Today, I should have checked the weather report before heading out, because no sooner had I arrived at Flatwoods, than I found out a big storm was heading my way at 60 MPH. So after checking only 10 boxes, I had to quit because of heavy rain. Not one to give up easily, I returned in the afternoon and finished monitoring the bluebird boxes. Overall, it was a very good day on the bluebird trail. We have 2 more second nestings, in boxes F18 and F36, and a total of 61 fledglings (50 BB, 7 CC, 4 TM), 52 chicks and 24 eggs, all bluebird. See attached spreadsheet for details. Also attached are pictures of bluebird chicks in boxes F8, F9, and F34 (notice that the chicks are sitting on an egg that never hatched).
In addition to all the bluebirds, I saw ground doves, a red-tailed hawk, black vultures, and a wood stork flying overhead. I've attached a wonderful picture of a flying wood stork taken by Ranger Clint Perigard. A couple of really fun sightings today were the family of 4 wild turkey hens with their 8 poults (chicks), and 9 Common nighthawks hunting for insects (picture of nighthawk attached). The nighthawks are easy to identify by the white spot on each wing. I rarely see nighthawks at Flatwoods and that is because ordinarily, they hunt at night. The only times I've seen them out there is when it is cloudy and overcast like today.
Attached are pictures of two of the plants that I saw today on the trail before it rained, Meadow Beauty (Rhexia mariana), and St. Peter's-wort (Hypericum tetrapetalum).