Thursday, May 31, 2012

May 31, 2012: Invasive Plants Interpretive Walk Today


The red 2-story Page dragline was the most visible symbol at Hallett's sand and gravel extraction site. 1992 photo from Ames Historical Society.

It's not hard to see where so many invasive plant species may have come from at Ada Hayden Heritage Park after understanding the history of the site and how manipulated the landscape was during mining operations.  To understand more about the long history of the site we've come to know and love, see http://www.ameshistoricalsociety.org/exhibits/hallets/hallets1.htm at the Ames Historical Society site.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

May 30, 2012: Next Interpretive Walk is Thursday 5/31 - Invasive Species

Inuksuk sculpture with AHHP bridge, looking southeast, 5/5/12 (Kevin Kane)

Coming Event: Program on invasive species next Thursday, May 31, 5:30 to 7:00 pm. Meet at the shelter on the north side.

What is an "invasive" species? What is a "native" species? What is a naturalized species?

Here is a list of species we will see and identify. Can you put them into the above three categories?

Eastern red cedar
birdsfoot trefoil
crown vetch
black willow
Siberian elm
mulberry
Ring-necked Pheasant
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
cottonwood
honeysuckle
smooth brome
yellow sweet clover
reed canary grass
cattail

Erv Klaas

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

May 29, 2012: Erv's Field Notes #37


 Erv Klaas writing down his Odonate notes while sitting in "comfort" at the west end of Jensen Pond, 5/28/12 (Wolf Oesterreich)

Monday, May 28, 2012. 2:30-4:30 pm. Sunny, Temperature 83 degrees F. Moderate westerly breeze.

I walked along the north shore of the north lake this afternoon looking for dragons and damsels. Saw two male Familiar Bluets and a pair of Double-striped Bluets. Expected to see a lot more damselflies; several species have not emerged yet. This seems strange considering this was such an early year in the phenology of many species. I walked up to Jensen's pond where there was more activity. Male Common White-tailed Skimmers were patrolling the shoreline and chasing each other from territories. A female appeared and began tapping the water with her tail while a male hovered about 2 feet above her chasing other males away. She continued her egg laying for about two minutes. My reference book says that white-tailed females lay about 25 eggs with each tap and may lay up to 3000 eggs in her short life time. Wolf Oesterreich joined me for a while and we recorded Eastern Forktail damselflies, 12-spotted Skimmers, Dot-tailed White-faced Skimmers, Black Saddlebags, and Eastern Pondhawks. A black swallow-tailed butterfly settled on the moist mud near shore and we took several pictures. I also got a nice photo of an immature female Dot-tailed White-face.

Erv Klaas

Monday, May 28, 2012

May 28, 2012: Photo of the Day: The Race


Runner spooks a nearby deer on the southwest upland trail and they are off to the races, 5/5/12 (Kevin Kane)

May 27, 2012: Photo of the Day: Geese on the Pond


Two geese watch the action on the southwest wetland complex, 5/5/12 (Kevin Kane)




Sunday, May 27, 2012

Friday, May 25, 2012

May 24, 2012: Wolf's AHHP Interpretive Bird Walk


 Wolf Oesterreich leads the walk, 5/24/12 (Kevin Kane)

Wolf Oesterreich led a group of 25 bird enthusiasts towards the upland trail and Jensen's Pond during the second Friends of Ada Hayden Heritage Park interpretive scheduled for Thursdays this summer.






Thursday, May 24, 2012

May 23, 2012: AHHP Bird Interpretive Program on 5/24


Female Red-winged Blackbird perches south of the north wetland, 5/5/12 (Kevin Kane)

Enjoy the diverse bird life at the park with Wolf Oesterreich, birder extraordinaire. Wolf surveys the park year-round and has identified more than 250 bird species at Ada Hayden Heritage Park. Bring binoculars if you have them.  Meet at the north shelter at 5:30pm.

Friends of Ada Hayden Heritage Park have announced a series of nature interpretive programs. The programs will be held each Thursday evening at 5:30 pm, beginning May 17, and continue through June 28. All programs will begin at the shelter on the north side unless otherwise indicated.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

May 22, 2012: “Ada Hayden, Visionary of the American Prairie”

Bobolink, oil painting by Celeste Birkeland, 18” x 24”.

News from Lanesboro Arts Center, Lanesboro, Minn. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE.
Contact: Sara Decker, Program/Marketing Director
507-467-2446 / info@lanesboroarts.org

Announcing an Online Exhibit by Painter Celeste Birkeland: “Ada Hayden, Visionary of the American Prairie”

Lanesboro Arts Center is pleased to support artist Celeste Birkeland in an on-line exhibit of oil/mixed media paintings entitled Ada Hayden, Visionary of the American Prairie. Formerly of Lanesboro, Celeste now paints from her home in Santa Fe, New Mexico, experiencing a significant cultural and climatic change (she is now surrounded by the high desert). The exhibit can be seen online at www.celestebirkeland.com or www.adahayden.com

The idea for the exhibit came about several years ago, when Celeste first visited the Ada Hayden Prairie Preserve in northeast Iowa. “I was captivated by the bobolinks. The colorful birds were flitting around the scrap of native prairie, a mere 240 acres of virgin prairie surrounded by an ocean of corn and soybeans,” says Celeste. Dr. Hayden (1884–1950) was ahead of her time in recognizing the value, importance and beauty of the prairies. Ada Hayden saw the prairie around her being changed forever and had the vision to see its beauty and necessity; blending art and science throughout her life, she used art, eloquent writing, and science to advance her cause. “These ten paintings and narrative text on the website are my homage to Ada Hayden and our native prairie landscape. They represent a new direction for my art, and a way to create art that really matters to me. I am especially excited to make connections between art and science, history and the role/lives of women,” says Celeste. 

More than 99% of our original grasslands are gone, making it one of America's most endangered ecosystems. In fact, our indigenous prairie landscape ranks among the most threatened plant and animal systems in the world. Ada Hayden, Visionary of the American Prairie is ultimately about Ada Hayden and the indigenous prairie that once covered huge sections of our country. The paintings pay tribute to Ada Hayden’s artistic side as well as her scientific side. “I wanted the paintings to be interpretive, imaginative and not especially realistic, reflecting Ada Hayden’s ability to transcend,” says Celeste.

This exhibit is presented in cooperation with the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council, Inc. through funding from the Minnesota State Legislature, and with support from Lanesboro Web Management, Lanesboro Arts Center, Iowa State University and its Ada Hayden Herbarium.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

May 20, 2012: Solar Eclipse Over AHHP


 
 Solar eclipse at sundown over NW hills at Ada Hayden Park, 5/20/12 (Kevin Kane)

A big crowd gathered tonight at Ada Hayden Park to watch the solar eclipse.  Nearly every parking spot was taken as bystanders crowded around telescopes and took up spots with the best vantage points to watch the show.











May 19, 2012: Land Ethic Leadership


Wildflowers southwest of Jensen Pond, AHHP Interpretive Walk, 5/17/12 (Kevin Kane)


Dear Friends of Ada Hayden Heritage Park:

Two years ago, I enrolled in a two-day workshop at the Aldo Leopold Foundation's Legacy Center near Baraboo, WI. It was a great experience. In this workshop I learned to think about complex and changing environmental issues and new ways to discuss our collective values and vision. The Land Ethic Leaders program is again being offered this summer. Please contact me if you are interested in learning how to lead reflective discussions using literature, film, and artwork to get people in your community talking about the critical environmental issues of our time and, more deeply, the relationship between our human communities and what Leopold termed "the land community."

Upcoming sessions:
June 1-3: Sagehen Creek Field Station, Truckee, CA
June 14-15: Leopold Center, Baraboo, WI
August 9-10: Leopold Center, Baraboo, WI
September 21-22: Leopold Center, Baraboo, WI


Erv Klaas

Saturday, May 19, 2012

May 18, 2012: Successful 1st AHHP Interpretive Walk of the Summer




Deb Lewis leads the wildflower walk, part of the 2012 Friends of AHHP Interpretation Program series, 5/17/12 (Kevin Kane)

May 17, 2012: Erv's Field Notes #36


Eastern Pondhawk - Female (Erv Klaas)

 
Thursday, May 17, 2012. 4-5 pm. Sunny, warm, temperature in the low 80’s, strong southwesterly breeze.

 I found a quiet place on the north side of Jensen’s Pond to try out my new portable camp stool. This is the spot near the mink den that I found a few days ago. A man was fishing on the opposite side of the pond. I sat quietly and watched for dragonflies. Several 12-spotted Skimmers and Common Whitetails were patrolling the shore line. A male Eastern Pondhawk was perched on a dead limb in the water. A Dot-tailed Skimmer flew in and perched on a small stump in front of me. The latter two are first-of-the-year sightings for me. The Eastern Pondhawk is a common inhabitant here. It is a medium sized dragonfly with clear wings, a green face, a blue head and green abdomen. The female of this species is bright green all over with black spots. The Dot-tailed Skimmer is a small dragonfly with clear wings, a black body with a prominent yellow spot on the tip of its tail; the sexes are similar. Eastern Forktail damselflies were flitting in and out of the spike-rush growing along the water’s edge.

In the shallow water near shore, several adult blue-gill sunfish were busily guarding their nests in shallow depressions in the lake bottom. The water was clear and I could clearly see the blue markings on their gills and the white-tips of their fins as they flashed in the evening sunlight. Swarms of young blue-gill were milling around the adults and trying to dash into the nests, perhaps to eat the eggs they were guarding.

A pair of Common Green Darners in tandem came flying by. When dragonflies are in tandem it means that the male is clasping the female just behind the head. They will often remain connected like this for a couple of hours, occasionally stopping to land on a vertical stem with the female’s tail in the water while she lays a clutch of eggs. A Brown Thrasher startled me as it flew into the bushes behind me. The Eastern Painted Turtles that slid off the nearby logs when I first arrived, quietly began returning to their sunning spots. One medium sized turtle poked his head through the floating algae nearby and I took his picture. When I moved to leave he quickly pulled his head back and disappeared into the depths. I did not hear Wolf Oesterreich approach and suddenly he was standing beside me. I pointed out the Dot-tailed Skimmer and he took a photo. It was time to join Deb Lewis on the scheduled wildflower walk at the shelter.

Erv Klaas

Thursday, May 17, 2012

May 16, 2012: 1st 2012 AHHP Interpretive Program on 5/17


Wildflowers along south edge of north marsh, 5/5/12 (Kevin Kane)

Thursday May 17th.
Come celebrate National Wildflower Week with Deb Lewis, botanist and Curator of the Ada Hayden Herbarium at Iowa State University. Meet at the north shelter at 5:30pm.

Friends of Ada Hayden Heritage Park have announced a series of nature interpretive programs. The programs will be held each Thursday evening at 5:30 pm, beginning May 17, and continue through June 28. All programs will begin at the shelter on the north side unless otherwise indicated.

May 15, 2012: Photo of the Day: Warbler in the Willows







Warbler perches in the willows along the east side of the north marsh, 5/5/12 (Kevin Kane)



Tuesday, May 15, 2012

May 14, 2012: 2012 Interpretive Programs Announced!


Buckeye butterfly, 5/10/12 (Erv Klaas)

Friends of Ada Hayden Heritage Park announces a series of nature interpretive programs. The programs will be held each Thursday evening at 5:30 pm, beginning May 17, and continue through June 28. All programs will begin at the shelter on the north side unless otherwise indicated.

May 17. Celebrate National Wildflower Week with Deb Lewis, botanist and Curator of the Ada Hayden Herbarium at Iowa State University.

May 24. Enjoy the diverse bird life at the park with Wolf Oesterreich, birder extraordinaire. Wolf surveys the park year-round and has identified more than 250 bird species at Ada Hayden Heritage Park. Bring binoculars if you have them.

May 31. Learn to identify invasive plant species that occur in the park and discuss the pros and cons for their management with ecologist Erv Klaas.

June 7. Bill Simpkins has studied the ground water and hydrology of the Hayden Park Watershed and he will discuss how the lake and wetlands have become the main feature of this unique landscape. Meet near the lake outlet across Dawes Drive from Calhoun Park and Connelly’s Trucking Co.

June 14. Learn about the park’s mammals from Jim Pease, retired ISU wildlife extension specialist.

June 21. Come and learn about a group of colorful insects whose ancestors originated some 250 million years ago and depend on clean water for reproduction. Erv Klaas and Wolf Oesterreich, who have identified 50 species of dragonflies and damselflies that occur in the park, will lead the program. Bring binoculars if you have them.

June 28. To be announced.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Friday, May 11, 2012

May 11, 2012: Erv's Field Notes #35


 Adult mink at Jensen's Pond, 5/10/2012 (Erv Klaas)
Wednesday and Thursday, May 9 and 10, 2012. Temperature in the 60s, sunny and breezy.

On Wednesday, I walked along the north and west shore of the north lake. I saw only one damselfly, a female Eastern Forktail. Butterflies were very active. I identified Orange Sulfur, Eastern Tailed Blue, Mourning Cloak, Monarch, Pearly Crescent, Painted Lady, Red Admiral, and Buckeye. A pair of Buckeyes were courting. The female was feeding on a white clover flower while a smaller male made dozens of passes over her. While photographing butterflies, I noticed a small insect that I had only seen only once before, in the clutches of a damselfly. This time there were dozens of them in the vegetation along the lake. I took several photos and identified it when I got home as a "hanging fly." This insect is not a true fly but a member of the Order Mecoptera. The hanging fly gets its name from its very long front legs that have a hook on the end for clinging to vegetation.

On Thursday, I spent some time around Jensen's pond and got a very close look at an adult mink (picture above). I saw several species of dragonflies that were new for this year. My list included: Common Whitetail, 12-spotted Skimmer, Common Baskettail, a spreadwing that I could not identify to species, Eastern Forktail, Common Green Darner and Variegated Meadowhawk.
The latter three have been around for a month or more but the others were the first time I have seen them this year.

Erv Klaas

May 10, 2012: Bird of the Day



Bonaparte's Gull, 5/9/2012 (Wolf Oesterreich)
This lone adult Bonaparte's Gull was found near the spillway in the southeast corner of the south lake. They pass through our area twice a year, on their way north to Canada and Alaska to breed and on their way south to their wintering grounds in the southern US, along the coasts (gulf, west, & east), and Cuba. Their Winter plumage lacks the black hood and has a dark ear-spot instead. The white wedge along the leading edge of the wings helps to separate this species from most of the other gull species.

The upper-left photo was digiscoped (Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7 through a Swarovski 20x60X spotting scope), while the other two were taken with a Canon 40D (with a 70-300mm zoom lens).

Wolf
Ames

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

May 8, 2012: Wolf's Notes (5/7)

Carp attempting to jump a weir (Wolf Oesterreich)

Weirs don't stop the movement of Common Carp into the wetland ponds and pools, as shown by this photograph taken at Weir N (located in the south wetland complex and which empties into the SW corner of the south lake). However, I saw more carp being pushed over the weir by the force of the water flow than the number jumping over the weir into the pond. Carp create havoc in these small ponds by stirring up the bottom and uprooting plants.

Wolf
Ames

Monday, May 7, 2012

May 7, 2012: Wolf's Notes, (5/6)

Common Snapping Turtle, 5/6/12 (Wolf Oesterreich)
This Common Snapping Turtle was found crossing the Stone Brooke spur. It is one of 4 turtle species I have recorded in the Park. The most common is the Northern Painted Turtle, followed by the Red-eared Slider (pet trade), and the Spiny Softshell Turtle (found in the main lakes). The numbers of Red-eared Sliders seem to be dwindling.

The first Indigo Bunting was found singing in the woods near the SE corner of the south lake. Warblers, vireos, and thrushes were rather abundant in the woods at the bluff. New warblers included Ovenbirds and Black-and-white. Yellow-rumped and Tennessee Warblers were, by far, the most common. Individuals of Blackpoll, Magnolia, Yellow, Nashville, and American Redstarts were also recorded, Swainson's and Gray-cheeked Thrushes, plus Warbling and Red-eyed Vireos rounded out the list.

I fear that the Red-tailed Hawk nestlings may have been taken. No adult has been on or at the nest since the 4th and I have not seen any nestling. An adult has been sighted in an adjacent tree, so there may still be some hope. However, two Barred Owls were hooting in the same woods and they known to be opportunistic hunters.

Wolf
Ames

Sunday, May 6, 2012

May 6, 2012: Wolf's April Wildlife List


Red-winged blackbird flies from its perch west of the southwest wetlands, 5/5/12 (Kevin Kane)


A total of 109 avian species were recorded at Ada Hayden Heritage Park in April.

Listed below, following the species’ names, are the date(s) of sighting(s), plus the occasional miscellaneous information regarding numbers, gender (♂=male, ♀=female), age (im=immature, ju=juvenile, abp=adult breeding plumage, ad=adult, anb=adult non-breeding), color phase (b=blue, w=white), and location (BY=back yard).  The order follows the 52nd Supplement (2011) to the American Ornithologists’ Union Check-list of North American Birds and the 11th Supplement to the 7th Edition (1998).

AVIAN
     CANADA GOOSE: 1 (12), 2-30
     WOOD DUCK: 1 (2♂ + 2♀), 4 (1♂), 8 (1♂ + 1♀), 15 (2♂ + 1♀), 16 (1♂ + 2♀), 17 (3), 18 (3♂), 21 (2♂),                                     23 (2♂ + 1♀), 24 (1♂ + 1♀), 25 (2♂ + 2♀), 26, 27 (1♂ + 2♀), 28 (4), 29 (2)
     GADWALL: 1(3♂ + 3♀), 2 (1♂), 3 (23), 4 (2), 5 (1♂ + 1♀), 6-7 (1♂), 8 (5♂ + 5♀), 9 (8), 10 (5♂ + 4♀),
                                    11 (1♂), 12 (2♂), 13 (2♂ + 2♀), 14 (2), 15-17 (3♂ + 1♀), 18 (22♂ + 14♀),
                                    19 (3♂), 20 (3♂), 21, 22 (6), 23 (1♂ + 1♀), 24, 25 (2♂), 26, 27 (1♂ + 1♀), 28 (4),
                                    29-30
     AMERICAN WIGEON: 1 (6♂ + 2♀), 26 (8)
     MALLARD: 1 (9), 2-3, 4 (16), 5-8, 9 (19), 10 (10♂ + 8♀), 11 (5♂ + 6♀), 12-13 (11♂ + 9♀), 14,
                                    15 (6♂ + 6♀), 16 (12♂ + 7♀), 17 (24), 18 (13♂ + 8♀), 19 (9♂ + 6♀), 20 (18),
                                    21, 22 (12), 23-26, 27 (25+), 28-30
     BLUE-WINGED TEAL: 1 (19♂ + 13♀), 2 (31+), 3 (2♂ + 2♀), 4 (8), 6 (10♂ + 8♀), 7 (13), 8 (6♂ + 4♀),
                                    9 (10), 10 (11♂ + 8♀), 11 (6♂ + 8♀), 12 (15♂ + 14♀), 13 (9♂ + 6♀), 14, 15 (125),
                                    16 (15♂ + 11♀), 17 (27), 18 (26♂ + 21♀), 19 (137), 20 (107+), 21, 22 (109+),
                                    23-26, 27 (22+), 28-30
     NORTHERN SHOVELER: 1 (2♂), 3 (9♂ + 3♀), 4 (25♂ + 11♀), 5 (4♂ + 2♀), 6 (1♂), 7 (10♂ + 11♀),
                                    9 (15), 10 (2♂ + 1♀), 11 (3♂ + 1♀), 13 (28♂ + 7♀), 14, 16 (2♂ + 1♀), 17 (1♂),
                                    18 (10♂ + 5♀), 19 (2♂), 20 (15+), 21, 22 (14♂ + 3♀), 23-30
     GREEN-WINGED TEAL: 1 (6♂ + 9♀), 2 (2), 4 (6♂ + 3♀), 5 (2), 9 (4), 10 (2♂ + 2♀), 11 (9),
                                    12 (2♂ + 1♀), 13 (10), 19 (1♂ + 1♀), 30 (1♂)
     RING-NECKED DUCK: 3 (3♀)
     LESSER SCAUP: 4 (8♂ + 8♀), 6 (8♂ + 29♀), 9 (1♀), 11 (10♂ + 20♀), 15 (15♂ + 6♀), 17 (1♂ + 2♀),
                                    18 (4♀), 22 (1♀), 25 (1♂ + 4♀), 27 (1♀)
     BUFFLEHEAD: 4 (1♂), 22 (2♀)
     HOODED MEGANSER: 8 (1♀), 11 (1♂ + 4♀), 13 (4♀)
     RED-BREASTED MERGANSER: 7 (2♀), 9 (3♀), 10-11 (4♀), 13 (2♀), 15 (1♀), 16 (2♂), 18 (1♀),
                                    19-20 (3), 22 (1♀), 25-26 (1♀), 27 (3♀), 28 (4♀), 30 (1♀)
     RUDDY DUCK: 3 (2), 4 (25), 9 (5), 11 (7), 12 (1♂ + 4♀), 13-15 (1♂), 17 (6), 19 (14), 28 (4), 30 (2)
     RING-NECKED PHEASANT: 1-24, 25 (1♂ BY +), 26-30
     COMMON LOON: 10-18 (1), 19-23 (2), 26 (1)
     PIED-BILLED GREBE: 1 (13), 2 (2), 3 (7), 4 (12), 5 (6), 6 (7), 7 (5), 8 (6), 9 (12), 10 (2), 11 (8),
                                    12 (14), 13 (20), 14 (11), 15 (87), 16 (23), 17 (14), 18 (9), 19 (1), 20 (7), 21 (2),
                                    22 (43+), 23-24 (2), 25 (4), 26 (9), 27 (2), 28-29, 30 (2)
     HORNED GREBE: 8 (4), 17 (1)
     RED-NECKED GREBE: 30 (1)
     DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT: 8 (3 in flight), 10 (1), 12 (1), 14 (28), 21 (24)
     GREAT BLUE HERON: 1 (2), 6 (1), 12 (1), 14 (1), 16 (2), 18 (1), 20-21 (3), 22-24 (1), 26 (1), 27 (2),
                                    28 (1), 30 (2)
     GREAT EGRET: 14-15 (1), 21 (1)
     GREEN HERON: 15 (1)
     TURKEY VULTURE: 1, 3 (3), 4-6, 7-8 (7), 10 (9), 12 (2), 13 (3), 14 (2), 15-16 (3), 17 (5), 18-30
     OSPREY: 9 (1), 12 (1), 15 (1), 17-18 (1), 19-21 (2), 23 (1), 25-26 (1), 28-30 (1)
     BALD EAGLE: 4 (1 ad), 13 (1 ad), 15 (1 ad), 19 (1 im), 21 (1 ad), 28 (1 ad)
     SHARP-SHINNED HAWK: 21 (1)
     BROAD-WINGED HAWK: 19 (1)
     RED-TAILED HAWK: 2-4 (1), 5 (2), 6 (1), 7 (2), 9-11 (1), 13 (1), 15 (3), 16 (2), 17 (3), 18 (2), 19 (1),
                                    20 (2), 21 (3), 22 (1), 23 (3), 24-26 (1), 27 (2), 28 (4), 29-30 (1)
     AMERICAN KESTREL: 21 (1♀)
     MERLIN: 29 (1)
     PEREGRINE FALCON: 21 (1), 27 (1)
     SORA: 30 (2)
     AMERICAN COOT: 1 (15), 2 (47), 3 (2), 4 (9), 6 (6), 7 (3), 9 (7), 10 (6), 11 (13), 12 (12), 13 (25),
                                    14 (9), 15 (34), 16 (24), 17 (10), 18 (159), 19 (11), 20 (38), 21, 22 (68+),
                                    23 (49+), 24 (30+), 25 (21+), 26, 27 (6+), 28 (52+), 29-30
     SEMIPALMATED PLOVER: 25 (4), 28 (1)
     KILLDEER: 1, 4-5, 7-30
     SPOTTED SANDPIPER: 13 (1), 16 (1), 19-22 (1), 28 (2), 29, 30 (3)
     SOLITARY SANDPIPER: 20 (1)
     GREATER YELLOWLEGS: 16 (2), 17-20 (5), 21 (3), 22 (4), 23-26, 27 (1), 28 (2), 30 (2)
     LESSER YELLOWLEGS: 16 (11), 17 (7), 18 (30+), 19 (40+), 20 (99+), 21, 22 (100+), 23-30
     SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER: 25 (1), 28-29 (2)
     LEAST SANDPIPER: 25 (1), 28 (5), 29 (6)
     PECTORAL SANDPIPER: 16 (6), 17 (10), 19 (3), 20 (30+), 21 (1), 22 (5), 23 (~50), 24-25, 27 (4),
                                    28 (3), 29
     Sandpiper sp.: 30
     DUNLIN: 20 (1)
     WILSON’S SNIPE: 9 (1), 16 (1), 18 (1), 24 (3), 25 (1), 28 (4)
     WILSON’S PHALAROPE: 30 (3)
     BONAPARTE’S GULL: 8 (7)
     RING-BILLED GULL: 18 (5), 21 (1)
     Gull sp.: 15
     CASPIAN TERN: 28 (2)
     FORSTER’S TERN: 15 (1), 16 (2), 21 (2), 26 (6)
     ROCK PIGEON: 21 (1)
     MOURNING DOVE: 1-30
     GREAT HORNED OWL: 14 (1)
     BARRED OWL: 22 (1)
     BELTED KINGFISHER: 3 (1♂), 7 (1), 16 (2), 17 (1), 19 (1), 21-22 (1), 24-25 (2), 30 (1)
     RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER: 3
     YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER: 13-14 (1)
     DOWNY WOODPECKER: 1-9, 12-15, 20-22, 24-26, 29-30
     HAIRY WOODPECKER: 7, 22, 28-29
     NORTHERN FLICKER (Yellow-shafted): 1-9, 12-14, 17, 20, 22-23, 28-30
     EASTERN PHOEBE: 11 (1), 13 (1), 18 (1), 20 (1), 21 (2), 24 (1)
     WARBLING VIREO: 28 (1), 29 (4+), 30 (5)
     PHILADELPHIA WARBLER: 25 (1)
     BLUE JAY: 8, 10, 13, 15, 21-22, 25, 28-29
     AMERICAN CROW: 1-18, 20-30
     PURPLE MARTIN: 4 (3), 5 (2), 8 (3), 9 (2), 13 (2), 15 (7), 16-17, 18 (6), 19-30
     TREE SWALLOW: 1-3, 5-12, 14, 15 (75+), 16-30
     NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW: 18 (2), 19 (1), 27-29
     BANK SWALLOW: 28 (2), 29
     BARN SWALLOW: 18 (1), 21, 24-30
     BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE: 2-13, 15-22, 27, 30
     WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH: 2-3, 6-8, 15-16, 18, 21, 29
     HOUSE WREN: 22 (1 BY), 24-30
     BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER: 12 (1), 18 (1)
     RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET: 6-7 (1), 9-11 (1), 13 (1), 14 (3), 18 (1), 21 (2), 22 (1), 23-24 (2), 28 (1)
     EASTERN BLUEBIRD: 1 (1♂), 2 (2), 3 (1♂), 4 (1♂ + 1♀), 5 (1♀), 7 (1♀), 8 (2), 10 (1♂), 11 (1♂ + 2♀),
                                    12-13 (1♂ + 1♀), 15 (2), 16 (3♂), 17 (1♂), 20 (1), 22 (2♂), 23, 24 (1♂ + 1♀),
                                    25 (1), 29, 30 (1♂)
     SWAINSON’S THRUSH: 25 (1), 29 (1)
     HERMIT THRUSH: 9-11 (1), 14 (1), 23 (1)
     AMERICAN ROBIN: 1-30
     BROWN THRASHER: 1 (1 BY), 2 (1), 3 (2), 4-5 (1), 7 (2), 9 (1), 11 (4), 13-15 (3), 16 (1), 17 (2),
                                    18-19 (1), 21 (1), 22 (2), 23 (1), 24 (1 BY + 2), 25 (3), 26-28, 29 (2 BY +), 30
     EUROPEAN STARLING: 1-30
     CEDAR WAXWING: 2 (~10), 27-28 (15+)
     LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH: 30 (1)
     ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER: 11 (1), 25-26 (1)
     NORTHERN PARULA: 15 (1)
     PALM WARBLER: 28 (2)
     YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER (Myrtle): 2 (1), 10 (1), 11-12 (2), 13 (15+), 18 (2), 21 (1), 22 (3),
                                    25 (4), 26, 27 (1), 28 (3), 29-30
     CHIPPING SPARROW: 1, 7-10, 13-18, 20-30
     CLAY-COLORED SPARROW: 30 (1)
     FIELD SPARROW: 8 (1), 11 (4), 13 (2), 15-16 (1), 18 (1), 20 (1)
     SAVANNAH SPARROW: 17 (1), 20 (1), 22 (2), 23 (6)
     FOX SPARROW: 1 (1)
     SONG SPARROW: 1-30
     LINCOLN’S SPARROW: 28 (1)
     SWAMP SPARROW: 1 (1), 5 (1), 11 (1), 18 (1), 20 (1), 21 (3), 22 (1), 29 (1)
     WHITE-THROATED SPARROW: 14 (1), 15 (2), 18 (3), 19 (1), 21 (3 BY +), 22, 24, 25 (8), 26, 27 (4),
                                    28 (3), 29-30
     HARRIS’S SPARROW: 21 (1)
     WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW: 25 (1), 27 (1), 29 (1 BY), 30 (1)
     DARK-EYED JUNCO (Slate-colored): 7 (2 BY), 8 (1 BY), 9-11 (1), 13 (3), 14 (1 BY), 15 (4)
     NORTHERN CARDINAL: 1-30
     RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD: 1-30
     EASTERN MEADOWLARK: 1-18, 20-28, 30
     RUSTY BLACKBIRD: 13 (2♂ + 2♀), 22 (3)
     COMMON GRACKLE: 1-30
     BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD: 1, 6-30
     BALTIMORE ORIOLE: 26 (1♂), 29 (1♂), 30
     HOUSE FINCH: 1-30
     AMERICAN GOLDFINCH: 1-30
     HOUSE SPARROW: 1-18, 20-30

MAMMALIAN
     WHITE-TAILED DEER: 3 (1), 5 (10), 8 (4), 12 (2), 13 (4), 16 (2), 19 (4), 21 (2 BY), 22 (2), 24-25 (2),
                                    26 (4), 30 (1)
     FOX SQUIRREL: 1-2, 4, 7-9, 11-15, 18-22, 24, 26-29
     THIRTEEN-LINED GROUND SQUIRREL: 1-18, 20, 22-23, 25-26, 28, 30
     EASTERN CHIPMUNK: 13-14, 17, 21, 29
     NORTH AMERICAN BEAVER: 29 (1)
     EASTERN COTTONTAIL: 1, 3, 5-9, 11-22, 24-30

REPTILIAN
     EASTERN GARTER SNAKE: 1 (1), 8 (1), 10 (1), 18 (1)
     NORTHERN PAINTED TURTLE: 1-12, 14-18, 20-27, 30
     RED-EARED SLIDER: 3 (1), 8-9 (1), 11 (1), 30 (1)

AMPHIBIAN
     AMERICAN TOAD: 1-4, 14-20, 24-26
     BLANCHARD’S CRICKET FROG: 25, 30
     EASTERN GRAY TREEFROG: 1-2, 6 (1 BY)
     BOREAL CHORUS FROG: 1-3, 15-23, 25, 30
     BULLFROG: 1, 3, 5-6, 8, 11-15, 17-18, 20, 23-27, 29-30
     NORTHERN LEOPARD FROG: 1-2, 18, 20, 24

LEPIDOPTERA
     BLACK SWALLOWTAIL: 2, 9-10, 25
     EASTERN TIGER SWALLOWTAIL: 5 (1), 6 (2), 8 (1), 23-25, 30
     CABBAGE WHITE: 1-6, 8, 10-12, 15-18, 23-26, 30
     CLOUDED SULPHUR: 1-3
     ORANGE SULPHUR: 18, 20, 22-26, 30
     Sulphur sp.: 3-6, 8-12, 15-18, 23-26, 30
     PEARL CRESCENT: 11-12, 17, 23-25, 30
     Anglewing sp.: 24 (1)
     MOURNING CLOAK: 1-4 (1), 5 (2), 6 (1), 12, 17-18 (2), 23 (2), 24-26 (1)
     PAINTED LADY: 6 (1), 8, 16-18, 20-21, 23-27, 30
     RED ADMIRAL: 1 (3), 2-4, 6, 8-10, 12-27, 30
     COMMON BUCKEYE: 30
     MONARCH: 24 (2), 25, 30
     Duskywing sp.: 6 (1), 18 (1)

ODONATA
     FAMILIAR BLUET: 24, 30
     EASTERN FORKTAIL: 2 (1♂), 5 (1♀), 6 (1♂), 24-25
     COMMON GREEN DARNER: 1-5, 15-18, 23-27, 30
     VARIEGATED MEADOWHAWK: 1-3, 6, 11, 15-19, 23-25, 30
Wolf
Ames

Saturday, May 5, 2012

May 5, 2012: Photos of the Day: Storm Over AHHP

Lightning flashes from storm clouds north of the park (from the bridge looking north), 5/3/12
(Kevin Kane)


Another strike from same cloud formation over the Inuksuk sculpture and shelter, 5/3/12
(Kevin Kane)

May 4, 2012: Wolf's Notes (5/3)


Sora, 5/3/12 (Wolf Oesterreich)

May 3

Only one First-of-Year species (Nashville Warbler) was found today. Many of those observed yesterday have already moved on. Three Soras were seen, two at Pond J and 1 at Pond G. (photo above) Soras are cousins to the American Coot, which many people believe to be ducks. However, with lobed instead of webbed feet, coots area actually in the Rail family (Rallidae). One white nestling was seen in the Red-tailed Hawk nest. With an adult perched at the edge of the nest instead of on it made me suspicious. When I scoped the nest I could see a little white head pop up. One of the Tree Swallow nesting boxes, which a pair of Eastern Bluebirds had taken over, seems to have a new occupant. I had seen an adult carry out a fecal sac (indicating hatching), but a House Sparrow has been present for the past two days, with no sign of a bluebird.

Wolf
Ames

Thursday, May 3, 2012

May 3, 2012: Wolf's Field Notes (5/2)


American Avocets, 5/2/12 (Wolf Oesterreich)

May 2, 2012
While riding around the Park (1452-1809) I managed to find 10 First-of-Year species: American White Pelican, American Avocet, Willet, Least Flycatcher, Eastern Kingbird, American Redstart, Northern Waterthrush, Common Yellowthroat, Wilson's Warbler, and Lark Sparrow.

Two American White Pelicans circled the south lake several times before continuing their northward flight. At Pool C (for a map of the Park and my designations see: http://www.iowabirds.org/Places/Documents/AHHP08.pdf) I found 2 American Avocets (with 2 more showing up before I completed my ride), 5 Willets, Gadwalls, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shovelers, American Coots, 10 Spotted Sandpipers, Lesser Yellowlegs, Pectoral Sandpipers, and 1 Wilson's Phalarope. The photograph of the 2 American Avocets was digiscoped.

On the south lake were 8 Gadwalls, 13 Mallards, 16 Lesser Scaups, 4 Ruddy Ducks, 1 Horned Grebe, and 115 American Coots. The Northern Waterthrush was found below the trail, in the outflow channel from Pool F. A male Common Yellowthroat was observed in the cattails along the east side of Pond J.

The amphitheater area (NW corner) along the Upland Trail was a hotbed of activity. This is where I found 1 Least Flycatcher, 2 Warbling Vireos, 1 Swainson's Thrush, 1 Orange-crowned Warbler, 1♂ Yellow Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warblers, 1♂ American Redstart, 1♂ Wilson's Warbler, and 1♂ Eastern Towhee. Eastward along the trail were 2 Lark Sparrows. A mixed flock of Clay-colored, White-throated, Harris's, and White-crowned Sparrows was flushed several times along the trail. One Eastern Kingbird was found near the SW corner of Jensen Pond. Near the American Robin nest that Erv Klaas found a few days ago, was a Brown Thrasher nest, also in a hawthorn, but on the south side of the trail.

Wolf
Ames

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

May 2, 2012: Erv's Field Notes #34


Hiding among the twigs, 4/28/12 (Kevin Kane)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012, 10-11:30 am. Beautiful sunny morning. Calm. Temperature, 70 degrees F. Severe wind and rain storm passed through the area in the early morning hours.

Parked in the lot on Harrison Ave. and saw six pairs of Canada Geese and a pair of Spotted Sandpipers on the nearby wetland. Water was flowing out of the wetlands into the south lake. I walked around the south lake and was surprised that now water was running from the outlet at the southeast corner. Then, I noticed the control gate was closed. When I got around to the north side, I saw that the outlet from the north wetlands has a beaver dam holding back the water.

Observed the following birds: More than a hundred American Coots on the lakes and wetlands, Blue-winged Teal, Shoveller, Mallard, Gadwall, Redheaded Duck, two Common Terns flying over the lake, Purple Martin, Tree Swallow, Common Grackle, Red-winged Blackbird, Baltimore Oriole, Catbird, Robin, Brown-headed Cowbird, Yellow-rumped Warbler, and Song Sparrow. The Purple Martins have taken over the nest box near the south wetlands and it seemed every compartment was occupied. The front of one of the compartments blew off in last night's wind storm.

Erv Klaas
______

In my last Field Note (#34), I reported seeing Common Terns. Wolf questioned this and asked if they were Forster's Terns. Its nice to have an expert birder to verify your observations. In this case I should have checked with him before I sent it out to everyone.

This gives me an excuse to say a little about bird identification. The Common Tern and Forster Tern are very similar in size and markings. I used to see Common Terns routinely when I lived in Maryland and the name simply jumped into my memory bank without me giving it adequate thought. Bad habit on my part.

Both of these terns share a common breeding range in the prairie provinces of southern Canada but the Common Tern is the "common" tern around the Great Lakes and on the East Coast. Forster's Tern migrates through the central U.S. from its wintering grounds along the Gulf Coast. Identifying them on the wing is nearly impossible because the field marks are hard to see.

Thanks Wolf for doing a good "tern" and helping me out.

Erv Klaas

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May 1, 2012: Erv (#33) and Wolf's Field Notes


Red-necked Grebe, 4/30/12 (Wolf Oesterreich)

Monday, April 30, 2012. 3:00-4:30 pm. Sunny, calm, Temp. 68 degrees F.

I walked along the north shore of the north lake looking for Odonates. I saw only two, both were male Variegated Meadowhawks. Four American Coots, two Ruddy Ducks and a Pied-bill Grebe were swimming in the lake. Hiked up the upland trail to Jensen’s Pond and circled the pond. Lots of turtles were sunning on logs. No dragonflies or damselflies but quite a lot of bird activity. I saw three Brown Thrashers, several Brown-headed Cowbirds, Red-winged Blackbirds, Robins, a Goldfinch, two Pheasants and a Flicker. I unintentionally flushed a Robin off a nest with four eggs in a hawthorn tree near the swing. While I was relaxing in the swing, I got a good look at a Clay-colored Sparrow gleaning insects from the limbs of sumac bushes. I hadn’t seen one of these in several years so I had to confirm the identification in a field guide when I came home. Lots of butterflies were gathering nectar from flowers. I am not very good at identifying butterflies but I recognized several: Red Admirals, Orange and Cloud Sulfurs, and a Pearly Crescent. As I was coming down the trail on the way back to the parking lot, I saw a male bluebird. I met up with Wolf Oesterreich making his daily rounds and he told me that he saw a Red-necked Grebe on the south lake, only the second record for the park. I told him about the Clay-colored Sparrow and he emailed later in the evening and said he spotted it in the same sumac where I had seen it earlier. This was the first sighting of this species this year. Wolf also told me that he photographed a beaver on the shore of the south lake. Later this evening the photo was on Kevin Kane’s blogspot. Check it out: http://adahaydenpark.blogspot.com/2012/04/apr-29-2012-beaver-sighting.html
Erv Klaas
_________________________


This Red-necked Grebe (in breeding plumage - above) was found this afternoon (Monday) on the south lake's west bay. For much of the time the grebe was accompanied by a female Red-breasted Merganser. The last time I recorded this species was on 29 April 2009 and the only other previous record was from 19 October 1985 (when the area was still Hallett's Quarry). This is a digiscoped photo, taken with a point-and-shoot camera through the lens of my spotting scope.

Wolf