Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Dec 31, 2013: December 2013 Photo Collage


December 2013 photos from the blog by Kevin Kane, Wolf. Oesterreich, Michael Martin, and Twyla Anderson.

Dec 30, 2013: Looking Forward, Looking Back


As we look forward to a new year we can celebrate another year gone by and all that AHHP has meant to the Ames community. 12/26/13 (Kevin Kane)

Monday, December 30, 2013

Dec 29, 2013: Snow Goose


The lone snow goose after narrowly escaping the pair of eagles chasing it. 12/28/13 (Twyla Anderson)

Dec 28, 2013: Evening Geese


Just back from a spin around Ada Hayden.  12/27/13 (Michael Martin)

Friday, December 27, 2013

Dec 27, 2013: Friends


Main park sign.  12/26/13 (Kevin Kane)

Dear Friends of Ada Hayden Park:

All of us are getting a flood of requests, as usual, this time of year that say "urgent" or "desperate" from political and non-profit groups.

Friends of Ada Hayden Park is a non-profit too but we are not desperate. We are just sending you a friendly reminder that the end of the tax year is near and if you wish to make a tax-deductible donation in 2013, now is the time. You can do so by sending a check to Jon Hunstock, Treasurer, Friends of Ada Hayden Heritage Park, 4142 Eisenhower Lane, #1, Ames, IA 50010-3939.

Suggested contributions are: Student, $20; Individual/Family $35; Contibutor, $50; Sustaining, $100; Patron, $500.

Thank you for your support.

Erv Klaas
President, Friends of AHHP


Dec 26, 2013: Erv's Field Notes #63


A variety of birds flock to the remaining open water in the south lake. 12/26/13 (Kevin Kane)

Thursday, December 26, 2013, 1:00-300 pm,

Sunny, bright sky, few clouds, slight breeze from south, 32-33 degrees F. The north lake is entirely frozen, 3 ice fishing tents. The south lake is also frozen except for a small area of open water near the east shore. About 4 inches of snow fell on December 21 and then it turned bitterly cold for a few days. Now, we are experiencing a moderate warming trend.

Today was my first visit to the park in nearly a month. For the first time in several months, I was able to walk the entire path around the south lake. I passed several walkers including a man and his son from San Diego who grew up in Ames and is back to visit relatives. He said they read the blogspot for Hayden Park regularly. They are bird watchers and, together, we scanned the flock of Mallards and Canada Geese sleeping on the ice around the open water. Small groups of Canada Geese flew in from across the highway; it seemed they were lifting off the Skunk River near the low-head dam north of Sleepy Hollow (Riverside Drive). Be sure and check the Hayden Park website for the latest goings on in the park and the beautiful photos contributed by Wolf Oesterreich, Kevin Kane and others. Here is the URL: http://adahaydenpark.blogspot.com/

I estimated 400-500 Canada Geese, 100 Mallards, 1 Snow Goose, 1 Trumpeter Swan, and 1 male Pintail. Most of the ducks and geese were sleeping on the snow-covered ice but a few birds were bathing in the open water. This is fun to watch. The birds will sometimes roll completely over on their back and wave their feet in the air. Then they will rise partly out of the water and beat their wings rapidly to shake the water out. This wing flapping is noisy and the sound carries well across the frozen lake. The green heads on the Mallard drakes were glistening in the sun. The swan had its head under its wing and remained that way for most of the hour that I watched it. A few geese were walking around the snow-covered ice picking at something on the snow. What could they be doing? Are they eating snow? Or, maybe they are finding a few small seeds that the wind has carried out on the lake.

Later in the walk, a couple from Gilbert stopped and chatted a while. Everybody, including me, seemed to be in good spirits with the sunshine and relatively mild temperatures.

I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Erv Klaas

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Dec 25, 2013: Peace in the Park


A quiet corner of the park on a quiet day.  This is a small corner of the south lake, south and west of the bluff. 12/26/13 (Kevin Kane)

Dec 24, 2013: Perspective


Walking on a frozen lake gives new perspectives to things we may normally take for granted.  This photo was taken through the grating of the culvert on the west side of the south lake looking into the adjoining wetland to the west.  12/26/13 (Kevin Kane)

Dec 23, 2013: Welcome Geese!


Three Canada Geese glide in for a landing on the ever shrinking area of open water on the south lake, looking southwest. 12/26/13 (Kevin Kane)

Dec 22, 2013: Christmas Cairn


This rock sculpture was found on a walk around the frozen south lake on the east side of the bluff.  12/26/13 (Kevin Kane)

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Dec 21, 2013: Milkweed Pods


This Milkweed plant stll holds on to most of its seeds within the pods even as ice covers the south lake.  12/18/13 (Kevin Kane)

Monday, December 23, 2013

Dec 20, 2013: Northwest Hills


Nothwest hills looking northeast. 12/20/13 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

Dec 19, 2013: Bald Eagle


This near-adult (still some streaks of black in head and tail feathers) Bald Eagle was found just west of the bridge.  Passing pedestrians and cyclists didn't cause it to take flight.  Earlier, 4 (2 adults and 2 immatures) were standing on the ice, just SW of the Canada Geese & Mallard concentration at the south lake. 12/19/13 (Wolf. Oesterreich)


Dec 18, 2013: December Sunset II


Sunset over the south lake. 12/18/13 (Kevin Kane)


Dec 17, 2013: December Sunset I


Sunset over the open water on the south lake. 12/18/13 (Kevin Kane)


Dec 16, 2013: Snow! 2012 Flashback


Eleven inches of snow fell on the park over the last 24 hours covering everything but the lakes and ponds with a blanket of white.  I took a 90 minute walk around the south lake and saw only two others in the park as the main parking lot was inaccessible.  The high winds and low temps kept the geese in the protected coves.  The sundogs around the sun were some of the best I have ever seen.  12/20/12 (Kevin Kane)



Friday, December 20, 2013

Dec 15, 2013: Pool F


This composite photo shows the Pool F area and the highlands to the north and northwest (taken on the 16th).  12/16/13 (Wolf. Oesterreich)


Dec 14, 2013: One Year Ago - Swans



The Trumpeter Swans on the lake one year ago today had much more open water for their use than this year.  12/14/12 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

See http://adahaydenpark.blogspot.com/2012/12/dec-14-2012-trumpeter-swans.html



Saturday, December 14, 2013

Dec 13, 2013: Northern Shovelers


Check out the bills of these Northern Shovelers (1♂ + 2♀).  These 3 had been sighted on the south lake for several days in late November.  11/27/13 (Wolf. Oesterreich)


Dec 12, 2012: Jensen Pond


Jensen Pond welcomes the first winter snow. 11/30/13 (Wolf. Oesterreich)


Dec 11, 2013: Winter Sunset


Outline of a bare tree contrast an early winter sunset.  11/27/13 (Kevin Kane)


Dec 10, 2013: Geese in Flight


Sunlight reflects off the undesides of geese coming in to land, above the north lake.  11/27/13 (Kevin Kane)


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Dec 9, 2013: South Lake





A view across the ice-covered south lake, towards the bluff area.  12/10/13 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Dec 8, 2013: Trumpeter Swans 3







Trumpeter Swans. 12/4/13 (Wolf. Oesterreich) 

Nine Trumpeter Swans (6 adults + 3 juveniles) were found on the south lake this morning (4th).  One, a female, had a red collar (# 7K4).  She has visited the Park many times in the past.  She was hatched in 2005 at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago and was released 1 mile south of Granger on 10 May 2006.  Her first mate was killed (along with the juveniles produced that year) by a car (in 2010?) when the family was walking to another pond after theirs dried up.  She has since had other mate(s) and raised several broods of cygnets, usually near Story City.

Wolf. Oesterreich

Monday, December 9, 2013

Dec 7, 2013: Trumpeter Swan 2





Early Saturday afternoon, while scoping the waterfowl on the mostly ice-covered south lake, two groups of 4 Trumpeter Swans came flying in.  (I heard them long before visual contact.)  One group came in so low and fast that I barely had time to pull the camera out and get a shot. 12/7/13 (Wolf. Oesterreich)



Sunday, December 8, 2013

Dec 6, 2013: Trumpeter Swans


Friday early evening on the south lake were 19 Trumpeter Swans (12 adults and 7 juveniles), including the female 7K4. Also present were Canada & Cackling Geese, Mallards, 1 Ross's Goose, 1♂ Northern Pintail, 3♂ Common Mergansers, 1♂ Common Goldeneye, 4 Ruddy Ducks, 1 Pied-billed Grebe, and 3 American Coots. 12/6/13 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

Dec 5, 2013: Cackling Goose


The Cackling Goose (split from the Canada Goose a few years ago) is quite small, as evidenced by the Mallard standing to its right.  Also note the small stubby bill.  There haven't been as many Cacklers present as in year's past.  Perhaps more will be coming. 12/4/13 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Dec 4, 2013: Misty Reflections





Reflection of trees in the south lake's west bay (during a misty morning). 12/4/13 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

Dec 3, 2013: Wolf's November Wildlife Report







This lone Pied-billed Grebe was still present on the 30th, in the sliver of open water along the north lake's north shore. 11/30/13 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

November Report for Ada Hayden Heritage Park.

A total of 65 avian species (plus 1 sp.) was recorded this month, ranking this month as the 4th highest November (tied with November 2004 & 2008) among 16 years of records.

The Red-throated Loon on the 8th was a new record (#264) for my Park List.

Based on citations in the 3rd Edition of “The Birds of Story County, Iowa,” by Stephen J. Dinsmore and Hank Zaletel (2001), plus my personal updates to the records, the Red-throated Loon was the first record for Story County.

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 53rd Supplement (2012) to the American Ornithologists’ Union Check-list of North American Birds and the 12th Supplement to the 7th Edition (1998).

AVIAN
     GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE: 24 (1 im), 27 (1 im), 30 (1 im)
     ROSS’S GOOSE: 8 (1)
     CACKLING GOOSE: 8, 10-12, 14, 18, 23-30
     CANADA GOOSE: 1-20, 22-30
     TRUMPETER SWAN: 12 (2 ad + 2 im), 23 (2 ad), 25 (3 ad + 3 im), 26 (1 ad + 1 im), 27 (1 im)
     TUNDRA SWAN: 22-23 (1 im)
     GADWALL: 1 (8), 4 (1♂), 6 (3), 7 (63), 8 (2♀), 9 (13♂ + 6♀), 10 (1♂), 11 (9)
     AMERICAN WIGEON: 10 (2♂), 12 (2♂), 13 (1♂), 18 (1♂)
     MALLARD: 1-4, 6-12, 13 (356+), 14, 15 (300+), 16-20, 22-30
     BLUE-WINGED TEAL: 4 (1♀)
     NORTHERN SHOVELER: 1 (1♀), 7 (19), 10 (2♀), 12 (1♀), 13 (3♀), 15 (1♀), 17 (2♀), 27 (1♂ + 2♀),
                                    28 (1♂ + 3♀), 29 (1♂ + 2♀), 30 (1♂ + 3♀)
     NORTHERN PINTAIL: 2 (1♀), 24 (1♂), 26 (1♀), 27 (1♂), 29 (1♂)
     GREEN-WINGED TEAL: 1 (1♀), 2 (1♂), 6 (20), 7 (71), 10 (1♂ + 1♀), 13 (6♂ + 2♀), 14 (2♀), 18 (1♀),
                                    22 (2♂)
     REDHEAD: 8 (2♂)
     RING-NECKED DUCK: 2 (1♀), 6 (6♀), 7 (1♀), 8 (20), 10 (3♀), 12-13 (1♂), 15 (3♂), 24 (1♀), 27 (1♀)
     LESSER SCAUP: 3 (1♂ + 1♀), 6 (59), 7 (8), 8 (7), 9 (1♂), 10 (2♀), 13 (2♂), 14 (2♂ + 2♀), 18 (1♂)
     BUFFLEHEAD: 6-7 (3♀), 9 (1♀), 11 (2♀), 12 (1♀), 13 (1♂), 22 (1♂)
     COMMON GOLDENEYE: 23 (3♀), 24 (1♀), 25-26 (1♂ + 2♀), 27 (7♂ + 9♀), 29 (2♂)
     HOODED MERGANSER: 12 (2♀), 18 (7♀), 22 (2♀), 23 (1♀)
     COMMON MERGANSER: 16 (1♀), 23-25 (2♀), 27 (3♀), 28-29 (2♀)
     RUDDY DUCK: 9 (1♂ + 1♀), 13 (2♀), 23 (1♀), 24 (2♀)
     RING-NECKED PHEASANT: 1, 3-4, 6-7, 9-10, 12, 15, 17-18, 20, 22, 25, 27, 30
     RED-THROATED LOON: 8 (1 anb)
     COMMON LOON: 1 (1), 8 (1 anb)
     PIED-BILLED GREBE: 1 (6), 2 (5), 3 (4), 4 (9), 6 (25), 7 (10), 8 (2), 9 (5), 10 (9), 11 (4), 12 (8), 13 (2),
                                    14 (6), 15 (4), 16 (5), 17 (3), 18-19 (4), 20 (3), 22 (3), 23 (1), 28-30 (1)
     OSPREY: 1-2 (1)
     BALD EAGLE: 2 (1 im), 12-13 (1 ad), 14 (1 ad + 1 4-yr), 16 (1 ad + 1 4-yr), 19 (2 ad), 23 (1 ad),
                                    29 (1 ad)
     SHARP-SHINNED HAWK: 10 (1)
     COOPER’S HAWK: 6 (1), 9 (1), 10 (2), 15 (1 im), 21 (1 ad), 23 (1 BY), 24 (1 ad), 29 (1 ad BY)
     Accipiter sp.: 13 (1), 30 (1)
     RED-TAILED HAWK: 2 (2), 7-10 (1), 12 (1), 14 (1), 16-17 (1), 19 (4), 22 (1), 24 (1), 27-30 (1)
     AMERICAN COOT: 1 (8), 2 (14), 3 (4), 4 (3), 6 (15), 7 (14), 8 (18), 9 (17), 10 (6), 11 (10), 12 (8),
                                    13 (2), 14 (12), 15 (7), 16 (10), 17 (4), 18 (6), 19 (5), 20 (4), 22 (4), 23-24 (3),
                                    25 (12), 26 (1), 27-28 (3), 29 (4), 30 (3)
     GREATER YELLOWLEGS: 10 (1)
     WILSON’S SNIPE: 12 (1), 14 (1)
     RING-BILLED GULL: 15 (1), 16 (4), 21 (~15)
     MOURNING DOVE: 6-11, 13, 15-17, 19-20, 26-28
     BELTED KINGFISHER: 4 (1), 10 (1), 12 (1), 20 (1), 23 (1), 25 (1), 27 (1)
     RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER: 9-10, 18, 22, 27-28, 30
     DOWNY WOODPECKER: 2-3, 7-8, 10, 12, 14-16, 19-21, 23-30
     HAIRY WOODPECKER: 2, 4, 10, 12, 14, 16-17, 23-26, 28
     NORTHERN FLICKER (Yellow-shafted): 6-7 (1), 9 (1), 26 (1)
     NORTHERN SHRIKE: 24 (1)
     BLUE JAY: 1-4, 7, 10-12, 15-16, 18-20, 22-30
     AMERICAN CROW: 1-4, 6-16, 19-24, 26-30
     BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE: 2, 4, 6, 8-16, 18-19, 21-30
     WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH: 2, 4, R15-16, 30
     BROWN CREEPER: 14 (1)
     GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET: 7 (1)
     EASTERN BLUEBIRD: 2 (1), 6, 7 (3), 10 (5), 27 95), 28-29 (3)
     AMERICAN ROBIN: 1-7, 9-10, 12, 14-20, 22-24, 27, 30
     EUROPEAN STARLING: 1-3, 6, 9-12, 15-17, 19-20, 23-25, 27-30
     CEDAR WAXWING: 15 (5 BY), 27 (2 BY)
     AMERICAN TREE SPARROW: 1-2, 6-20, 22-25, 27-30
     FOX SPARROW: 2 (1 BY + 3), 4 (3), 15 (1 BY), 19 (1)
     SONG SPARROW: 1, 3-4, 6-7, 10, 12, 20, 22
     SWAMP SPARROW: 2-3, 10 (1), 15 (1)
     WHITE-THROATED SPARROW: 2-3
     HARRIS’S SPARROW: 1 (1), 27 (1 BY)
     WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW: 2 (1)
     DARK-EYED JUNCO (Slate-colored): 1-16, 18-30
     NORTHERN CARDINAL: 2, 12-16, 18-19, 21, 23-30
     RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD: 1-2, 4, 6-8, 13, 15, 18
     COMMON GRACKLE: 7, 8 (1)
     HOUSE FINCH: 2, 6-19, 22-30
     AMERICAN GOLDFINCH: 1-3, 9-11, 24, 28-30
     HOUSE SPARROW: 1-19, 22-30

Unless indicated otherwise, the White-tailed Deer were antlerless.  The yearlings were just about the same size as the adults.

MAMMALIAN
     VIRGINIA OPOSSUM: 13 (1 BY)
     COYOTE: 10 (1), 22, 24 (1)
     WHITE-TAILED DEER: 1 (6 + 1♂), 4 (1), 6 (3), 9 (2), 10 (3 + 1♂), 12 (4 + 1♂), 13 (10), 15 (6), 16 (1♂),
                                    17 (11), 18 (1♂), 19 (2), 20 (2 + 4♂), 22 (4), 23 (3 BY), 24 (2♂), 25 (8),
                                    26 (7 + 1♂), 27-28 (1 BY), 30 (3 BY)
     FOX SQUIRREL: 3, 8-14, 16-17, 20, 22-24, 27-30
     THIRTEEN-LINED GROUND SQUIRREL: 10 (1), 17 (1)
     MUSKRAT: 26 (1)
     EASTERN COTTONTAIL: 1-11, 16-17, 19, 23-27, 29-30

REPTILIAN
     PLAINS GARTER SNAKE: 3 (1)
     NORTHERN PAINTED TURTLE: 19 (1)
     RED-EARED SLIDER: 1 (1)

AMPHIBIAN
     BULLFROG: 1 (1), 3 (1), 4 (1+)

LEPIDOPTERA
     WOOLLY BEAR (Isabella Tiger Moth): 2 (2), 9 (1)

Wolf. Oesterreich

Monday, December 2, 2013

Dec 2, 2013: Battling White-tailed Deer


12/2/13 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

At dusk, I found these two White-tailed Deer bucks battling in the (dry) Pool F area.  The sounds at first led me to believe that a buck was thrashing around in the vegetation.  So I walked over to the sound and discovered these two with antlers entangled.  They pushed against each other, moving about the area.  Three other bucks watched the process.  After 5 minutes they disengaged, with one running off, followed by the other. 

Dec 1, 2013: The Path to Jensen Pond


The last orange sun rays of the day illuminate the snowy path up the hill to Jensen Pond. 11/27/13 (Kevin Kane)


Saturday, November 30, 2013

Nov 30, 2013: November 2013 Photo Collage


November 2013 photos from the blog by Kevin Kane, Wolf. Oesterreich, Kelly Poole, and Shannon Kane, Maggie Hamilton, and Tana Clark Tesdall.

Nov 29, 2013: Sunset on November


Colorful sunset through the bare trees, 11/27/13. (Kevin Kane)

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Nov 28, 2013: The Freeze



The Sun reflects off the thin layer of ice starting to form on the north lake. 11/27/13 (Shannon Kane)


Nov 27, 2013: Flight Pattern


Geese come in over the northern hills, preparing to land on the south lake. 11/27/13 (Kevin Kane)


Nov 26, 2013: Big Bluestem


Big Bluestem silhouetted against the setting sun, central wetland complex.  11/24/13 (Kevin Kane)


Nov 25, 2013: Sunglow


Monday night's sunset afterglow over the north lake. 11/25/13 (Wolf. Oesterreich)


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Nov 24, 2013: Serenity


Sunday afternoon hike around the wetlands brought us to Pond E where a thin layer of ice created nature's perfect mirror on its surface - looking northwest from the outlet.  11/14/13 (Kevin Kane)

Monday, November 25, 2013

Nov 23, 2013: Greater White-fronted Goose


Greater White-fronted Goose.  11/14/13 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

This immature (lack of speckling on belly & little white behind bill) Greater White-fronted Goose was found amongst some Canada Geese by the mini-shelter at the NE corner of the north lake.

The numbers of Canada Geese on the south lake have finally increased.  At least 500 were present today, along with over 1000 Mallards, a handful of Cackling Geese, 1♂ Northern Pintail, 1♀ Ring-necked Duck, 1♂ Common Goldeneye, 2♀ Common Mergansers, and 2♀ Ruddy Ducks.  The season's first Northern Shrike was found just west of the main shelter.

Wolf. Oesterreich

Nov 22, 2013: Autumn Sunset


10/21/13 (Maggie Hamilton)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Nov 20, 2013: Prairie Color


Last splash of color on the prairie. 11/9/13 (Kevin Kane)

Nov 19, 2013: Mallards


These Mallards were found by the rip-rap along the south lake's east shoreline.  11/19/13 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Nov 18, 2013: Sunset Silhouettes


Bare trees at sunset along the central east/west flow, looking southwest. 11/9/13 (Kevin Kane)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Nov 15, 2013: Colors of Autumn at Dusk


The many colors of autumn are highlighted as the sun sets from the southwest park entry looking east, northeast.  11/9/13 (Kevin Kane)

Nov 14, 2013: Snow and Grasses


11/12/13 (Kelly Poole)

Nov 13, 2013: Red-throated Loon









Red-throated Loon. 11/8/13 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

Late Friday afternoon (after 1600) I spotted two whitish birds north of the waterfowl raft on the south lake. I set up my scope and observed 1 Common Loon (in Winter plumage) and 1 Red-throated Loon (adult in Winter plumage). The Red-throated was obviously smaller than the Common. It had a white face and throat and held its head at a slight tilt upward (typical for this species). White spots dotted the back and the whitish flanks were quite evident. The bill was much smaller and thinner than the Common's. This Red-throated Loon is #264 for my Park List and is the first Story County record. [Poor lighting and distance resulted in a not-so-perfect digiscoped photograph.] 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Nov 12, 2013: Frosty Foggy Morning

Fog over the lake with snow on the ground on a chilly morning, looking south at the boat dock. 11/12/13 (Kelly Poole)