Αρχεία Ημερολογίου για Νοέμβριος 2018

Νοέμβριος 04, 2018

Free Arkansas Nature Guides

For naturalists planning to explore Arkansas, AGFC has a few Arkansas field guides and other various leaflets here: https://www.agfc.com/en/resources/brochures/

Αναρτήθηκε στις Νοέμβριος 04, 2018 0455 ΠΜ από cosmiccat cosmiccat | 1 σχόλιο | Αφήστε ένα σχόλιο

Νοέμβριος 05, 2018

Update on Neches River NWR

On Saturday, I drove out the the Neches River NWR as planned. Unfortunately, the gate was locked! What? It's supposed to be open! I emailed the refuge manager, who said that a contractor hasn't installed the automatic gate yet, and it should be up within a month. Meanwhile, an employee has been manually unlocking the gate during business hours, 8-5 Mon-Fri. I'm going to try to get all my lab work done early this week so I can head out there Friday.

The nest day was originally planned for the refuge, too, so I went to Martin Creek Lake State Park instead. I spent the first part of the day trying to get fish species. I especially wanted to get catfish; the park lists three species. I didn't get a catfish, but a largemouth bass and a bluegill. As I fished, a great blue heron stood nearby. My fishing buddy, I called him. I think it caught more fish than me. ;p Around lunchtime I heard an eagle squeaking and looked up. Two of them were fighting over a fish in midair. I managed to snap a blurry photo before they disappeared behind the tree line.

As the day wore on, the fish stopped biting so I walked the island trail to look for any winter migrants. I found one, the yellow-bellied sapsucker.

Αναρτήθηκε στις Νοέμβριος 05, 2018 0240 ΠΜ από cosmiccat cosmiccat | 4 παρατηρήσεις | 0σχόλια | Αφήστε ένα σχόλιο

Νοέμβριος 18, 2018

Soda Lake WMA in Louisiana

Today I went to Soda Lake WMA near Shreveport, Louisiana. Description from the official site:

"Soda Lake WMA was historically a seasonal lake that flooded during late winter and spring. A similar water regime continues today, but only the bluffs located on the western edge of the WMA remain above flood level. The lower elevation habitat is a broken woodland consisting of willow, cottonwood, ash, hackberry, and overcup oak. Due to annual flooding, the understory is very sparse and contains rattan, peppervine, dewberry, and sawbriars. Open areas support wild millet, smartweed, and several species of grasses.

The rugged escarpment of Twelve Mile Bayou on the western edge of the area supports a diverse, old growth forest. Approximately 35 acres in size, this forest is a unique natural upland plant community of shortleaf pine, sweetgum, and white, post, cherrybark, shumard, and cow oak. The dominant trees are estimated to be 100 to 130 years old. Two rare plants, American alumroot (Heuchra americana L.) and lowland brittle fern (Cystopteris protrusa Bernh.) have been found growing on the north and east-facing bluffs."

http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2760

I've been wanting to go because it's the nearest Louisiana WMA to where I live. I checked the observations last night, and until the wonderful @royaltyler visited it in September, there were no observations!

I arrived at the northern parking lot around lunch time. I could hear red-winged blackbird, crows, towhee, and yellow-rumped warblers. Lots of little yellows and phaon crescents flitted around in the sunlight. I spent over an hour just documenting species on the edges of the parking lot!

I walked along the edge of the bayou looking for promising fishing spots and found a few. The trail ended on a gravel road, and I wished I had that mountain bike that I put in layaway paid off so I could pedal far down the road. I documented some common plants before turning around because it was getting late.

I have a method for blitzing a new area. You don't have to use it, but it works for me. When I make the "first sweep" of a new area I focus on documenting the common species like chickadees and oaks to get them out of the way. On subsequent visits, I go back with a fine-toothed comb, doing things like turning over logs to look for invertebrates. Today was the "first sweep" for that section of the park.

Things to know if you visit Soda Lake WMA:

1). There is no sign for the park on the roadside, so it's easy to miss.
2). All Louisiana WMA's require a Wild Louisiana Stamp to enter. They are $9.50/year and can be bought here: https://la-web.s3licensing.com/ When you get to the catalogue, the stamp is under the hunting section.
3). Everyone is required to fill out a permit form. They are on a green kiosk near the entrance of the ATV trail. You will be fined if caught without one. The rangers DO check; one was in the parking lot asking for them.
4). The park is very swampy. Bring your waterproof boots and mosquito spray.
5). Have lots of fun! This is a beautiful park!

Αναρτήθηκε στις Νοέμβριος 18, 2018 0257 ΠΜ από cosmiccat cosmiccat | 3 παρατηρήσεις | 3σχόλια | Αφήστε ένα σχόλιο

Νοέμβριος 26, 2018

The Wings Over Arkansas Program

Wings Over Arkansas is an award program for birders. Earn free pins and a certificate for filling out the Arkansas bird checklist! It's easy! First go to https://agfc.com/en/get-involved/in-the-field/wingsoverarkansas/ and read the instructions. Download an application and an Arkansas bird checklist and fill them out.

The program gives you a different pins for different achievement levels, beginning with Carolina Chickadee (25-49 species). I checked my old eBird checklists and iNat observations and I have 48 species, just shy of the Wood Duck level (50-99 species). I want to make a birding trip before the end of the year to Millwood State Park so I get more species. I should get plenty, since my checklist is missing common species like the Eastern Towhee and Mallard.

I encourage birders to try out this program!

Edit: I noticed the bird checklist has the extinct Ivory-billed Woodpecker and one-time strays like the Mountain Bluebird. Haha,AGFC, haha!

Αναρτήθηκε στις Νοέμβριος 26, 2018 0344 ΠΜ από cosmiccat cosmiccat | 2σχόλια | Αφήστε ένα σχόλιο