Summer days were variable during June and July in the vicinity of Valentine. During the early days of June birds were obvious in song and being territorial while the next generation of various sorts of wildbirds were being nourished.
There were no unexpected occurrences amidst the daily activities of birds noted in the vicinity. July brought great heat. Valentine had greatest temperature within the state of Nebraska on more than fifteen days during the month. There were several instances of heat in the three figure extent. When it is 106o outdoors any interest in venturing forth for a time of bird watching is severely diminished. Multiple sorts of these instances are simply brutal.
Observations were notable for a bunch of species but the regular occurrence on a daily basis does vary. Many of the occurrences to denote are towards the end of July. These are some of the notable observations during this summer time:
- Canada Goose: young were raised at the Valentine Mill Pond, but lesser numbers were present as the adults and flighty youngsters left the place for elsewhere.
- Wild Turkey: only occasionally seen and with no indication of any young; it's obvious that there is little, if any, reproductive success in the area where observations were kept.
- Great Blue Heron: there were at least two nests in trees just east of the Valentine City Park; their activity was obvious from a vantage point on the street to the north.
- Turkey Vulture: a regular resident but it was surprising that there was such a large number present on July 14th; numbers of these birds then continued on a regular basis; the count of three represents those roosting on a wireless tower along Main street of Valentine on one day. In comparison, a comparable number of similar extent occurred during the autumn of 2016 -- in October -- which was not during the summer. Did drought on the northern plains have an influence? These birds within the vicinity appreciate the snag trees upon which they spend so many hours of repose when not looking for the things they eat as they continue to occur.
- Chimney Swift: an obvious resident for anyone that would care to take the time to observe; the bunch of 30 near the shack were obviously a post-nesting season and had congregated to take advantage of an opportunity to forage on available insects. These bugeaters are a regular occurrence in the aerial realm of Main Street.
- Purple Martin: there are just a few nesting places within the city, and the small local population continued to raise some young this year; these vocal birds are quite expressive and have been seen foraging above the Mill Pond and notably perched upon a wire and a tree here and there along the Cowboy Trail.
- American Crow: though notably seen on a regular basis in "off-season" months, rarely seen during the month of summer.
- American Cliff Swallow: they appreciate the dam structure at the Mill Pond, where they were nesting and not observed to the extent possible.
- House Wren: there have been two nesting places in the immediate vicinity north and south of the shack; one nest site was within a pipe that is part of a shed structure and the other place was within the fixture of a nonoperational outdoor light; the wrens ignored the many nest boxes available in the immediate vicinity.
- Common Grackle: very common during the early weeks but notably fewer at the end of July; where there had been many only a few were present, primarily within the city environs; fledglings were obvious while bicycling the local streets but then they were gone, depictingof a multiple to singular occurrence.
- Dickcissel: a transient that was around for only a few days; perhaps it left a place of no success for breeding and because of its nature thought it should express its intent at an alternative space.
- Orchard Oriole: always busy within the observational space. Parents were seen feeding their young.
- Blue Grosbeak: nicely heard and seen.
There were 66 species noted during June and July and this is the tally.
|Julian Dates of June and July >||157||162||172||188||195||203||207||211|
|Canada Goose||- -||12||- -||7||4||8||7||- -|
|Wood Duck||- -||- -||- -||- -||- -||- -||3||- -|
|Mallard||1||- -||- -||- -||- -||- -||- -||- -|
|Wild Turkey||6||1||1||2||1||- -||- -||- -|
|Great Blue Heron||1||- -||1||1||1||- -||1||1|
|Bald Eagle||- -||1||- -||- -||- -||- -||- -||- -|
|Red-tailed Hawk||- -||1||- -||- -||- -||1||2||2|
|Killdeer||1||- -||1||1||1||1||1||- -|
|Rock Dove||- -||- -||- -||- -||- -||- -||4||- -|
|Eurasian Collared Dove||7||6||6||9||7||8||6||5|
|Yellow-billed Cuckoo||- -||1||1||1||- -||- -||- -||- -|
|Great Horned Owl||- -||- -||- -||- -||2||1||- -||- -|
|Common Nighthawk||1||2||2||4||- -||1||- -||2|
|Belted Kingfisher||- -||- -||- -||1||- -||- -||- -||- -|
|Red-headed Woodpecker||- -||1||- -||- -||1||- -||1||- -|
|Red-bellied Woodpecker||- -||- -||- -||- -||- -||- -||- -||1|
|Downy Woodpecker||1||- -||- -||1||1||1||- -||- -|
|Northern Flicker||- -||2||1||1||1||- -||- -||1|
|American Kestrel||- -||1||- -||- -||- -||- -||- -||- -|
|Eastern Phoebe||- -||- -||- -||- -||- -||1||1||- -|
|Eastern Wood-Pewee||- -||- -||- -||- -||- -||- -||2||- -|
|Willow Flycatcher||- -||- -||- -||- -||- -||1||- -||- -|
|Western Kingbird||4||2||1||9||7||14||18||- -|
|Great Crested Flycatcher||2||1||1||3||3||2||2||4|
|Bell's Vireo||1||1||1||- -||1||- -||- -||1|
|Warbling Vireo||1||- -||- -||1||- -||- -||- -||- -|
|Red-eyed Vireo||- -||1||1||2||1||1||- -||- -|
|Blue Jay||- -||- -||- -||2||2||2||- -||- -|
|American Crow||- -||- -||- -||- -||2||- -||- -||- -|
|Cedar Waxwing||2||1||- -||2||7||4||4||- -|
|Purple Martin||- -||- -||- -||5||12||7||13||- -|
|Northern Rough-winged Swallow||8||10||6||5||6||5||- -||- -|
|Barn Swallow||- -||2||4||- -||1||- -||- -||- -|
|American Cliff Swallow||- -||- -||- -||- -||- -||15||20||- -|
|Red-breasted Nuthatch||- -||- -||- -||1||- -||1||- -||- -|
|White-breasted Nuthatch||1||1||1||1||1||2||3||- -|
|Grey Catbird||1||- -||1||3||2||1||1||- -|
|Brown Thrasher||2||2||1||1||- -||- -||- -||- -|
|Common Starling||- -||- -||- -||- -||- -||15||- -||- -|
|Eastern Bluebird||- -||1||- -||1||2||- -||- -||- -|
|House Sparrow||- -||- -||- -||20||25||30||50||- -|
|American Goldfinch||3||3||4||3||3||3||- -||3|
|American Yellow Warbler||2||2||1||1||- -||- -||- -||- -|
|Baltimore Oriole||2||1||- -||2||- -||- -||1||- -|
|Red-winged Blackbird||- -||20||10||10||10||10||- -||- -|
|Brown-headed Cowbird||6||8||4||5||2||2||- -||- -|
|Common Grackle||15||10||4||15||15||6||- -||- -|
|Song Sparrow||- -||- -||- -||- -||- -||- -||1||- -|
|Chipping Sparrow||5||3||3||5||7||5||- -||3|
|Field Sparrow||1||1||- -||2||1||1||- -||- -|
|Lark Sparrow||2||2||- -||2||3||3||3||- -|
|Spotted Towhee||2||2||1||1||2||1||1||- -|
|Dickcissel||- -||- -||1||1||- -||- -||- -||- -|
|Northern Cardinal||- -||1||- -||1||1||1||1||1|
|Blue Grosbeak||1||2||- -||- -||1||1||- -||- -|
|Indigo Bunting||- -||- -||1||2||- -||- -||- -||- -|
The first days of August brought relief from oppressive heat that stifled any attempt to venture forth to a greater extent of local places, notably Government Canyon. There has at least been scattered precipitation in the country. Valentine remains to by dry, with the amount of precipitation well below the average. The House Wrens continue to be active, though they did not find any appreciation of the dried meal worms placed for them as a source of food. They and other birds were completely oblivious, so this was a failed endeavor. The breeding season is basically done. August will involve further observations of seasonal residents, and it will be weeks until autumn migration activities provide new occurrences in the vicinity of the Heart City in Cherry county.