Friday, October 31, 2014

Oct 31, 2014: October 2014 Photo Collage



October 2014 photos from the blog by Kevin Kane, Wolf. Oesterreich, , Mike Meetz, and LaDan Omidvar.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Oct 30, 2014: Reds & Yellows

A turning Maple leaf reflects the last of the day's sunlight. 10/19/14 (Kevin Kane)

Oct 29, 2014: Last Hatch



Small insects were out in large numbers on one of the last warm days of the year. 10/19/14 (Kevin Kane)

Monday, October 27, 2014

Oct 26, 2014: Deer and Geese


A group of deer look over the wetland full of geese - pond F. 10/19/14 (Kevin Kane)

Oct 25, 2014: Erv's Field Notes #74


This female Saffron-winged Meadowhawk was found at the "Circle of Life" (NW corner of the Upland Trail).  This is the only meadowhawk species that I have observed in the last week. 10/27/14 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

Flight Season: June - October
Total Length: 31-37mm
Hindwing Length: 25-28mm

Saturday, October 25, 2014, clear blue sky, gentle wind from northwest, Temperature 68 degrees F.

I parked in the southwest lot off Harrison Rd and walked along the trail leading to the upland trail as far as Jewelwing Creek. I call this creek Jewelwing after the Ebony Jewelwing damselfly that used to be found along its course. However, I have not seen it since the drought of ought-12. Maybe someday it will return. I saw lots of grasshoppers on the trail. I also spotted an unusually late dragonfly on the trail. From its coloration and worn wings it appeared to be old. I can only say it was one of the species of Meadowhawks that occur in late summer and fall. It had the greenish-brown thorax and abdomen of a female and the leading edges of the forewings were pale yellow. It flew away before I could photograph or identify it.

I continued eastward towards the sound of geese calling. I found about 100 Canada Geese on Pond F with an assortment of ducks. Small flocks and pairs flew in and landed as I watched. The ducks were mostly Mallards but I spotted one Northern Shoveller, a pair of Redheads, a male Scaup, and several Wood Ducks. A Great Blue Heron was loafing along the far bank. Water was still flowing from this wetland into the lake.

The south lake had an assortment of people in kayaks out enjoying the nice fall weather. A raft of about 30 American Coots were swimming in the middle of the lake. As I continued back to the car, I saw about 30 more coots and a Pied-billed Grebe in Pond J.

I paused to rest on the bench next to Ding Darling’s rock just as Jon and Audrey Hunstock strolled by. It was great to chat with them a few minutes before they continued on their walk. As we were talking, we saw a small hawk flying fast overhead heading north. I guessed that it was a Sharp-shinned Hawk.

Erv Klaas

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Oct 22, 2014: Cedar Waxwing



Immature Cedar Waxwings have been outnumbering the adults and can be found at several places at the Park.  Note the yellow at the tip of of the tail (appears to have been dipped in paint). 10/20/14 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Oct 21, 2014: Wooly Bear






The Woolly Bear is one of the most familiar caterpillars, wandering across the trails. They are most conspicuous around the time of the first frosts and then with the return of warmer temperatures in Spring. I have also seen them on "warmer" days in Winter. According to an "old husband's" tale, the width of the orange band can be used to predict the severity of the coming Winter, with narrower bands forecasting colder winters. These caterpillars overwinter under leaf litter and other material. They will eventually pupate into Isabella Tiger Moths (Pyrrharctia isabella). 10/16/14 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Oct 20, 2014: Great Egret

I was at the park last week Thursday with my photo class and captured a number of images of the Great Egret.

This is one that shows the major field ID marks. 10/16/14 (Mike Meetz)

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Oct 19, 2014: Erv's Field Notes #73



Mallards fly over the central wetlands. 10/19/14 (Kevin Kane)

Sunday, October 19, 2014. 1:00-2:00 PM. Partly cloudy. Gentle wind from southeast. Temperature 65 degrees F.

I parked in the southwest lot off Harrison Road and walked east and then north on the paved trail leading to the bluff area. About 25 American Coots were feeding in the wetland we refer to as Pond J. Looking the other direction across the west arm of the south lake I spotted a white bird along the shore next to the bluff. With binoculars I could easily see that it was a White Pelican. Flocks of White Pelicans occasionally land in the park, either in the wetlands or the lake. Seeing a long pelican is unusual. Further east along the far eastern shore of the south lake another white bird turned out to be a Great Egret. On the south shore was a much smaller bird; a Belted Kingfisher.

The sandbar willows along the lake shore and around the wetlands are turning a bright yellow and contributing to the fall colors. Further along, I could hear goose music coming from Pond F. This shallow wetland is the last in the north complex that drains into the lake. I estimated about 200 Canada Geese, 25 Mallards, and six Wood Ducks were using the pond. An immature Bald Eagle was perched in a dead tree on the east side of the wetland. As I walked the trail to the bluff area, I counted six Cedar Waxwings in the tall cottonwood trees along the trail. It was great to be out this afternoon.

All along this walk, I noticed Siberian elm saplings invading the prairie. They were especially prevalent along the trail leading up to the bluff. Another invasive plant, wild parsnip is spreading along the west and north shore of the south lake. I and Jim Pease have drafted a vegetation management plan for the park, it includes detailed recommendations for control of invasive plants. The final draft will go to the Parks and Recreation Director in a few days and hopefully will be presented to the Parks Commission in November.

Erv Klaas

Oct 18, 2014: Sunset Flower



Last of the sunflowers at sunset along the east shore of the south lake. 10/19/14 (Kevin Kane)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Oct 14, 2014: Cloud Reflections



Cloud reflections on Pond J as the sun sets in the background.... 10/14/14 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

Oct 13, 2014: Autumn



Autumn is coming on quickly with the onset of cooler temps. 10/15/14 (Kevin Kane)

Monday, October 13, 2014

Oct 11, 2014: Red-tailed Hawk



From the Archive: Red-tailed hawk views the landscape from a cottonwood tree losing its leaves on the northwest edge of Jensen's Pond, 10/7/12 (Kevin Kane) From the archive, 10/11/12, two years ago.

Oct 10, 2014: Grey Autumn Day



A NW view across the south lake towards the bluff area, taken from just west of the spillway.  Another gloomy day. 10/10/14 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

Friday, October 10, 2014

Oct 9, 2014: Cattail Caterpillar



Cattail Caterpillars, which become Henry's Marsh Moths (Simyra insularis) are found throughout the US and southern Canada. The caterpillars are broad generalists that consume grasses, forbs, and low-growing wood species. They are members of the Noctuiidae Family. 6/10/14 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Oct 6, 2014: Eastern Comma



Even after the recent cold, some butterflies like this Eastern Comma (Polygonia comma) were still flitting about the Park on Saturday. 10/4/14 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

Oct 5, 2014: Great Egret






One Great Egret was found hunting the south shore of the north lake's west bay. I watched as the egret caught and devoured 2 small catfish and 1 larger fish. 9/30/14 (Wolf. Oesterreich)


Monday, October 6, 2014

Oct 4, 2014: Wolf's September 2014 Wildlife Report





This Barred Owl was found at the bluff woods on the 23rd. 9/23/14 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

A total of 99 (+ 1 sp.) avian species was recorded this month, ranking this month as the 6th highest September (& tied with 2012) among 17 years of records. The Carolina Wren was #267 for my Yard/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 single Eastern Kingbird on the 19th may be a new extreme late Fall record for Story County (former record set on 18 Sep 2004 and 2008, both at AHHP). The 2 Harris’s Sparrows on the 23rd may represent a new extreme early Fall record (former record set on 25 Sep 2006 at AHHP).

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
     CANADA GOOSE: 1 (1), 4 (1), 5-8, 10-18, 20-24, 26, 28-30
     WOOD DUCK: 2, 4-6, 8-10, 12 (1♂), 13-18, 22-23, 25-26, 28-29
     AMERICAN WIGEON: 21 (2)
     MALLARD: 1-12, 14-26, 28-30
     BLUE-WINGED TEAL: 2 (~250), 3 (4), 5 (~20), 6, 8 (16), 10 (~40), 11 (~10), 12 (16+),
            13-16, 18-26, 28-30
     NORTHERN PINTAIL: 21 (2), 22 (1)
     GREEN-WINGED TEAL: 2 (~5), 21-22
     RING-NECKED PHEASANT: 2, 5-13, 16, 19-20, 23-24, 28, 30
     PIED-BILLED GREBE: 5 (9), 8 (1), 11 (12), 12 (1), 13 (2), 15 (8), 16-17 (1), 19 (1),
            21 (4), 22 (3), 29 (17)
     DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT: 4-5 (1), 11-12 (1)
     AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN: 3 (1), 4 (1 + 18), 5 (1), 12 (1), 13 (25)
     GREAT BLUE HERON: 1 (8), 2-3 (6), 4 (7), 5 (8), 6 (3), 7-8 (5), 9 (6), 10 (2), 11 (6),
            12 (7), 13 (4), 14 (5), 15 (4), 16 (6), 17 (8), 18 (4), 19 (1), 20 (7), 21 (6), 22-23 (4),
            24-25 (5), 26 (2), 28 (5), 29-30 (3)
     GREAT EGRET: 1 (7), 2-3 (5), 4 (7), 5-6 (8), 7 (5), 8 (8), 9-10 (6), 11 (4), 12 (1), 13 (2),
            14 (1), 15 (2), 17 (2), 18-20 (1), 26 (1), 28 (1), 30 (1)
     GREEN HERON: 1 (1), 3 (1), 7 (3), 9 (1), 10 (2), 11 (1), 16 (1), 21-22 (1)
     TURKEY VULTURE: 1 (2), 2 (8), 3 (6), 4 (7), 5 (5), 6-7 (1), 8 (2), 10 (3), 12 (1), 14 (11),
            15 (4), 18 (3), 19 (4), 20 (1), 22-23 (2), 24 (4), 29 (1), 30 (6)
     OSPREY: 1 (1), 3-4 (1), 5 (3), 6-9 (1), 10 (3), 11 (1), 15 (1), 18 (1), 20 (1)
     BALD EAGLE: 7 (1 ad), 10-12 (1 ad)
     NORTHERN HARRIER: 10 (1 im)
     COOPER’S HAWK: 6 (1 im), 7 (1 ad), 10-11 (1 im), 17-18 (1), 30 (2)
     RED-TAILED HAWK: 4 (1), 7-8 (1), 10 (1), 12-13 (1), 15-16 (1), 21 (1), 23 (1), 26 (2),
            28 (1)
     SORA: 8 (1), 11 (1), 28 (1)
     AMERICAN COOT: 21 (6), 29 (6), 30 (5)
     KILLDEER: 22 (4)
     SPOTTED SANDPIPER: 6 (1), 9 (1)
     SOLITARY SANDPIPER: 3 (2)
     LESSER YELLOWLEGS: 15 (1)
     RING-BILLED GULL: 2 (1), 6 (1), 13 (1), 15 (4), 21 (8), 29 (8)
     FRANKLIN’S GULL: 15 (24), 18 (1), 21 (13), 22
     CASPIAN TERN: 1 (6), 2 (3), 6 (1)
     FORSTER’S TERN: 1 (2)
     ROCK PIGEON: 7 (1), 21 (2)
     MOURNING DOVE: 4-8, 10, 12-14, 24, 28, 30
     BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO: 26 (1)
     BARRED OWL: 23 (1)
     COMMON NIGHTHAWK: 10 (3), 17 (7), 25 (6)
     CHIMNEY SWIFT: 2 (1), 4 (4), 12 (3)
     RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD: 4 (1), 6-8 (1), 9 (1♀), 11 (1), 18 (1)
     BELTED KINGFISHER: 2 (2), 4-5 (1), 10-12 (1), 14 (1), 15 (2), 22-23 (1), 30 (2)
     RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER: 12-13, 19, 23, 26
     DOWNY WOODPECKER: 1-2, 6-8, 11-13, 16-17, 23, 25-26, 29
     HAIRY WOODPECKER: 7, 12, 16
     NORTHERN FLICKER (Yellow-shafted): 6 (2), 12 (1), 16 (1), 19 (1), 20 (2), 21 (1),
            23 (1), 25 (1), 26, 30 (1)
     OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER: 2 (2), 5-6 (1), 11 (1), 13 (1), 16 (1)
     LEAST FLYCATCHER: 5 (1), 12 (1), 18 (1)
     Empidonax sp.: 1-2 (1), 5 (2), 18 (1), 20 (1)
     EASTERN PHOEBE: 8 (1), 11 (1), 15 (1), 21 (1), 22 (4), 23-25 (1), 29 (1)
     EASTERN KINGBIRD: 1 (1), 3 (5), 4-8 (1), 10-11 (2), 18 (2), 19 (1)
     BLUE-HEADED VIREO: 26 (1)
     WARBLING VIREO: 1-3 (1), 13 (1)
     PHILADELPHIA VIREO: 6 (2)
     RED-EYED VIREO: 1 (1), 3 (2), 5 (2), 12-13 (3), 22 (1)
     BLUE JAY: 4-8, 10-17, 20-26, 28, 30
     AMERICAN CROW: 1-5, 7-9, 11-13, 15-17, 19-22, 26, 28-29
     TREE SWALLOW: 10 (11), 12-14, 17-18, 20, 22-23, 25-26
     NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW: 12 (1)
     CLIFF SWALLOW: 1, 3, 7, 9-10, 12-13
     BARN SWALLOW: 1-5, 8-14, 16, 18-19, 22-23, 25-26
     BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE: 1-15, 17-18, 20-26, 28-30
     WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH: 7, 12, 14, 16, 23, 25-26
     HOUSE WREN: 1, 3, 5-6, 11, 13, 26 (1), 30 (1)
     MARSH WREN: 3 (1), 30 (1)
     CAROLINA WREN: 13 (1)
     RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET: 22 (2), 23-24 (1), 26 (1), 30 (1)
     EASTERN BLUEBIRD: 4 (1), 8 (4), 11 (1), 26
     SWAINSON’S THRUSH: 13 (1), 30 (1)
     WOOD THRUSH: 13 (1)
     AMERICAN ROBIN: 2, 5-7, 9, 12-13, 15, 22, 25
     GRAY CATBIRD: 3, 5-8, 10-13, 15, 17, 20, 23, 26, 28, 30
     EUROPEAN STARLING: 2-3, 9, 25
     CEDAR WAXWING: 2 (1), 5 (2), 7 (3), 13 (2), 29 (3)
     OVENBIRD: 11 (1)
     GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER: 12 (1)
     BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER: 2 (1), 5 (1), 13 (2)
     TENNESSEE WARBLER: 5-6 (1), 22 (1)
     ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER: 23 (2)
     NASHVILLE WARBLER: 6 (1), 7 (3), 8 (2), 13 (5), 14 (2), 22 (1), 23 (2), 25-26 (1)
     MOURNING WARBLER: 5-6 (1)
     COMMON YELLOWTHROAT: 5-6, 11-13
     AMERICAN REDSTART: 1 (1♀), 5 (1♂ + 3♀), 6 (1♀)
     MAGNOLIA WARBLER: 6 (1)
     YELLOW WARBLER: 10 (1♀)
     CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER: 13 (2)
     PALM WARBLER: 22 (1)
     YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER (Myrtle): 22 (20+), 23 (40+), 24 (6+), 25-26, 28-29,
            30 (1)
     CANADA WARBLER: 18 (1♂)
     WILSON’S WARBLER: 5-6 (2♂), 13 (1♂)
     CHIPPING SPARROW: 4-5, 11, 18-21, 25 (3), 26
     SONG SPARROW: 1-5, 7, 9, 11-12, 16-17, 19-20, 24-26
     LINCOLN’S SPARROW: 22 (1), 25-26 (1)
     SWAMP SPARROW: 22 (2), 30 (1)
     WHITE-THROATED SPARROW: 23 (1), 25 (1), 30 (1)
     HARRIS’S SPARROW: 23 (2)
     NORTHERN CARDINAL: 1-2, 4-6, 8-11, 13, 18-19, 21-23, 26, 28, 30
     ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK: 7
     INDIGO BUNTING: 8 (2 im)
     RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD: 3 (1), 4 (5), 26
     COMMON GRACKLE: 22 (1)
     HOUSE FINCH: 2, 6, 9, 17-19, 23, 26, 29
     AMERICAN GOLDFINCH: 1-26, 28-30
     HOUSE SPARROW: 1, 4-10, 12-20, 22-26, 28-30

MAMMALIAN
     WHITE-TAILED DEER: 9 (1♀ w/1 fawn), 10 (3), 11-12 (1♀ w/1 fawn), 23 (1), 30 (1)
     FOX SQUIRREL: 5, 7, 9-14, 16-17, 20-22, 25
     THIRTEEN-LINED GROUND SQUIRREL: 2, 4, 6-7, 12, 18
     EASTERN CHIPMUNK: 17, 25-26
     EASTERN COTTONTAIL: 2-3, 6-9, 11-17, 19, 22-25, 28, 30

REPTILIAN
     PLAINS GARTER SNAKE: 16 (1)
     Garter Snake sp.: 23 (1), 28 (1), 30 (1)
     COMMON SNAPPING TURTLE: 18 (1)
     NORTHERN PAINTED TURTLE: 1-8, 10, 13-26, 28-30
     RED-EARED SLIDER: 14 (2), 16-17 (2), 19 (4), 20 (2)

AMPHIBIAN
     AMERICAN TOAD: 4, 7-8, 16-17, 20-21, 26
     BOREAL CHORUS FROG: 9, 11, 22, 24
     EASTERN GRAY TREE FROG: 20
     AMERICAN BULLFROG: 2-6, 11, 15-22, 25-26, 28-29
     NORTHERN LEOPARD FROG: 7, 18-21, 23, 29

LEPIDOPTERA
     BLACK SWALLOWTAIL: 2-3, 5, 7, 26 (1)
     EASTERN TIGER SWALLOWTAIL: 1, 4
     CHECKERED WHITE: 6, 26, 28
     CABBAGE WHITE: 1-7, 8 (1), 13-22, 25-26, 28-30
     ORANGE SULPHUR: 1-2, 4, 6-7, 15-20, 25-26, 28-39
     LITTLE YELLOW: 1-2, 18, 20
     Sulphur sp.: 13, 15-17, 19, 25, 28
     EASTERN TAILED-BLUE: 1-5, 8 (1), 13, 16-18, 20-22, 25-26, 28
     PEARL CRESCENT: 1-2, 6-7, 13-14, 17-20, 22, 28
     EASTERN COMMA: 18 (1)
     MOURNING CLOAK: 7, 25 (1)
     PAINTED LADY: 2-3, 25-26, 30
     RED ADMIRAL: 5, 7, 16, 26
     COMMON BUCKEYE: 2-3, 20
     RED-SPOTTED PURPLE: 3
     VICEROY: 1-7, 16 (1), 18-19 (1), 25 (1)
     MONARCH: 1-7, 8 (2), 10 (3), 11 (2), 12 (12+), 13-14, 15-16 (2), 17 95), 18 (8), 20 (6),
             22 (1), 23 (2), 25 (3), 26 (6), 28 (5), 29 (3), 30 (14)
     FIERY SKIPPER: 3-4, 13-14, 21-23, 25-26, 28, 30
     PECK’S SKIPPER: 30
     SACHEM: 22, 26, 28-30
     CHICKWEED GEOMETER: 29
     WHITE-LINED SPHINX: 20 (caterpillar)
     WOOLLY BEAR (ISABELLA TIGER MOTH): 7, 11-14, 17, 19, 21, 23-26, 30
     CORN EARWORM MOTH: 14
     DINGY CUTWORM: 15
Other “bears” (black, yellow, brown, golden, etc.) may be color variations of the Woolly Bear or other Arctiidae species: 13-18, 21, 24, 26, 30

ODONATE
     GREAT SPREADWING: 2-3 (1♀), 7, 16
     BLUE-FRONTED DANCER: 4
     DOUBLE-STRIPED BLUET: 2-3, 6-7, 14, 16-19, 21-22, 25, 28-29 (2)
     TULE BLUET: 4
     FAMILIAR BLUET: 2-4, 6-7, 14, 18, 20, 25
     SKIMMING BLUET: 3, 14
     ORANGE BLUET: 2, 4-7, 14 (2), 16, 19 (4), 22
     Bluet sp.: 1-3, 6, 18, 21
     EASTERN FORKTAIL: 1-4, 6-7, 15, 20, 23, 28 (1)
     LANCE-TIPPED DARNER: 7
     COMMON GREEN DARNER: 1-2, 4-7, 8 (2), 9, 13-20, 22-23, 25 (2), 26, 28 (1), 30 (1)
     “Blue Mosaic” Darner sp.: 18, 21-23, 25-26
     FLAG-TAILED SPINYLEG: 4 (1), 6 (1)
     PRINCE BASKETTAIL: 2, 4, 6
     HALLOWEEN PENNANT: 1
     EASTERN PONDHAWK: 1, 7
     WIDOW SKIMMER: 1-4, 6-7
     TWELVE-SPOTTED SKIMMER: 13 (1♀)
     WANDERING GLIDER: 2-5, 14, 19 (1)
     EASTERN AMBERWING: 2-4, 6
     VARIEGATED MEADOWHAWK: 2, 5, 16
     CHERRY-FACED MEADOWHAWK: 19 (1), 20-26, 28-30
     WHITE-FACED MEADOWHAWK: 1-6, 8 (1), 11, 13-25, 28, 30
     BAND-WINGED MEADOWHAWK: 1-2, 4, 7, 16, 22, 30
     Meadowhawk sp.: 1-2, 7, 13-15, 18, 21, 30
     BLACK SADDLEBAGS: 1, 3, 5, 7, 13-14, 25-26, 30 (2)
     RED SADDLEBAGS: 1, 26 (1)

ORTHOPTERA
     CAROLINA GRASSHOPPER: 1-7, 13-23, 25, 28-30
     NORTHWESTERN RED-WINGED GRASSHOPPER: 13, 20
     AUTUMN YELLOW-WINGED GRASSHOPPER: 17, 26, 28


Wolf. Oesterreich

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Oct 3, 2014: Sachem


Sachems (Atalopedes campestris), one of three skipper species common in our area, have been observed in the past few weeks, especially at the floral display by the main shelter. The male is on the left, with the female on the right. (Fiery Skipper and Peck's Skipper are the other two common species.) 9/25/14 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

Oct 2, 2014: North Slope Fields


 A north view from the lakes trail showing prairie, stands of trees, hayed north slope, and a corn field.  9/23/14 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

(KK ed. - This is a portion of the area that will be impacted by the development to the north.  This view will have houses on the top of the hill next year.)

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Oct 1, 2014: Thanks GAAR!



Erv Klaas, Friends of Ada Hayden Heritage Park president, receiving $1000 check from Dennis Jones and other members of the Great Ames Adventure Race (GAAR) committee. 9/24/14 (Wolf. Oesterreich)