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
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.