Archivos de diario de abril 2018

02 de abril de 2018

Frog Emergency - Part I

Okay. I guess there is no such thing as a "frog emergency," but we got a call from the Amphibian Watch team. Recent rains had given reason to check out a drainage structure/containment pond near Devine Lake Park and some wet weather ponds at Berry Springs Park.

MPF called Friday - Frog Woodstock. The calls at the pond in Leander were insane. We heard Narrow Mouth Toads, Green Tree Frogs, Rio Grande Leopard Frogs, Cope's Grey Tree Frogs, and Blanchard's Cricket Frogs. I think I only managed audio of 3 (missed the GTF and NMT). We caught BCF, CGTF, and RGLF. We also observed multiple snakes at the pond and then in a swale at Devine Lake Park. [It was a little stunning to be wading in ankle-deep water and come upon a large Nerodia.

We spend a few hours until everyone was tired and we figured we had seen what we could.

Emergency or not, I'm glad we got the call.

[As I prepare to post I discovered a number of wildflowers missing. So know that there were more wildflowers in the meadow at the Park. There were also two LARGE Mediterranean House Geckos that were not documented (and probably a few other things) because my cell phone died - twice.]

Publicado el abril 2, 2018 03:28 MAÑANA por alflinn329 alflinn329 | 21 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

Frog Emergency - Part II

Okay. I'm going to cut to the chase. We found only the usual suspects. But it is always a good experience to wander Berry Springs Park with friends - many experts on frogs, snakes, birds, and the park.

I was able to grab some adequate photos of the team for future uses. I recorded Blanchard's Cricket Frogs (CI=3, American Bullfrog CI=1, and Rio Grande Leopard Frogs, CI=1 - and the squawk of the Great Blue Heron (which swooped by in the dark and almost gave me a heart attack).

I love these people and these parks. I learn something new every trip - even if the actual creatures are not "new."

The weather is warming up and I bow out of trips to the wild in the brutal heat of the summer. But I can swing evening trips to wade with snakes and capture frogs and toads.

[Note: We always try to arrive at a place with a little time to look around before the team shows up.]

Publicado el abril 2, 2018 03:30 MAÑANA por alflinn329 alflinn329 | 21 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

08 de abril de 2018

Sunday Lunch

Just had a chance to go check the ponds on Witter. They continue to fill with each rainstorm. 4 cormorants and 1 Great Egret occupied the turtle pond; three turtles willed the sun to shine; a few mockingbirds, meadowlarks and sparrows flitted around; 4 vultures glided overhead; a "paddling" of ducks (mostly shovelers) plied the water of the now-almost-full far pond; and a "gulp" of swallows flew up and around a marshy area near the road. I stopped for swallows (barn, apparently) as their flights were fascinating.

On the way home I scoped out a number of spots where I will return for photos and I spied two vultures - a one Turkey, one Black - dining on a Fox Squirrel. They didn't flinch as I grabbed photos...

Publicado el abril 8, 2018 06:08 TARDE por alflinn329 alflinn329 | 4 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

14 de abril de 2018

Amphibian Watch - Just before the Storms

Eight youth, 4 JMN, 2 scouts, and 2 family members , and 8 adults participated in the Junior Master Naturalist Amphibian Watch field trip at Berry Springs Park and Preserve on April 13, 2018.

We observed a Great Egret flying over the meadow/prairie as we headed down to the pond. The Great Blue Heron was feeding at the far side of the pond and kept us entertained with regular squawks. Three Yellow-crowned Night Herons flew over, but did not land near us. We also saw a number of other birds including a Red-Shouldered Hawk.

The amphibians did show up and we were able to document a number of observations. A few amphibians "got away." perhaps due to over-enthusiasm early on. Some of our "catches" were on the way back to the parking lot and we were disappointed we had to take shelter from the impending storm.

Air Temperature: 80 F at 7:30 PM when we started and 77 F at 8:35 when we stopped.
Sky: Overcast
Wind: B-3 initially
Water Level: Average

Observed Blanchard's Cricket Frog , CI - 3
Rio Grande Leopard Frog, Cl - 1 (unrecorded)
Gulf Coast Toad, CI - 0

One American Bullfrog escaped the net and photo. We heard no calls from the bullfrog.

We "called" the watch due to lightning ahead of a cold front.

Publicado el abril 14, 2018 05:17 MAÑANA por alflinn329 alflinn329 | 10 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

15 de abril de 2018

Witter Lane at night

I have observed frogs calling a couple of times during the day, but have not taken the time and challenge (people watch when I drive this road in daylight. What will the response be after dark?) of listening at a more normal time for frog calls. Tonight I was returning home from an art show opening and detoured for about 30 minutes to see what might be calling, even with the chilly wind.

I heard Blanchard's Cricket Frogs calling from two of the many wet-weather ponds on this short stretch of rural road. They called at a CI = 2 in both spots.

It was a clear night with a gentle breeze and air temp of 62.

In one recording I stopped the car, but did not turn off the engine. In the second I stopped completely.

Cows and dogs can be heard in the background.

A warmer night might have resulted in more varieties of frogs calling. I will attempt this again.

Publicado el abril 15, 2018 03:39 MAÑANA por alflinn329 alflinn329 | 2 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

28 de abril de 2018

Birding Trip in Hayes County

We started the hike with a Painted Bunting and ended it listening to a Golden-cheeked warbler (song and sighting, no photo). We

These were serious birders familiar with their area. We were novices...all the way. It was a rich day with saw many of the usual suspects whether birds, bugs, plants, and flowers and a number of firsts - our first porcupine (and then there were two!); a first Summer Tanager; and a long list of first plants. I suppose the most exciting first had to be the Golden-cheeked warbler. We heard it in both locations and saw it streak by at the end of our outing.

There were also hundreds of Antelope Horns Milkweed plants. We observed a number of adult Monarchs, but I never got a photo. A single Monarch caterpillar clung to a plant in one spot. I had to stop checking the plants - there were too many and I was BIRD WATCHING. Still many of the insects observed were on the milkweed - a ladybug, hairstreak, many Large milkweed bug, ants, and a rather scary true bug with coloring almost mimicking that of the milkweed bug.

[I took a little survey over lunch - there were current Texas Master Naturalists from 3 chapters, Native Plant Society folks, Audubon Society members, and former Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and Campfire girls attending.]

Publicado el abril 28, 2018 03:38 MAÑANA por alflinn329 alflinn329 | 60 observaciones | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario