Archivos de diario de marzo 2024

09 de marzo de 2024

Under observation of the most common organisms

Most likely, if you're reading this, you're aware that certain common organisms tend to be underobserved on iNaturalist - common garden weeds, for example.

In Grays Harbor County, where I'm doing a lot of my observing these days, this issue is exacerbated by the fact that a high % of the observations come from people visiting Olympic National Park or the beaches. In more densely populated areas, a lot of the observations of common organisms seem to come from people with low observation counts - possibly including students using iNaturalist as part of K12 science programs. But a high % of the 3130 users with fewer than 100 observations in Grays Harbor county are more prolific in other Washington counties. The result is that there are large areas - even areas that include state parks - where commonly seen organisms have 0-1 observations. Looking at the organism list for a park in Grays Harbor County gives you little idea what you'll see if you visit that park - and plant phenology data has too few data points to be useful.

Apis mellifera has five observations in the entire county - the same number as the American mink.

If you notice a lot of observations of very common species from me this spring, that's because my current project is going to parks in Grays Harbor County and observing the stuff I usually pass over because I know it has most likely been observed many times. That's not true here! I'm also trying to develop a better record of what's blooming at those locations as the spring progresses, and add plant phenology data to existing observations in the county.

(I'm also observing common species in some timberland I have access to that I've heard rumors is slated for logging this year, so that if it does get logged, I can observe the changes in the plant community over time and compare that to a pre-logging baseline)

This is an interesting project for me because I started using iNaturalist in Los Angeles County, which has a very high density of observers. The idea that my observations of common and easy-to-see organisms might significantly change the dataset is rather new to me.

Publicado el marzo 9, 2024 06:58 TARDE por wildnettle wildnettle | 11 observaciones | 3 comentarios | Deja un comentario

12 de marzo de 2024

Favorite observations of 2023

I just noticed that last year I did a fun post of my favorite observations of 2022, but didn’t do anything similar at the end of 2023.

Let’s see… there’s the pareidolia lichen, of course. And my first encounter with Sphex ichneumoneus, a species I had previously admired but never before seen in person. There’s my first loon and my first river otter, and the wonderful brightly fluorescing mushrooms I found along the trail to Irely Lake. There’s the very probable bear that I caught on my trailcam in December (who hasn’t returned since) and the western meadowlarks who visited the wildlife refuge. There’s the Canada jay who perched in front of the trailcam for a while. There are countless wonderful springtails, of course, and a fascinating little myriapod. There’s my first harbor porpoise. There’s the tiny garter snake in my yard. There are some lovely organisms I met tidepooling.

I have a special place in my heart for the snipe I saw at the beaver pond by North Fork Campground, the absolutely silly looking creature. And for the sooty grouse whose deep courtship calls echoed mysteriously through the woods.

How can I forget the beautiful little spider I found on a wind-downed branch of bigleaf maple after a winter storm? Or the weird orange rockslater? Or my first pseudoscorpion?

That isn’t even counting the beavers I didn’t get pictures of, the various owls I heard, the one barred owl who decided to perch directly in front of my car, that I decided not to post to avoid promoting approaching wild owls much too closely.

And 2024 has already had some very exciting observations and sightings as well, and the year’s barely started!

Publicado el marzo 12, 2024 10:14 MAÑANA por wildnettle wildnettle | 21 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario