Friday, April 30, 2010
Friday, April 23, 2010
Yes Spring is here big time. Everyone thinks its starting early and it may be. We have all the expected plants blooming and a few we didn't expect. The Ladies slippers, Pink open, Yellow starting and White out of the ground. Just saw these yesterday, Indian Paintbrush on the right, Blue-eyed Grass center and Birdsfoot Violet on the left. Get out there and enjoy it.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
One bird that can’t be overlooked and is here now and just starting to display around the preserve is the American Woodcock. This “mysterious hermit of the alders”, ”timber doodle” or “bog sucker” winters in southern US and comes back early March to get to its breeding grounds here. It then begins one of the strangest breeding displays in the bird-world. Shortly after evening sets it stakes out a flat area of open ground marches around in circles with a pitifully small tail spread and long bill towards the ground resting on his chest calling “peent” “peent” “peent” over and over again almost all night. This march is only interrupted every now and then by a valiant flight circling around and around the parade grounds, circling higher and higher up into the air 200 to 300 feet high. While doing this the wind whistles through the specially modified outer three feathers of his wings and sounds as if he is twittering constantly. Then he begins to dive back down calling “chicharee, chicharee, chicaree” zig-zagging then finally to the ground right where he started or directly onto the back of a receptive female. Then back to “peent, peent, peent”. If you are careful you can run over to the place he takes off while he is flying and wait there without moving and many times he will land again, right at your feet.
The two photos of American Woodcocks are by Richard McCarty the one on the left is an adult on the nest and the one on the right is just a young one.
Friday, March 12, 2010
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
American Woodcock? Check
Red-winged Blackbird? Check
Eastern Phoebe? Check
Other signs of spring: Northern Mockingbirds are displaying for mates; Red-tailed Hawks have been observed carrying sticks for nests; Jefferson's salamanders have laid eggs in at least one vernal pool on the Preserve; Carolina Wrens are investigating nest boxes and advertising by singing; Oh, and the temperature today will be 60 degrees! Hooray!
Enjoy the sunshine, everyone.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Photos courtesy of Pete Whan, Mark Zloba, and Jessie Huxmann.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
We have received a few beautiful visitors this winter. Here is a picture of one. All in all we have seen three indivduals. Richard says three, two adults and one juvenal. We are hopeful that they will stick around and build a nest on Ohio Brush Creek. We are worried that we haven't seen them since the creek started flooding. It was raising last week but stopped and then hit the dams and now it is backing up. I drove over the Brush Creek bridge this morning and the water was running upstream. We see this often in the spring but a little odd in the winter. So I slow down to watch the water running the wrong way just a few feet below the bridge, and a beautiful hooded merganser floats by. Never a dull day in Adams County!