Friday, August 31, 2012

Aug 31, 2012: August Photo Collage



August photos from the blog by Kevin Kane, Wolf Oesterreich, Erv Klaas, Todd Burras, and Tana Tesdall.

Aug 30, 2012: Red-tailed Hawk


 Red-tailed Hawk takes flight from its perch, 8/6/12 (Kevin Kane)

Aug 29, 2012: Indian Grass

Indian Grass (Sorghastrum nutans) waves in the breeze on the southern prairie, west of the south lake, 8/16/12 (Kevin Kane)

More about Indian Grass

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Aug 28, 2012: Thanks Todd!


A big thank you to Todd Burras for the great article he did highlighting the Reflections blog in the Ames Tribune.

Link to story and pdf.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Aug 27, 2012: Erv's Field Notes #42



Tule Bluet (Erv Klaas)

Sunday, August 26, 2012, 5-6 pm. Sunny, calm, Temperature, about 85 degrees F.

You haven't received a field note for a while because I've been traveling. Today was my first visit to Hayden Park since I returned. I walked along the north shore of the lake looking for odonates but I was disappointed. I saw one Powdered Dancer, one Blue-fronted Dancer, one Tule bluet, and 2 Prince Baskettails (flying). In past years, I can remember seeing 8-10 species and dozens of individuals. The water level in the lake is low due to the pumping but the habitat has not been affected that much. Lots of Sago pondweed growing along the shore where damselflies like to perch.

Todd Burras reported seeing a large swarm of hundreds of Common Green Darners near Jewel, IA, along Hwy 69. I received on other report from a friend of a large swarm east of Nevada. This species is known to migrate to the Gulf Coast in the fall. The swarms could be feeding frenzies where the dragonflies feed on smaller insects. Or, they could be looking for the rise of warm air columns to take them to a higher altitude where they catch stronger tail winds that will carry them south.

Janet and I drove to Gatineau, Quebec (across the river from the capitol city of Ottawa, Ontario) where we visited our son Zak and his family. I didn't have much time for nature study except for a brief drive through a wildlife refuge near the Ottawa River. Then we visited the big city of Toronto where I attended a conference on Urban Agriculture. Jan visited with an old friend from high school in Kansas City. On the way home we stopped at Point Pelee National Park for a few hours. Point Pelee is a narrow peninsula that juts out into Lake Erie about 30 miles southeast of Detroit, Michigan. We arrived late in the afternoon of August 18 and walked out on a nice boardwalk in a large cattail marsh. Small flocks of Great Crested Cormorants flew over us for 15-20 minutes headed southwest. Hundreds of damselflies were perched on waterlilies and other vegetation in the marsh. With binoculars I was able to identify these as Eastern Forktail damselflies. A small percentage of them were newly emerged immatures, which are orange in color, much different from the adults. The next morning we visited the park's visitor center and a small pond near the entrance had dozens of green tree frogs and leopard frogs perched on rocks and vegetation. Point Pelee is known for the large number of Monarch Butterflies that congregate during the fall in preparation for their long migratory journey to Mexico. However, we were a little too early for the Monarchs that reach their peak numbers in late September.

Its time to think about the fall interpretive programs. If you have an idea for a new program, please let me know and we'll try to set something up.

Erv Klaas

Monday, August 27, 2012

Aug 26, 2012: Switchgrass


Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) going to seed in the southern prairie near Stone Brooke walking path, 8/16/12 (Kevin Kane)

More about Switchgrass here

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Aug 25, 2012: Least Tern


Least Tern on mudflat in southwest corner of the south lake, 8/24/12 (Wolf Oesterreich)

This Least Tern was found Friday afternoon and represents a new species for the Park List (#259).  According to "The Birds of Story County, Iowa", 3rd Edition (July 2001), by Stephen Dinsmore and Hank Zaletel, this bird may represent only the second record for the county (1st = 13 June 1990 at Colo Bogs).  The bird appears to be loosing its breeding plumage.  The tern was found at 1420 on a mudflat located in the SW corner of the south lake (where the south wetland complex drains into the south lake).  I managed to extract two of the tripods legs when it flew off for the first time.  However, within minutes it was back and I was able to obtain a few (not very clear) digiscoped photographs.  After several more minutes it took flight again and I never saw it again.

Wolf

Friday, August 24, 2012

Aug 24, 2012: Photo of the Day: Field Thistle



A small insect finds refuge in the opening of a Field Thistle flower on the west side of the south lake, 8/16/2012 (Kevin Kane).

Learn more about Field Thistle (Cirsium discolor), one of our native thistles which started blooming in late July, here.

Aug 23, 2012: Summer Trout

From lighning1211 on
iowasportsman.com
August 21 2012 05:16PM

I got out of class today at Iowa State and decided to head out to Ada Hayden to try the fishing and see if anything was biting. I had heard reports of people catching trout out there all summer long, and now I'm a believer. Caught these today on a worm and hook. I would cast out let it sink to the bottom jig a little and as it was falling they would slam it. Good luck out there guys.











Thursday, August 23, 2012

Aug 22, 2012: Turkey Vulture



Look above and see one of the many Turkey Vultures migrating through our area, 8/21/12 (Wolf Oesterreich)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Aug 21, 2012: Pumping Resumes at Ada Hayden Lake


The pumping system at Ada Hayden Heritage Park, 7/27/12 (Kevin Kane)

Pumping Resumes at Ada Hayden Lake
Posted Date: 8/21/2012 12:00 PM
Ames, Iowa – The Ames Water Plant resumed its pumping water from the lake at Ada Hayden Heritage Park into the South Skunk River Channel today as part of its ongoing drought management plan. Although central Iowa and the Ames watershed have received rainfall recently, precipitation is far below normal and drought conditions persist.

The Ames Water Treatment Plant uses wells to draw water from the Ames Aquifer. Pumping water into the South Skunk River plays an important role in recharging the aquifer. By maintaining a pool of water above the low head dam in North River Valley Park, the groundwater level in the underground well field increases, said John Dunn, Director of Water and Pollution Control.

The City of Ames has not implemented any mandatory restrictions on the use of treated drinking water, but strongly encourages conservation be practiced by all residents.


“Our message is that we want customers to make smart use of water, especially for outdoor irrigation,” Dunn says. “For example, healthy lawns need just one inch of water a week. Watering more frequently or allowing water to run off sidewalks or driveways is wasting water.”

# # #

http://www.cityofames.org/index.aspx?page=43&recordid=863&returnURL=%2Findex.aspx

 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Aug 18, 2012: Photo of the Day: Waterbug Art


A waterbug skims across the inlet in the southwest corner of the south lake, 8/16/12 (Kevin Kane). 
Lower water levels in the lake have exposed even more of the peninsula that surrounds the inlet.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Aug 17, 2012: Photo of the Day: Big Bluestem



Grasses are beginning to become the dominant features of the prairie areas of the park as seedheads mature.  This patch of Big Bluestem is located in the southern prairie area near Stonebrooke, 8/16/12 (Kevin Kane)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Aug 16, 2012: Photo of the Day: Kayaking




It was a beautiful evening for a little kayaking, from the west bay of the south lake looking north, 8/16/12 (Kevin Kane)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Aug 15, 2012: Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel

Thirteen-lined ground squirrel (aka, striped gopher, leopard ground squirrel, squinney, and as the leopard-spermophile) dashes into the undergrowth as the path walkers approach, 8/6/12 (Kevin Kane)

More information on the Thirteen-lined ground squirrel


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Monday, August 13, 2012

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Aug 11, 2012: Photo of the Day: Seedling


Even in the warmest and driest of summers, this Cottonwood seedling has found enough moisture in the crack of a riprap boulder to get a start -- east shore of the north lake, 8/2/12 (Kevin Kane)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Aug 10, 2012: Photo of the Day: Sunset


Sundown over the northwest hills reflected in the north lake from the east shore, 8/2/12 (Kevin Kane)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Aug 9, 2012: Storm on the Horizon


Storm clouds approach as seen from the north central portion of the park on the upland trail looking west, southwest, 8/8/12 (Wolf Oesterreich)

Here's a composite photo of the approaching storm, late afternoon on the 8th.
Wolf

Aug 8, 2012: A Walk in the Park, pt 2



Inquisitive fawn stops to have its portrait taken in the central prairie, 8/6/12 (Kevin Kane)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Aug 7, 2012: A Walk in the Park


A Red-tailed Hawk peers backwards from its perch on a Tree Swallow box in the northern part of the park, 8/6/12 (Kevin Kane)

Monday, August 6th, 2012
I met up with Todd Burras this evening to walk through a few of the prairie areas and discuss all things Ada Hayden Heriatage Park.  Todd was good luck as we not only saw, but came suprisingly close to the hawk above and a doe and several of her fawns.  Additional photos from the walk can be found here.

Kevin

Aug 6, 2012: Photo of the Day: A Misty Lake


Early morning mist shrouds the inlet and north lake just north of the bridge, 8/6/12 (Tana Tesdall)

It was absolutely beautiful at the lake this morning. I got a few nice shots, and thought you might like them for the blog. 

Tana Tesdall
More of Tana's AHHP photos can be found here.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Aug 5, 2012: Wolf's Notes: July Species List


A bird casts a shadow against the leaf of a cottonwood sapling in the prairie north of the AHHP shelter, 8/2/12 (Kevin Kane)

A total of 65 avian species was recorded this month.

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 51st Supplement (2010) to the American Ornithologists’ Union Check-list of North American Birds and the 10th Supplement to the 7th Edition (1998).

AVIAN
     CANADA GOOSE: 1-8, 10-20, 22-31
     WOOD DUCK: 3-4, 7, 10, 12 (1), 13 (2), 14, 15 (2), 16 (1), 17 (2), 19 (3), 20 (1), 24 (8), 25 (1), 27 (1),
                                    30 (6), 31 (3)
     MALLARD: 1-8, 10-20, 22-27, 29-31
     RING-NECKED PHEASANT: 2-8, 12-13, 15, 17-20, 22-23, 26-27, 29-31
     PIED-BILLED GREBE: 7 (18), 27 (1)
     GREAT BLUE HERON: 1 (4), 3-4 (1), 5 (2), 6 (1), 7 (4), 8 (3), 10-11 (1), 12-13 (3), 15 (3), 16-17 (1),
                                    18 (2), 19 (1), 20 (2), 23-27 (1), 29 (1), 30 (2), 31 (1)
     GREEN HERON: 17 (1), 22 (1), 31 (1)
     TURKEY VULTURE: 1, 3 (12), 4 (19+), 5-8, 10-13, 15 (29+), 16, 17 (12+), 19-20, 22 (11), 23-27,
                                    29-30
     OSPREY: 29 (1)
     BALD EAGLE: 15 (1 ad)
     RED-TAILED HAWK: 1 (1), 5 (2), 11-13 (1), 17 (1), 18 (1 im), 19 (2), 20 (1), 22-23 (1), 26 (2), 29 (2),
                                     30-31 (1)
     KILLDEER: 1-8, 10-13, 15-20, 22-27, 29-31
     SPOTTED SANDPIPER: 5 (1), 7 (1), 11 (1), 12 (2), 13 (3), 16 (1), 23 (1), 25-27 (1)
     SOLITARY SANDPIPER: 25 (1)
     SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER: 14 (3)
     PECTORAL SANDPIPER: 13 (3)
     RING-BILLED GULL: 25 (2)
     MOURNING DOVE: 1-31
     YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO: 11 (2)
     BARRED OWL: 24 (1)
     CHIMNEY SWIFT: 1, 3-6, 16, 22, 26-27, 29-30
     RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD: 2, 4, 15-16, 30
     BELTED KINGFISHER: 5, 10-13, 22, 29, 31 (1♂)
     DOWNY WOODPECKER: 1, 7-8, 12, 14, 20, 22-23, 29-31
     HAIRY WOODPECKER: 30
     NORTHERN FLICKER (Yellow-shafted): 1, 4, 13, 15
     EASTERN WOOD-PEWEE: 1
     LEAST FLYCATCHER: 25 (1)
     EASTERN PHOEBE: 14 (1), 22-23
     EASTERN KINGBIRD: 1-8, 10-20, 22-27, 29-31
     WARBLING VIREO: 1-8, 10, 15, 18, 20, 22, 29
     BLUE JAY: 1, 7, 11-12, 17, 22, 29
     AMERICAN CROW: 1-31
     PURPLE MARTIN: 1-24, 27 (1), 29-30 (1)
     TREE SWALLOW: 1, 3, 5, 10, 12, 22, 24 (1), 27
     NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW: 1, 5, 8, 10, 19, 22
     BANK SWALLOW: 23 (3), 30 (1)
     CLIFF SWALLOW: 13 (1), 30
     BARN SWALLOW: 1-8, 10-20, 22-27, 29-31
     BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE: 1-2, 5-8, 10-15, 20, 22, 26, 29-30
     WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH: 1, 4, 7-8, 20, 22, 25, 29-30
     HOUSE WREN: 1-14, 16-17, 19-31
     SEDGE WREN: 16-18, 20, 22, 25, 30
     EASTERN BLUEBIRD: 2, 4, 8, 11, 14-19, 22-23, 29 (4), 30
     AMERICAN ROBIN: 1-31
     GRAY CATBIRD: 1-20, 22-23, 25-26, 29-31
     BROWN THRASHER: 2-3, 8, 10, 26
     EUROPEAN STARLING: 1-3, 14, 24
     CEDAR WAXWING: 3, 19-20, 26 (3), 29 (1), 31
     COMMON YELLOWTHROAT: 1-8, 10-20, 22-24, 26-27, 29-31
     CHIPPING SPARROW: 2, 5-14, 16-19, 21, 23-25, 29
     VESPER SPARROW: 20 (1)
     SONG SPARROW: 1-8, 10-20, 22-27, 29-31
     NORTHERN CARDINAL: 1-2, 4-31
     INDIGO BUNTING: 1-6, 8, 10-14, 17, 19, 22, 24, 26, 30
     DICKCISSEL: 1-7, 10, 13-17
     RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD: 1-8, 10-20, 22-27, 29-31
     EASTERN MEADOWLARK: 2, 4, 8, 14, 31
     COMMON GRACKLE: 1-8, 10-14, 16, 18
     BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD: 1-8, 10-12, 20, 22, 24, 30
     ORCHARD ORIOLE: 2, 3 (1♂), 4, 8, 10, 12, 14 (1♂), 15, 17, 23, 31 (1)
     BALTIMORE ORIOLE: 1, 4-6, 8, 10, 12, 20, 22, 26
     HOUSE FINCH: 1-2, 4-31
     AMERICAN GOLDFINCH: 1-31
     HOUSE SPARROW: 1-9, 11-15, 17, 19-27, 29, 31

MAMMALIAN
     WHITE-TAILED DEER: 1-2 (1♀ w/2 fawns), 3 (1), 6 (1 large fawn), 10 (1), 11 (1♀ w/2 fawns, 1♀ w/1
                                    fawn, 2 fawns), 13-14 (1), 15 (1♀ w/3 fawns). 18 (2 + 1 fawn), 19 (1♀ w/2 fawns),
                                    22 (1), 23 (1 + 1♀ w/2 fawns), 24 (1), 26 (1♀ w/2 fawns), 29 (1♀ w/2 fawns),
                                    30 (2), 31 (1)
     FOX SQUIRREL: 4, 8, 16, 27
     EASTERN CHIPMUNK: 1, 5, 7-8, 15, 20, 22
     THIRTEEN-LINED GROUND SQUIRREL: 1-6, 10-17, 20, 22-23, 26-27, 30-31
     NORTH AMERICAN BEAVER: 18 (1)
     EASTERN COTTONTAIL: 1-31

REPTILIAN
     NORTHERN PAINTED TURTLE: 1-5, 8, 10-20, 22-27, 29-31
     EASTERN SPINY SOFTSHELL: 6 (1), 17 (1)

AMPHIBIAN
     AMERICAN TOAD: 1, 29-30
     BLANCHARD’S CRICKET FROG: 1, 5, 10-13, 18, 27
     EASTERN GRAY TREEFROG: 21, 24-25, 31
     NORTHERN LEOPARD FROG: 1, 25
     BULLFROG: 1-8, 10-20, 22-27, 29-31

LEPIDOPTERA
     BLACK SWALLOWTAIL: 15-16, 20, 24
     GIANT SWALLOWTAIL: 5 (1)
     EASTERN TIGER SWALLOWTAIL: 4, 7, 13, 20, 24
     CABBAGE WHITE: 1-5, 7-8, 10-17, 20, 23-27, 30-31
     ORANGE SULPHUR: 1-8, 10-17, 19-20, 22-27, 29, 30
     AMERICAN COPPER: 5
     EASTERN TAILED-BLUE: 1, 3-6, 8, 10-14, 16-17, 19-20, 23-24, 26-27, 30-31
     AMERICAN SNOUT: 11, 31
     GREAT SPANGLED FRITILLARY: 1
     PEARL CRESCENT: 1, 8, 13-14, 16, 20, 22, 30
     EASTERN GRAY COMMA: 3
     PAINTED LADY: 17
     RED ADMIRAL: 12
     COMMON BUCKEYE: 5, 8, 13-14, 16-17, 24, 26-27, 31
     VICEROY: 11-13, 16, 19, 26-27, 30
     MONARCH: 1-5, 8, 10-20, 22-27, 30-31

ODONATA
     AMERICAN RUBYSPOT: 19 (1♂), 20 (1♀), 23 (1♂)
     BLUE-FRONTED DANCER: 1-2, 4-7, 10-14, 16-17, 19-20, 23, 25-27, 30-31
     POWDERED DANCER: 1-6, 8, 10-20, 22-27, 30-31
     BLUE-TIPPED DANCER: 11-12, 17, 23, 25-26, 31
     RAINBOW BLUET: 1, 5, 20, 26
     DOUBLE-STRIPED BLUET: 5-6, 11-12, 16, 24-27, 31
     TULE BLUET: 6, 10-12, 15-17, 23-24, 27
     FAMILIAR BLUET: 1, 5-6, 10-14, 16-17, 19-20, 23-27, 30-31
     STREAM BLUET: 11, 14, 20
     SKIMMING BLUET: 16
     ORANGE BLUET: 2-3, 6, 15, 24, 26
     EASTERN FORKTAIL: 1, 3, 5, 8, 12-15, 25-26, 29-31
     COMMON GREEN DARNER: 1-5, 7, 10-17, 20, 24, 26-27, 29-31
     FLAG-TAILED SPINYLEG: 12, 20, 23-25, 31
     JADE CLUBTAIL: 5 (1), 11 (1)
     COMMON BASKETTAIL: 7
     PRINCE BASKETTAIL: 1, 3-5, 7-8, 10-14, 18-20, 26-27, 30-31
     HALLOWEEN PENNANT: 1, 10-14, 20, 24, 26, 31
     EASTERN PONDHAWK: 1-2, 8, 10-14, 17, 20, 23-24, 26-27, 30-31
     WIDOW SKIMMER: 1, 4-7, 10-17, 20, 23-27, 30-31
     COMMON WHITETAIL: 1, 5, 8, 10-17, 19-20, 24, 26-27, 30-31
     TWELVE-SPOTTED SKIMMER: 1, 7-8, 10, 13-14, 16-17, 19-20, 23-27, 30-31
     BLUE DASHER: 1-8, 10-17, 19-20, 24, 26-27, 30-31
     WANDERING GLIDER: 8, 11-12, 14-15, 19-20, 31
     EASTERN AMBERWING: 1-6, 8, 10-12, 14-17, 19-20, 23-27, 30-31
     VARIEGATED MEADOWHAWK: 25, 27, 30
     BLACK SADDLEBAGS: 3-4, 6-8, 10-17, 19-20, 23-27, 30-31
     RED SADDLEBAGS: 1, 5, 8, 11, 13-14

Wolf
Ames

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Aug 4, 2012: Photo of the Day: Least Sandpiper


Least Sandpiper, 8/3/12 (Wolf Oesterreich)

While at Ada Hayden HP watch for returning shorebirds.  They started to appear in mid-July.  I have already recorded Pectoral Sandpipers, Semipalmated Sandpipers, a Solitary Sandpiper, and the first Least Sandpiper (photo above) on the 3rd.

Wolf
Ames

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Friday, August 3, 2012

Aug 2, 2012: Photo of the Day: Wood Ducks

Wood Ducks on Jensen Pond, 8/1/12 (Wolf Oesterreich)


Here are two of the six juvenile Wood Ducks present at Jensen Pond (along the Upland Trail).  They were observed on 30 July and 1 August, with only 3 on the 31st.

Wolf
Ames

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Aug 1, 2012: Photo of the Day: Geese



Erv managed to sneak a close-up of these geese on his visit to the park on Monday, 7/30/12 (Erv Klaas)