Monday, October 27, 2014

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

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