Sunday, May 3, 2009

April 27 - May 3, 2009

If I had to sum of this week at Muraviovka Park in two words : Strong winds. The day may start off calm and sunny but by nine in the morning you are being blown off your feet. Earlier in the week, there was such strong winds that re-ignited some smoldering peat from a previous fire and the wetlands again were on fire! The strength and direction of the wind made this wildfire a particular danger. It brought the fire to the doorsteps of the park headquarters.....but fortunately, thanks to the work of many fast acting people, we were able to extinguish this fire before it reached the buildings. We were, however, unable to stop a portion of the fire that had spread towards one of the stork nests. The nest was overtaken with flames and the tree collapsed, killing all three eggs that the parents had been incubating for the last week.
On a happier note, Muraviovka is now turning green!

The leaves on many of the trees have began to bud and the park is definitely transforming into its full beauty. We have had scores of volunteers come visit and help get the park ready for summer. People raked last autumns leaves, planted flowers, and prepared the garden. It is truly spectacular to see how the park has united so many wonderful people who love and appreciate nature...

In addition to the volunteers, we also had several groups and schools come to visit the park. We had a field trip of fifth graders and another of third graders, all eager to learn and see about the cranes and the rest of Muraviovka's natural history.

The staff has also been busy keeping track of the straggling migrants who are still making their way north for the summer. We have seen a huge influx in the number of passerine birds including the black-headed bunting, little bunting, stonechats, pipits, japanese reed buntings, and siberian rubythroats to name a few....Oh and several leaf-warlblers!

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