Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Feb 26, 2013: Geese Exposed


A half second exposure of the geese coming in to land on the south lake. 2/25/13 (Kevin Kane)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Feb 25, 2013: Walk on Lake at Sunset


A man and his dog take a walk on the ice of the north lake at sunset. 2/25/13 (Kevin Kane)

Monday, February 25, 2013

Feb 24, 2013: Ice Fishing


Lone ice fisherman looks contemplative over his gear just before wrapping up for the day near the east shore of the north lake. 2/24/13 (Kevin Kane)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Feb 23, 2013: Trumpeters in Flight at Sundown


These eight Trumpeter Swans flew in from the northwest, over the north lake and bridge, and then landed on the south lake.  Almost 30 swans were on the lake again tonight.  3/23/13 (Kevin Kane)

See the video here.




Feb 22, 2013: Erv's Field Notes #53


Thousands of geese come back to the south lake each night around sundown - almost all at once. It is a sight, and sound, to behold. 2/23/13 (Kevin Kane).
See the video here.


Catching Up

I have not had time to visit the park very much the last couple of weeks and I have been in arrears in writing field notes. So, I will report on a few odds and end observations and events. A while back, as I was walking along the path along the west side of the south lake, I saw a large deer running down the path towards Errington’s rock. It stopped and looked at me briefly before proceeding across the dry wetland to the west of where I was standing. Because of its size, I believe it was a male that had dropped its antlers. All members of the deer family, including elk and moose, drop their antlers in the winter and grow new ones in the spring. I have occasionally found these old antlers laying in the woods but they don’t last long. It is thought that mice and other critters consume them as a source of calcium. Animals growing new ones are said to be in velvet.

As I proceeded along the path whence the deer had come, I saw four does head out across the ice on the west arm of the lake. They were in single file and the last one in line was walking on three legs. Its right hind leg was deformed or injured. When they reached the far shore they all broke into a run. Surprisingly, the three-legged one was able to keep up with the three deer in front of her.

Trumpeter swans have been coming to the lake off and on all month. Usually there are 10 Trumpeters but a friend reported seeing 22 one morning. Wolf Oesterreich reports the following: Late this afternoon (2/21), before the snowfall, there were 30 Trumpeter Swans present on the south lake. Twenty-one were adults, with the rest being immatures (1st Winter). This is the highest number of Trumpeters I've observed at the Park. One of the adults had an orange wing tag (left wing). Also present on the open water were Greater White-fronted Geese (6+), Ross's Goose (1 adult white), Canada Geese, Cackling Geese, Mallards, Common Goldeneye (3♂ + 1♀), and Common Merganser (1♂). Two Bald Eagles (1 adult + 1 immature) circled above for several minutes.

I have noticed that flocks of geese can be seen flying over town more frequently the last few days. Food is becoming scarce for them as the waste grain in the crop fields gets eaten up. They are probably having to search more for food, especially when snow covers the ground. Another reason for these flights is zugenruhe, or migratory restlessness. It won’t be long until the wintering flock leaves our area and heads north. The smaller Cackling Goose will travel beyond the Arctic Circle.

Wolf Oesterreich has observed a blue neckband with white letters on a Canada Goose among the wintering flock at the park. He reports that the neckband (346A) that we both saw on February 13 was a female, banded on 5 July 2005 (too young to fly when banded), 7 miles west of Ogema, Minnesota, by wildlife biologist, Douglas E. McArthur (White Earth Reservation).

On February 19, I presented a talk on “Dragonflies and Damselflies of Ada Hayden Heritage Park” to the Iowa Chapter, The Wildlife Society, at their annual meeting. This talk is a compilation of 6 years of surveys conducted by Wolf and me. We now have a list of 20 damselfly species and 30 dragonfly species identified at the park. If anyone has a group that would be interested in seeing this presentation, please let me know.
The city has removed a small grove of Siberian elm trees on the north side of the park at our request. This species is an aggressive invasive tree that has been spreading rapidly in the park. Friends of Hayden Park has purchased 700 plants of a variety of wildlife food species that will replace these trees. We will organize a work day in April, hope you can help us plant.

Erv Klaas

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Feb 21, 2013: Trumpeter Swans


Four of the 1st Winter Trumpeter Swans. 12/21/13 (Wolf. Oestereich)

Late this afternoon (2/21), before the snowfall, there were 30 Trumpeter Swans present on the south lake.  Twenty-one were adults, with the rest being immatures (1st Winter).  This is the highest number of Trumpeters I've observed at the Park.  One of the adults had an orange wing tag (left wing).

Also present on the open water were Greater White-fronted Geese (6+), Ross's Goose (1 adult white), Canada Geese, Cackling Geese, Mallards, Common Goldeneye (3♂ + 1♀), and Common Merganser (1♂).  Two Bald Eagles (1 adult + 1 immature) circled above for several minutes.

Wolf. Oesterreich

Feb 20, 2013: North Slope


Northern hills, part of Wolf's habitat time series.  2/20/2013 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

Last months photo from the same spot below...

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Feb 19, 2013: Swans




More than 2 dozen swans joined the throng of geese on the south lake this morning. 2/20/13 (Kevin Kane)

Feb 18, 2013: Ice Retreating



The fluctuations in temperatures has the ice on the north lake retreating and advancing in interesting ways.  This photo was taken on cold morning of new freezing after the previous warm day of melting.  2/12/13 (Kevin Kane)

Monday, February 18, 2013

Feb 17, 2013: Wetlands






"Pool F" wetland looking northwest.  Part of Wolf's monthly habitat photo project in the park. 2/15/13 (Kevin Kane)

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Friday, February 15, 2013

Feb 15, 2013: Clouds




Cloud formation to the north of the Park. 2/14/13 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

Feb 14, 2013: Common Goldeneyes


Common Goldeneye. 2/14/13 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

This male was one of two Common Goldeneyes found on the open water at the south lake (Ada Hayden HP). (A female had been seen on the 4th and 5th of this month.) Goldeneyes are divers, so you may not see them right away. Also present were Greater White-fronted Geese (21), Cackling Geese, Canada Geese, American Black Duck (1 male), Mallards, Redheads (3 males & 1 female), and 1 Erv Klaas (adult male).

Wolf. Oesterreich

Erv adds:
Pair of American Goldeneyes (below) , Hayden Park, February 13, 2013 (Erv Klaas)
Goldeneyes are diving ducks and they nest in cavities of trees in the
northern spruce forests. This pair have been at Hayden Park for
several days.

Erv Klaas




 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Feb 13, 2013: Greater White-fronted Geese


Greater White-fronted Geese. 2/13/13 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

These Greater White-fronted Geese are the first ones I've seen at the Park this year.  Twenty-one were found on the south lake ice.  They are also known as "Speckle-bellies", due to the black markings on the belly.  They breed on the tundra and taiga.

Wolf. Oesterreich

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Feb 12, 2013: Spring Development


Areas slated for residential development in red.

As spring arrives, keep an eye out for development north of the park in two areas; the old Oaks Golf Course and the farmland north and west of Jensen Pond.  This development has the potential to have a huge impact on the park, both visually -- as large homes ring the northwest hills competing for their vistas, and physically -- depending on how the development is handled in areas of water and sediment runoff.  Help be the eyes and ears of your park!

Feb 11, 2013: Holiday Fish Habitat


Christmas trees, pallets, and cement blocks all wired up to become next spring's fish habitat as soon as the ice melts off the north lake fishing pier. 2/12/13 (Kevin Kane)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Feb 10, 2013: Blustery Day at AHHP


South Lake looking northwest. 2/10/13 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

This photograph shows the reduced waterfowl numbers.  Earlier this morning, there were quite a few waterfowl present, but most had flown off to feed in nearby fields.  The recent rains left water on top of the ice.

Wolf. Oesterreich

Feb 9, 2013: Beware of Thin Ice!


As temperatures rise and rain falls, the ice is thinning by the hour.  Be careful out there! 2/12/12 (Kevin Kane)

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Feb 8, 2013: Habitat Photo 2/5/13




"Habitat" (on the 5th) photo from Wolf's monthly photo series documenting the park over time. You can see the points where these photos were taken on the map below (and on the "Maps" page). 2/5/13 (Wolf Oesterreich)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Feb 6, 2013: February Melt


Ice on the rocky shore begins its slow melt into spring. 2/5/12 (Kevin Kane)

Feb 5, 2013: Northern Shrike


Northern Shrike. 2/3/13 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

The Northern Shrike is another Winter visitor and can be found perched at the top of trees or shrubs. It captures prey up to the size of small birds and mammals. Many times it will impale victims on thorns, barbed wire, or other sharp object and then dismembers them. It is slightly larger than its cousin, the Loggerhead Shrike, which can be found here Spring through Fall, although less commonly so (due to habitat loss).

The Northern Shrike has been present at the north and middle wetland complexes.

Wolf. Oesterreich

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Feb 3, 2013: Wolf's January Species List


Some of the thousands of geese, ducks, and swans that have inhabited the open water area of the south lake during January's very cold days. 1/21/13 (Kevin Kane)

A total of 39 avian species were recorded this month.

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 Tundra Swan this month may be the first January records for Story County.  The female Canvasback on the 30th may set a new extreme late Fall record (former record set on 20 Dec 2004 at AHHP) or extreme early Spring record (former record set on 24 Feb 2002 at Hallett’s Quarry).  Other species that may fall into this category include American Black Duck, Northern Pintail, Redhead, Lesser Scaup, and Common Merganser.  

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, FY=front 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
     CACKLING GOOSE: 1-31
     CANADA GOOSE: 1-31
     TRUMPETER SWAN: 18 (2 ad), 20 (3 ad + 2 im), 21 (2 ad), 23-25 (8 ad + 2 im), 26-27 (6 ad + 2 im),
                                    28 (6 ad + 2 im), 30 (3 ad + 2 im), 31 (3 ad + 2 im)
     TUNDRA SWAN: 1-3 (1 ad), 6 (1 ad), 8-18 (1 ad), 23-28 (1 ad), 30-31 (1 ad)
     GADWALL: 2 (1)
     AMERICAN WIGEON: 1 (1), 2-5 (1 + 1), 7-10 (1 + 1)
     AMERICAN BLACK DUCK: 3-6 (1), 9 (1), 11 (1), 17-18 (1), 26 (1), 28-29 (1)
     MALLARD: 1-31
     NORTHERN PINTAIL: 9 (1)
     CANVASBACK: 30 (1)
     REDHEAD: 1-12 (1), 14-26 (1), 28-31 (1)
     LESSER SCAUP: 29-30 (5), 31 (3)
     COMMON MERGANSER: 11 (14 + 4), 19 (1), 26 (1 + 1)
     RING-NECKED PHEASANT: 1-2 (1 BY), 4 (1 BY), 6 (1 BY), 10 (1 BY), 15-16
     BALD EAGLE: 1 (2 ad), 3 (1 ad + 2 im), 5 (1 ad), 12 (1 im + 1 ad), 13 (2 ad), 18 (1 ad), 21-23 (1 ad),
                                    26 (1 im), 27 (1 ad), 31 (1 ad)
     SHARP-SHINNED HAWK: 12 (1 ad BY)
     COOPER’S HAWK: 1-2 (1 ad BY), 7 (1 ad BY), 8 (1 im & 1 ad BY), 10 (1 im & 1 ad BY), 11 (1 im BY),
                                    15 (1 im BY), 17 (1), 19 (1 ad), 20 (1 ad & 1 im BY), 24 (1 BY), 26 (1 ad),
                                    29 (1 ad)
     RED-TAILED HAWK: 1 (2), 2 (1), 3-6 (2), 7 (1), 8 (2), 9-10 (3), 11 (2), 12-13 (3), 14-15 (1), 16 (2),
                                    17-18 (1), 19-21 (2), 22 (4), 23 (1), 24-25 (2), 28-29 (1)
     MOURNING DOVE: 2 (1 BY), 4 (1 + 1 BY), 5 (3 BY), 6 (1 BY), 16 (1 BY), 24 (1), 25 (3), 30 (1 BY)
     GREAT HORNED OWL: 24 (2), 29-30 (2 BY)
     RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER: 1, 4-7, 11-14, 16, 20 (1 BY), 24-25
     DOWNY WOODPECKER: 1-13, 15, 19-29, 31
     HAIRY WOODPECKER: 5, 11, 14, 16-17, 19, 22, 26, 29
     NORTHERN SHRIKE: 3-4 (1), 8 (1), 21-23 (1), 26 (1)
     BLUE JAY: 1-2, 4, 6-14, 19-20, 27
     AMERICAN CROW: 1-23, 25-31
     BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE: 1-4, 6-31
     WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH: 1-4, 6-8, 11, 13, 15-17, 19-20, 23-28, 30
     EUROPEAN STARLING: 1-8, 10-15, 19-24, 26-29
     CEDAR WAXWING: 1 (3 BY), 9 (3 BY), 11 (13 BY), 15 (4 BY), 30 (1 BY)
     AMERICAN TREE SPARROW: 1-14, 16-17, 20-21, 23 (1), 24, 27, 29-31
     SONG SPARROW: 1 (4), 2-3 (3), 4 (5), 5 (3), 6-7 (5), 8 (3), 9-16 (2), 20 (3), 21 (4), 22-23 (3),
                                    24 (2), 26 (1), 28-29 (1)
     HARRIS’S SPARROW: 3 (1 BY), 7-8 (1 BY), 12-13 (1 BY), 16-19 (1 BY), 20 (3 BY), 21-22 (1 BY),
                                    26-27 (4 BY), 28-29 (1 BY), 31 (3 BY)
     DARK-EYED JUNCO (Slate-colored): 1-15, 17-31
     DARK-EYED JUNCO (Oregon): 7 (1 BY), 24 (1 BY), 27 (1 BY), 30-31 (1 BY)
     NORTHERN CARDINAL: 1-31
     HOUSE FINCH: 1-31
     COMMON REDPOLL: 10 (1 BY), 13 (1 BY), 26 (1 BY)
     AMERICAN GOLDFINCH: 1-13, 19-23, 27-30
     HOUSE SPARROW: 1-31

Unless indicated otherwise, the White-tailed Deer were antlerless.  The 4 that would visit the backyard appeared to be a doe with triplets.

MAMMALIAN
     WHITE-TAILED DEER: 1-2 (4 BY), 5 (8), 7 (3 BY), 11 (4 BY + 4), 13 (1 BY), 14 (4 BY), 15 (7),
                                    16 (3 + 5 BY), 19 (5 + 1 BY), 20 (4), 22 (12), 23 (1), 25 (2 + 1), 28 (4), 29 (7),
                                    30 (4 BY)
     FOX SQUIRREL: 1-2, 4-8, 10-13, 15, 18-22, 26-28, 31
     EASTERN COTTONTAIL: 1-5, 7-18, 20-21, 23, 26-27, 29

Wolf. Oesterreich

Feb 2, 2013: Trails


Even with the recent snowfalls and extremely cold temperatures, the weather hasn't kept trail users from walking, biking, and skiing through the park.  1/21/13 (Kevin Kane)

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Feb 1, 2013: Geese Landing


Geese land among those already swimming in the open water area of the south lake, looking northwest from the east shore. 1/21/13 (Kevin Kane)