Monday, March 31, 2014

March 31, 2014: March 2014 Photo Collage





March 2014 photos from the blog by Wolf. Oesterreich and Kevin Kane. 

Mar 30, 2014: Vanishing Ice




A group of geese gather at the edge of the south lake ice sheet which is growing smaller by the hour. 3/24/14 (Kevin Kane)

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Mar 29, 2014: Spring Storm



Another view of the approaching snow squall last Monday.  3/24/14 (Kevin Kane)

Mar 28, 2014: Spring Melt

The muddy north utility trail - a sure sign of spring. Taken from the north hill looking southwest over the prairie and wetland areas. 3/17/14 (Kevin Kane)

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Mar 27, 2014: Shore Ice

Wednesday's strong southerly winds pushed the north lake's ice sheet to the north, causing the sheet to grind up against the rip-rap along the shoreline.  You could actually see it move (ever so slightly) and also hear the ice break up on the rocks.  The slabs of broken ice would rise slightly as new slices were created underneath.  Then the old slices would slide off towards the lake. 3/26/14 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

Mar 26, 2014: Spring!



A SE view across the north wetland complex from the NW corner of the Upland Trail. 3/25/14 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

Mar 25, 2014: Snow Squall




A fast moving snow squall moving over the south lake. 3/24/14 (Kevin Kane)

Mar 24, 2014: Snow and Ice




This morning's snowfall was present on the lake ice, whereas on the remainder of the landscape it had melted.  This is NE view form the SW corner of the south lake, where the south wetland complex empties into the lake. 3/24/14 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

Mar 23, 2014: A New View from the Park



New construction on the land previously occupied by the golf course has changed the views to the north from the north parking area. 3/17/14 (Kevin Kane)

Mar 22, 2014: Path to the Pond

The upland path to Jensen Pond at sunset. 3/17/14 (Kevin Kane)




Sunday, March 23, 2014

Mar 21, 2014: Misplaced Rocks



These rocks that have been moved onto the ice will soon make their way to the bottom as temperatures continues to rise. 3/17/14 (Kevin Kane)

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Mar 20, 2014: Northslope



An eastward view along the north slope, taken from the NW corner of the Upland Trail. Snow is gone. 3/20/14 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Mar 19, 2014: From the North



Looking southeast across the park from the north sledding hill.  3/17/14 (Kevin Kane)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Mar 18, 2014: Great Blue Heron

The first Great Blue Heron at the Park was found yesterday (17th) at Pond M.  Today, 3 were present (at Ponds M and N).   One flew off to the north lake's west shore (photo) and then it headed over to the north wetland complex.  The last sighting of this bird was while it was in flight, heading off to the south. 3/18/14 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Mar 17, 2014: Killdeer



One of 3 Killdeer found today (15th), next to the rip-rap along the north lake's north side (just west of the boat ramp).  Yesterday's sighting was this year's first record at the Park. 3/15/14 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

Monday, March 17, 2014

Mar 16, 2014: Bald Eagle




Today was a banner day for Bald Eagles.  For starters, I observed 3 (2 adults + 1 immature) perched in trees along the bluff.  Then while out on the trails I counted at least 25 (11 adults, 11 immatures, & 3 of unknown age [too far off]) migrating through the area.  Kathy Reitsma, another regular Park visitor, spotted 9 in one group.  Although they were high up in the sky, they were easy to spot against the white clouds.  The photo is of one of the adults.  Also migrating through were hundreds of Greater White-fronted Geese and a few Canada Geese. 3/16/14 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

Mar 15, 2014: Ice Fishing




These three fishermen managed to get on to the main body of ice despite many edges being open water. 3/13/14 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

Mar 14, 2014: Geese on the Move



Many geese were concentrated at the south lake's SW corner on Thursday afternoon.  Included were Greater White-fronted Geese (8), Snow Geese (1 white + 2 blue), Canada Geese, and Cackling Geese (12+).  A few Mallards were also present. 3/13/14 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Mar 13, 2014: Bridge



A SW view from the east side of the north lake and towards the bridge and water tower.  Ice still covers the lakes. 3/11/14 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

Friday, March 14, 2014

Mar 12, 2014: Snowmelt




Today's warm weather caused much of the snow cover to melt.  This caused water to gush out from all three wetland complexes into the south lake.  This photograph shows the outflow from the south wetland complex into the SW corner.  The warm weather also brought out a multitude of people to the Park, including several irresponsible dog owners that left dog poop on the trail. 3/10/14 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

Mar 11, 2014: South Lake Melting



A NW view across the south lake ice towards the  bluff area.  Note the numerous puddles on the ice. 3/10/14 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Mar 10, 2014: Snow & Canada Geese, Part II





 These two, an adult Snow Goose and a Canada Goose, were part of a trio (+ 1 drake Mallard) that remained at the south lake "hole" (open water).  By the time I passed by again, the Snow Goose had left and a few more Canada Geese had come back. 3/10/14 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Mar 9, 2014: Snow & Canada Geese






With the ponds opening up due to the warmer weather, most of the waterfowl have headed there.  During the first lap all that was present at the "hole" of open water on the south lake were 1 Snow Goose, 1 Canada Goose, and 1 Mallard.  Note the "puddling" on the ice. 3/10/14 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Mar 8, 2014: Upland Trail



A view of the lower Upland Trail, just west of the south trailhead. 3/8/14 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

Monday, March 10, 2014

Mar 7, 2014: Geese Landing on the Lake




Geese settle in for some grain near the east shore of the south lake. 3/8/14 (Kevin Kane)

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Mar 6, 2014: Spring is Coming



Bird's eye view of the bluff (lower left) and bridge (top right).  Spring 2012 (Microsoft Bing)

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Monday, March 3, 2014

Mar 1, 2014: Wolf's February Wildlife Report



These two adult Trumpeter Swans may be performing a pair-bond maintenance ceremony.  The activity included wing waving and calling by both birds. 2/12/14 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

A total of 32 avian species was recorded this month, ranking this month as the 5th highest February among 17 years of records.  February 2013, with 53 species, remains as the highest.  This month’s total is 2 species less than last month and 21 less than February 2013.

The continued presence of the adult Snow Goose (since 17 December 2013) and the drake Northern Pintail (since 27 November 2013) is noteworthy, as they represent the first over-wintering individuals of their species 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
     SNOW GOOSE: 1-28 (1 ad w)
     CANADA GOOSE: 1-28
     TRUMPETER SWAN: 9 (2 ad), 12 (4 ad + 1 im), 22 (4 ad), 23 (2 ad)
     MALLARD: 1-28
     NORTHERN PINTAIL: 2-20 (1♂), 22-28 (1♂)
     REDHEAD: 21 (1♂)
     COMMON GOLDENEYE: 22 (1♂)
     RING-NECKED PHEASANT: 2 (1♂ BY + 1), 3 (8), 4 (7), 5 (3), 6 (9), 7 (1), 9 (8), 10 (5+), 13 (5),
                                    14 (3), 16 (1♂ BY), 18 (3), 20 (1♂ BY + 4), 21 (2), 22 (1), 25 (16+), 27 (3)
     BALD EAGLE: 21 (1 4-yr), 11 (1 im), 17 (1 4-yr), 19 (1 im), 22 (1 ad)
     SHARP-SHINNED HAWK: 7 (1 ad BY), 18 (1 ad BY)
     COOPER’S HAWK: 1 (1), 12-13 (1 ad), 22 (1 ad)
     RED-TAILED HAWK: 1 (1), 2 (2), 9 (1), 13 (1), 15 (1), 17 (1 BY), 22 (2), 28 (1)
     MOURNING DOVE: 10-11 (1 BY), 13 (1 BY), 26 (1 BY)
     RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER: 1, 8, 15-17, 22, 24
     DOWNY WOODPECKER: 1-2, 4-5, 8-24, 26-28
     HAIRY WOODPECKER: 1-4, 6, 12, 15-16, 22, 25-27
     NORTHERN SHRIKE: 24 (1)
     BLUE JAY: 1-5, 8-9, 11-12, 14-17, 20-23, 26, 28
     AMERICAN CROW: 1-17, 20-28
     BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE: 1-2, 4, 6-28
     WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH: 1, 3, 8, 15, 20-23
     AMERICAN ROBIN: 1 (1), 2 (10), 3 (107), 4 (23 BY), 5 (6), 6 (1 + 4 BY), 7 (3), 8 (9), 10 (17 + 6 BY),
                                    11 (17 + 6 BY), 12 (1 BY), 13-14 (1), 15 (2 + 10 BY), 16, 17 (5 BY + 3), 18,
                                    19 (23+), 20-28
     EUROPEAN STARLING: 1-4, 6-28
     CEDAR WAXWING: 1 (~10 BY), 3 (23), 5 (1), 6 (4 BY), 11 (15 + 13 BY), 13 (32 BY), 14 (~15),
                                    15 (2 BY + 15), 16 (10+), 17 (7 BY), 24 (1 BY), 26 (17 BY)
     AMERICAN TREE SPARROW: 1-28
     SONG SPARROW: 1 (2), 2-3 (1), 5 (1), 6 (2), 7 (3), 9-16 (1), 18 (1), 23-24 (1), 26 (1), 27-28 (2)
     HARRIS’S SPARROW: 15 (1 BY)
     DARK-EYED JUNCO (Slate-colored): 1-28
     NORTHERN CARDINAL: 1-28
     HOUSE FINCH: 1-5, 7-28
     AMERICAN GOLDFINCH: 1-2 (1), 25 (1)
     HOUSE SPARROW: 1-28

Those White-tailed Deer without antlers are listed just as numbers.  If a buck with antlers was encountered then the sex is shown.  The bucks should be dropping their antlers.

MAMMALIAN
     WHITE-TAILED DEER: 2 (14+), 3 (4♂ + 4 + 9 BY), 5 (1), 6 (4 BY), 7 (16), 9 (2 front yard + 7 + 1♂),
                                    10 (1), 12-13 (3), 14 (2), 15 (2 BY), 19 (12 + 2♂), 21 (3), 25 (10+), 26 (12+),
                                    28 (4)
     FOX SQUIRREL: 1-2, 8-9, 16-17, 19-20, 22-23, 26-27
     EASTERN COTTONTAIL: 1-3, 5-7, 9-12, 14-15, 19-28

Wolf. Oesterreich

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Feb 28, 2014: February 2014 Photo Collage



February 2014 photos from the blog by Wolf. Oesterreich and Kevin Kane. 

Feb 27, 2014: Jensen Pond



An eastward view across Jensen Pond on an overcast day (before the snow started to fall).  Much more snow than last months photo. 2/28/14 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Feb 26, 2014: North Wetlands



A SE view across the North Wetland Complex, from the NW corner of the Upland Trail.  (composite photograph) 2/25/14 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

Feb 25, 2014: Frozen Tundra




Extremely cold weather continues to keep its hold on central Iowa as the ice and snow covered expanse of the south lake between the east shore and the south bluff attests. 2/8/14 (Kevin Kane)

Feb 24, 2014: Angling for the Ages


The following story about the winter DNR trout drop is from the Ames Tribune by Todd Burras.
http://amestrib.com/sports/angling-ages.

Photo by Todd Burras.