DD had the week off from work. On this day, we birdwatched, shopped for beer supplies, and brewed beer.
Birds around Home
Bird observations around our home, mainly in the morning.
- NOPA - a
- BTNW - black-throated green warbler
- TEWA - a
- CSWA - a
- BLBW - a
- REVI - a
- SWTH signing
- INBU - female and male signing in backyard
- BLPW - a
- WPWA - a
- GRCA - on backyard next to the oval bed closest to the house @ 11:53 a.m.
At Noon, the weather was still a low light, low overcast sky, cool temps in the mid to upper 50s.
I think the last WTSP sighting for our backyard occurred on May 12 or May 13.
Shopping for Beer Supplies
We bought grains, yeasts, hops, sanitizer, some kind of long skinny tube used to hold beer so that the gravity can be measured, and a bottle washing gadget, like the one JP brought over a couple Saturdays ago when we bottled our first five-gallon batch.
For one-gallon batches, the beer amount is too low for holding the gravity gizmo, so that's why we needed the long skinny tube thingy. I'll look up names for these items later.
Magee Marsh Birdwatching
After Titgemeier's, we drove to Magee Marsh Wildlife Area boardwalk for birdwatching. It rained hard at times on the drive out. The rain areas moved south to north. While checking the radar images via my little weather web app at http://toledotalk.com/weather I concluded that we would have to wait out the rain for a bit, but then we should have a period of rain-free birdwatching.
We arrived at the boadwalk parking lot around 1:35 p.m. The rain continued. We waited in the car. We viewed beer-brewing information. I searched info online about brewing beer in a bag. It's not an extract method. It's an all-grain method of brewing that's done inside a mesh bag. I need more info.
Anyway, we exited the car and began birdwatching at 2:00 p.m. We ended and left at 5:00 p.m. It never rained while we birdwatched. The sky remained a low overcast. Some wind from the west, but it was fine. The weather chased away the crowds that probably would have existed. As time wore on, more people came to the boardwalk, but it was never crowded.
DD and I observed the following birds:
21 species of warblers, and we did not observe a Nashville Warbler.
Both the male and the female Prothonotary Warblers hung out by the tower near the west entrance. I assume they are paired-up and will attempt to nest. Decent water exists by the tower. PROW have nested and/or attempted to nest by the tower in recent years. The number of nesting PROW along the boardwalk has grown or the likelihood of finding at least one nesting pair of PROW has increased over the past 5 to 7 years.
We had numerous sightings of the Bay-breasted Warbler. I saw at least two of the dull-looking first spring female Cape May Warbler, but we did also get to view a nice-looking male CMWA.
Most of the redstarts were either first spring males or females.
I realize that "first spring" is not an official ornithological term, but it makes obvious sense to me, so I use it for me. Simplify.
We observed a handful of Canada Warblers.
DD got to see a male Common Yellowthroat Warbler, which is one of her favorite warblers. This bird likes to remain low in dense vegetation that grows in or near water, so it's tough to see. We hear it more than we see it.
Other birds that we observed along the boardwalk include:
- WTSP - getting a bit late for this bird
- an Empid Flycatcher
On the way home from birdwatching, we picked up a pizza at Vito's on Douglas Rd, and we brewed another one-gallon batch of beer.
We brewed an ingredient mix that we purchased from the Brooklyn Brew Shop when we purchased some hardware equipment from them recently, such as the very large mesh strainer and the large funnel that contains a removable strainer.
The mix was called Summer Wheat.
Light, crisp and pleasant, our Summer Wheat is brewed with American white wheat and spicy hops, making for a refreshing taste of summer all year round.
I'm unsure of the exact ingredients. I contained one variety of hops, a package of yeast, and the grains mixed together in a bag.
Naturally, the mash and the boil all smelled good. The wort appeared to have a greenish cast.
Update May 15, 2014: checked the beer in the morning, and it had a bubbly, frothy surface from the yeast activity. Steady bubble activity flowed through the blow-off tube and into the jug of sanitizer. It looks good and smells good. The smell emanates from the jug that contains the blow-off tube.
During our beer making, we tasted some beers, including two of our own.
We drank another one of our "Dark-eyed Junco Imperial Stout" beers. Still low on carbonation, but great on taste. Smooth-drinking beer.
And we opened our first bottle of "Red-tailed Hawk Irish Ale" hat we bottled on Sat, May 3, 2014. DD was anxious to try this one. And this beer tasted better than I expected. This beer was brewed from the one-gallon ingredient and hardware kit that we bought from Northern Brewer. It was brewed by the extract method, which is a simpler and faster process than the mash, sparge, and boil method we typically use. This beer contained good carbonation, and it had a smooth taste. Surprising.
We also tasted a couple beers that we bought from The Andersons the day before, but I liked our beers better.
Notes - Sat, May 3, 2014 - May 27, 2014
May 2015 AHA Big Brew Day - Apr 27, 2015
Notes - Sat, Apr 26, 2014 - May 27, 2014
Notes - Sun, May 4, 2014 - May 27, 2014
Our Toledo Area Activities for Sat, Mar 8, 2014 - Mar 19, 2014