Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Monday, April 27, 2015

Saturday, April 25, 2015

April 22, 2015: April Wetland


A stream feeds part of the central wetland complex, looking northeast towards Jensen farm. 4/4/15 (Kevin Kane)

April 21, 2015: Sunset Silhouette


The sun sets behind a tree in the central wetland area. 4/4/15 (Kevin Kane)

Friday, April 24, 2015

April 20, 2015: Clearing Trees


Cleared trees along the path to the south of the south lake. 4/20/15 (LaDan Omidvar)

The Iowa Conservation Corps cleared ash and Siberian elm trees from an area along the path to the west of the savannah. The AHHP  management plan says to not remove eastern red cedar, black willow, and a few other native trees.

April 19, 2015: Canada Goose

A Canada Goose perched on a nesting platform at Pond E. 4/17/15 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

Thursday, April 23, 2015

April 18, 2015: Black Hawk


A "bird" of a different feather stopped at the Park this morning.  As part of a "plane down" training exercise with the Ames Fire & Police Departments the Iowa National Guard flew in this Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, which landed just north of the main parking lot and east of the maintenance building. 4/18/15 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

April 17, 2015: Jensen Pond Sunset


The sun sets over Jensen Pond. 4/16/15 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

April 16, 2015: Purple Martin Workshop

An educational presentation on the purple martin will be held on Saturday, May 9th at 1:00 PM at the Ada Hayden Heritage Park purple martin house at the west end of the bridge. This is a free event for the public and we ask that you bring a comfy lawn chair to the site. Dress accordingly for the weather. Refreshments will be be provided at no cost. Dave Duit, President of the Iowa Purple Martin Organization will be the speaker of this 45 minute presentation; covering the basics of the purple martin species. Feel free to stay around after the presentation to ask question and mingle with other like minded outdoor enthusiasts. A rain date is set for May 23rd at 1:00 PM, just in case we get rained out on the 9th. Refer to www.iamartin.org forum thread for any details and updates regarding the weather and a rain date.

 Dave Duit (President IPMO)
dave@iamartin.org

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

April 15, 2015: Spring Wetland


A northwest and north view across Pool F, towards the highlands. 4/15/15 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

April 14, 2015: American Toad


The high-pitched trills of American Toads are now being heard at the Park.  (Boreal Chorus Frog calls are also part of the pond chorus.)  This American Toad was found at Pond J. 4/18/15 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

Thursday, April 16, 2015

April 13, 2015: Western Grebe


Only my 5th record for Ada Hayden Heritage Park, this Western Grebe was found on the south lake in the company of Pied-billed Grebes.  Western Grebes are more commonly found west of the Rockies.  [This is a digiscoped photo.] 4/13/15 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

April 12, 2015: "Encaustic Prairie" by Josianne Ishikawa's

From the College of Design Website:

AMES, Iowa — Iowa State University College of Design students were honored with awards and showcased their work at the April 8 combined reception for the annual Focus Grant and APEX student juried exhibitions at the Iowa State Memorial Union.

Encaustic Prairie
Integrated visual arts graduate student Josianne Ishikawa of Ames created a mixed-media installation called "Encaustic Prairie" (cyanotype, textile, encaustic). She created 28 11-inch-square encaustic paintings on wood panels as well as a video essay recorded at Ada Hayden Heritage Park and in the encaustic studio in the ISU Food Sciences Building.
The installation includes an altar composed of prairie grass and a wax bowl of prairie-plant seeds placed at the base of the wall-hung painting assembly.

Ishikawa said she wanted to show her appreciation and bring attention to the importance of Ada Hayden's work save the prairie. The first woman to earn a doctorate from Iowa State, Hayden was an assistant professor of botany for 30 years and curator of the ISU Herbarium (now the Ada Hayden Herbarium) from 1934 until her death in 1950. She is known for her conservation work to preserve Iowa’s tallgrass prairie.

In developing her project, "I wanted to combine the symbolism of an ancient land (Iowa’s prairie) with an ancient art form (encaustic)," Ishikawa said.

 Heather Sauer, Design Communications, (515) 294-9289, hsauer at iastate.edu

April 11, 2015: Ruby-crown Kinglet


The "ruby-crown", which is normally hidden, is visible on this agitated male Ruby-crowned Kinglet.  This species and their cousins, the Golden-crowned Kinglet, are making a push northward through our area. 4/10/15 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

April 10, 2015: Bloodroot


Bloodroot at the Park is in bloom.  Unfortunately, I have only found one small patch in only one location. 4/12/15 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

April 9, 2015: Yellow-bellied Sapsucker


This male Yellow-bellied Sapsucker was found at the bluff area, which was just a stop-over on his way up north. 4/10/15 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

Sunday, April 12, 2015

April 8, 2015: Deer at Sunset


Deer at sunset, 3/28/15 (Tana Tesdall)

April 7, 2015: Mother Goose...


A goose has found a quiet spot to nest...


...while its partner surveys the area for any trouble. 4/4/15 (Kevin Kane)

Apr 6, 2015: Conservation Corps


A Conservation Corps crew was busy cutting down and removing non-native brush and trees from the savannah woods area (located along the south side of the Park). 4/6/15 (Wolf. Oesterreich)


Before, 4/4/15 (Kevin Kane)



 4/6/15 (Wolf Oesterreich)

Saturday, April 4, 2015

April 3, 2015: Erv's Field Notes #78


Muskrat. 4/1/15 (LaDan Omidvar)

Thursday, April 2, 2015, sunny, breeze from northwest, 63 degrees F.

I parked at the Harrison Street lot and walked the path around the west arm of the south lake. Signs of spring are everywhere. The grass is greening up along the path after a nice shower of rain last night and Robins were looking for earthworms there. The wetlands are beginning to dry up from a lack of rainfall this spring. Wolf Oesterreich saw the first dragonflies of the season yesterday, the migratory Common Green Darner.

Although I remembered to bring my binoculars, I did not have my spotting scope. I could see a large mixed- species flock of ducks in the middle of the south lake. The wetland that we call Pond G had a few ducks on it. I identified Northern Shoveller, Mallard, Green-winged Teal, Pintail, and Gadwall. Pairs of Canada Geese were seen on all of the ponds visible from the path, including the south lake. A flock of ten Redhead ducks flew in and landed on the west arm of the lake and then immediately began swimming toward the larger flock in the middle of the lake. A grebe was also swimming in the middle of the west arm of the lake. It looked slightly larger than a Pied-bill Grebe, possibly an Eared Grebe, but I could not identify if for certain. A pair of Common Grackles and a Yellow-shafted Flicker flew over.

A crew from Iowa Conservation Corps will begin working on the savanna restoration next Monday, April 6. The following week they will be removing ash and Siberian elm trees from an area along the path to the west of the savannah. Our management plan says to not remove eastern red cedar, black willow, and a few other native trees. When making the decision to remove or not to remove a tree, I am reminded of Aldo Leopold’s essay “With Axe in Hand.” In this essay, Leopold struggles in his own mind whether to remove a birch tree that is growing too close to a pine tree that he planted. He weighs the benefits of the birch against those of the pine. He admits that he loves pine trees. The pine is one of 40,000 pines that he planted on his little farm but he muses that the birch got there on its own and it provides food for Ruffed Grouse, a bird that he likes to hunt. He does not say which tree he removed; I’ll guess it was the birch.

Eastern red cedar, provides good cover and berries for wildlife; a Long-eared Owl wintered in the cedars in 2013. Cedars will often invade native prairie areas and can become dominant if not controlled by fire. Cedars cannot tolerate shade. When crowded by other trees, they lose their lower branches and become spindly and less valuable as habitat. In northern Missouri and southern Iowa, the locals refer to cedars as the “green glacier” because they slowly take over the landscape. The next time you drive I-35 between Ames and Des Moines take notice of how the eastern red cedar is taking over several marginal areas that aren’t farmed. Cedars have expanded in the loess hills in western Iowa and the hills are much different today than when Lewis and Clark saw them. I hope the city will be able to manage the restored prairies at Hayden Park with prescribed burns and keep the cedars under control.

Erv Klaas

Apr 2, 2015: Common Snapping Turtle


While passing Pond J (diminished to two pools) I noticed this set of tracks (above left) entering the south pool.  I immediately thought "turtle tracks".  Another set left the north end and headed towards the north pool.  Then I spotted a dark object in the water at the north end.  This Common Snapping Turtle (above right) emerged from the water and started towards Weir H/J.

Despite what you may have heard, one should never hold snapping turtles by the tail.  The spine may be damaged by doing so. 4/1/15 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

April 1, 2015: Wolf's March 2015 Wildlife Report


Two Eurasian Collared-Doves were found on the 13th, a new record (#269) for the Park List.  I was barely able to snap one photograph before they flew off.  They are roughly 1 inch longer than Mourning Doves and weigh more (7 oz vs 4.2 oz).  Eurasian Collared-Doves also have squared tails and the "collared" mark on the nape. 3/13/15 (Wolf. Oesterreich)


A total of 74 avian species (plus 1 sp.) was recorded this month, ranking this month as the 4th highest March among 18 years of records.  This total is 44 species more than last month and 5 more than March 2014.
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 55th Supplement (2014) to the American Ornithologists’ Union Check-list of North American Birds and the 14th Supplement to the 7th Edition (1998).

AVIAN
     GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE: 8 (132+), 9 (131+), 10 (9), 13 (500+), 14 (300+),
                                  29 (9)
     SNOW GOOSE: 13 (400+), 16 (200+), 25 (~100), 30 (~60), 31 (1)
     CACKLING GOOSE: 1 (1), 3 (1), 8 (2), 11
     CANADA GOOSE: 1-31
     TRUMPETER SWAN: 1 (6 ad + 3 ju), 14 (1 ad), 23 (3 ju)
     WOOD DUCK: 19 (5♂ + 2♀), 22 (4♂ + 3♀), 24 (4♂ + 3♀), 25 (2♂ + 1♀), 26 (1♂ + 1♀),
                                    27 (6♂ + 4♀), 28, 29 (3♂), 30 (1♂ + 1♀), 31
     GADWALL: 13 (1♂ + 1♀), 17 (5♂ + 2♀), 18 (11+), 19 (18+), 20 (12+), 21 (9+), 22,
                                    23 (18+), 24, 25 (14+), 26 (13+), 27 (19+), 28, 29 (35+), 30, 31 (20+)
     AMERICAN WIGEON: 17 (5♂ + 3♀), 18 (1♂ + 1♀), 22 (1♂ + 1♀), 25 (4♂ + 1♀),
                                    26 (2♂ + 1♀), 27 (1♂ + 1♀), 30 (2♂ + 1♀)
     MALLARD: 1-31
     BLUE-WINGED TEAL: 23 (5), 25 (3♂), 26 (5♂), 27 (4♂), 28, 29 (4♂ + 1♀), 30-31
     NORTHERN SHOVELER: 22 (2+), 23 (2), 24 (4), 25 (19+), 26 (16+), 27 (17+), 28,
                                     29 (20+), 30-31
     NORTHERN PINTAIL: 9 (6♂ + 2♀), 10 (1♂), 11-12 (1♂ + 1♀), 13 (3♂ + 3♀), 25 (2♂ + 1♀),
                                     27 (1♂)
     GREEN-WINGED TEAL: 12 (2♂ + 1♀), 17 (2♂ + 2♀), 21 (2♂), 22 (6+), 23 (13),
                                    25 (6♂ + 2♀), 27 (4♂ + 1♀), 28, 29 (2♂), 31
     CANVASBACK: 9 (35♂ + 5♀), 10 (3♂), 13 (4♂), 14 (2♂ + 2♀), 17 (4♂ + 2♀),
                                    18 (6♂ + 2♀), 27 (1♂), 28 (4♂ + 2♀), 29 (1♂)
     REDHEAD: 8 (3♂ + 4♀), 9 (1♂ + 1♀), 10 (1♂), 14 (5♂ + 3♀), 17 (3♂ + 2♀), 21 (7),
                                    22 (2♂ + 2♀), 23 (60+), 25 (1♂ + 1♀), 31 (1♂ + 1♀)
     RING-NECKED DUCK: 8 (4♂ + 1♀), 9 (10♂ + 3♀), 10 (9♂ + 2♀), 12 (3♂), 13 (6♂ + 1♀),
                                   15 (1♂ + 1), 17 (60+), 18 (50+), 19 (28+), 20 (8+), 21 (33+), 22,
                                    23 (68+), 24 (6), 25 (48+), 26 (80+), 27 (51+), 28, 29 (8+), 30-31
     LESSER SCAUP: 8 (5♂ + 2♀), 9 (4♂ + 4♀), 10 (3♂), 12 (9♂ + 2♀), 17 (12+), 18 (20+),
                                   19-20 (9+), 21 (52+), 22, 23 (24+), 24, 25 (72+), 28 (8+), 27 (54+), 28,
                                    29 (73+), 30, 31 (36+)
     BUFFLEHEAD: 12 (1♂), 14 (2♂ + 1♀), 17 (2♂), 18-20 (2♂ + 1♀), 22 (4♂ + 1♀), 23 (13),
                                    24 (6+), 25 (11+), 26 (8+), 27 (6♂ + 3♀), 28, 29 (2♂ + 2♀), 30 (4),
                                    31 (20+)
     COMMON GOLDENEYE: 8 (1♂), 25 (2♂ + 1♀)
     HOODED MERGANSER: 20 (1♂ + 1♀), 22 (1♂ + 1♀), 25 (2♂ + 2♀), 26 (3♂ + 2♀),
                                    27 (2♂ + 2♀), 28, 29-31 (2♂ + 2♀)
     COMMON MERGANSER: 13 (1♂), 25 (2♂ + 1♀)
     RED-BREASTED MERGANSER: 21 (2♂), 25 (3♂ + 4♀), 30 (1♂)
     RUDDY DUCK: 23 (30), 27 (1♂), 31 (10+)
     RING-NECKED PHEASANT: 13 (1♂), 14, 16-17, 19, 21, 23-27, 31
     COMMON LOON: 30 (1)
     PIED-BILLED GREBE: 20 (1), 22-23 (1), 25-28 (1), 29 (3), 30 (4), 31 (3)
     DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT: 25 (1), 30-31 (3)
     GREAT BLUE HERON: 18 (1), 21-22 (1), 23-26 (2), 27 (4-5), 28 (3), 29 (2), 30-31 (1)
     TURKEY VULTURE: 23 (5), 30 (2), 31 (3)
     BALD EAGLE: 6 (1 im), 7 (1 ad + 1 im), 11 (1 ad), 13 (1 ad), 14 (1 im), 15-19 (1 ad),
                                    22-24 (1 ad), 31 (1 ad)
     SHARP-SHINNED HAWK: 28 (1)
     COOPER’S HAWK: 12 (2), 14 (1 ad), 19 (1 ad), 20 (1 im)
     Accipiter sp.: 1 (1 BY)
     RED-TAILED HAWK: 2 (1), 5-7 (1), 10 (1), 12-13 (2), 14 (1), 15 (2), 16 (1), 17 (2), 18 (1),
                                   19 (2), 20-21 (1), 22 (2), 23-26 (1), 27-28 (2), 29 (1), 30 (2), 31 (1)
     AMERICAN COOT: 22 (4), 23 (19), 24 (11), 25 (5), 26 (10), 27 (5), 28, 29 (16), 20 (3),
                                   31 (57+)
     KILLDEER: 12-13 (2), 14 (1), 15 (3), 16 (7), 17 (1), 18 (3), 19-22 (2). 27-29 (1), 30-31 (2)
     WILSON’S SNIPE: 31 (1)
     AMERICAN WOODCOCK: 25-26 (1), 30 (2)
     RING-BILLED GULL: 12 (2), 13 (5), 15 (10), 16 (2), 17 (4), 18 (8), 19 (1), 22 (8+), 24 (5),
                                    25 (2), 29 (36+), 31 (2)
     ROCK PIGEON: 20 (1)
     MOURNING DOVE: 7-9, 11-12, 14-15, 17, 19-20, 22, 24-31
     EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE: 13 (2 BY)
     GREAT HORNED OWL: 25 (1)
     BELTED KINGFISHER: 31 (1)
     RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER: 1, 8, 14-15, 19, 31
     DOWNY WOODPECKER: 1-8, 10-17, 19-26, 30-31
     HAIRY WOODPECKER: 5, 10, 14, 19, 24
     NORTHERN FLICKER (Yellow-shafted): 16 (1), 18-20 (1), 23 (2), 25 (1)
     NORTHERN SHRIKE: 1-2 (1), 17 (1), 24 (1)
     BLUE JAY: 2, 5-6, 13, 16, 19-20, 23-25, 27-31
     AMERICAN CROW: 1, 3-31
     PURPLE MARTIN: 31 (1)
     TREE SWALLOW: 30 (6+), 31 (15+)
     BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE: 1-31
     WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH: 1, 5, 8, 15, 17-18, 20, 23, 27, 30
     GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET: 27 (2)
     EASTERN BLUEBIRD: 14, 15 (1♂), 20 (2♂), 23 (1♂ + 1♀), 27 (1♂ + 1♀), 31 (1♂ + 1♀)
     AMERICAN ROBIN: 2 (1), 5 (4 BY), 6 (4), 7 (1 BY), 10-31
     EUROPEAN STARLING: 1-7, 10-15, 17-26, 28-31
     CEDAR WAXWING: 6 (5), 7 (27 BY), 8 (7 BY), 11 (3 BY), 12 (10), 20 (1 BY), 28 (1 BY)
     AMERICAN TREE SPARROW: 2-3 (1 BY), 5-8 (1 BY), 9 (2 BY), 10-11 (1 BY), 20 (1),
                                    22 (1), 23 (7+), 24, 25 (5+), 26 (8+), 27 (3+)
     SAVANNAH SPARROW: 23 (1)
     FOX SPARROW: 14 (1 BY), 23 (1 BY + 8), 25 (1 BY), 26 (2), 27 (1 BY + 2), 28 (2 BY),
                                   29-30 (1 BY)
     SONG SPARROW: 1-3 (2), 4 (1), 5 (2), 14 (1), 16 (1), 19 (1), 22 (10+), 23 (32+), 24-31
     SWAMP SPARROW: 24 (3), 27 (1), 30-31 (1)
     DARK-EYED JUNCO (Slate-colored): 1-31
     NORTHERN CARDINAL: 1-31
     RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD: 9 (1♂ BY), 10 (40+ ♂/♀), 13-16, 17-18 (1♂ BY), 19-31
     EASTERN MEADOWLARK: 31 (1)
     RUSTY BLACKBIRD: 30-31 (1♂)
     COMMON GRACKLE: 13 (1♂), 16, 18 (17+), 19-31
     BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD: 14 (2♂ BY)
     HOUSE FINCH: 1-31
     AMERICAN GOLDFINCH: 2, 4 (3 BY), 7, 9, 20-23
     HOUSE SPARROW: 1-31

MAMMALIAN
     AMERICAN MINK: 23 (1)
     WHITE-TAILED DEER: 5-6 (3), 8 (2), 10 (28), 13-14 (7 BY), 16 (3), 24 (5), 26 (1), 27 (3),
                                 29 (1), 31 (5)
     FOX SQUIRREL: 1-4, 6-8, 10-21, 23-31
     THIRTEEN-LINED GROUND SQUIRREL: 20 (1)
     EASTERN COTTONTAIL: 1-9, 11-15, 17-24, 26-31

REPTILIAN
     NORTHERN PAINTED TURTLE: 14 (5), 16 (24+), 17 (1), 18 (5), 19 (1), 20 (30+), 21-22,
                                 30-31

AMPHIBIAN
     BOREAL CHORUS FROG: 31
     NORTHERN LEOPARD FROG: 29 (1)

LEPIDOPTERA
     EASTERN COMMA: 13 (2), 30-31 (1)
     MOURNING CLOAK: 11 (1), 20 (2), 30 (2), 31 (1)
     WOOLLY BEAR (Isabella Tiger Moth): 11 91), 30 (1)
Wolf. Oesterreich