothing was overlooked at all. here's a couple of videos
Anyway, we’ll see you out there!