Mar 032014
 

A few Sunday’s back I was able to spend a day at Loxahatchee NWR, and I had a wonderful time. It is a lovely place, and has some great wildlife.

Loxahatchee Boardwalk

Loxahatchee Boardwalk

I met a local who informed me that since the drought of 2011 that prey species, and hence “production”, was low … meaning less critter action. Still, for me it was wonderfully new, and engaging, so I wasn’t deterred. I found new (to me) birds, and other new and interesting species…

I started by walking the boardwalk. I couldn’t do it once only, I had to go around again. I found an Apple Snail shell, large, green and round … I see where the name comes from. I enjoyed the birds (Carolina Wren, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Cat birds and other LBJs) and loved the Lichens (Baton Rouge, Old Man’s Beard) but what really stopped me was a Spiny Orb-weaver (see photo.) As I left a Zebra Longwing Butterfly fluttered by with slow methodical wingbeats, quite eye-catching.

Before I visited the marshes I quickly went along to the boat ramp, access to some open water. A medium sized alligator was across the waterway, but most amusing was a huge alligator waiting patiently underneath the wooden dock, right below unsuspecting Fishermen; a savvy gator.

Once I started walking to walk around the marshes I immediately came upon a Limpkin, a mottled brown waterbird. A life-bird for me, this was an exciting start to a walk. Amongst other things, Limpkin feed on Apple Snails.

As I walked slowly around the park I found some quiet areas away from the other visitors. Wet dark turtle shells would surface in the weeds, snakes could be seen slipping through the water, dragonflies sunning on reeds and gators on the banks; there was life all around. Having spent the last few days in the bustle that is Florida it was good to slow down to the pace of these

One amazing treat was as I came around one of the far corners a couple of Snail Kites were hunting. Sitting on the bushes I initially wondered if they were Northern Harriers, but they didn’t have that wind dancer hunting style. Their facial features had a bit of a look of an Osprey, but were they seemed smaller, and were lighter and mottled. Despite binoculars I didn’t get a good look at a hooked beak, but the identification “felt” right to me (and so distinct from the lovely red-shoulder pair nesting nearby.) Snail Kites eat Apple Snails.

Probably the most interesting part of the whole trip was this final discovery. I’d never seen something like this in the field. Bright pink, large, and clearly eggs. Turns out they are Apple Snail eggs. What a wonderful thread to this whole day; the Apple Snail…

 

Apple Snail Eggs on a Stick

Dec 232011
 

Dandelion Frost Flowerets by robinclifton
Dandelion Frost Flowerets

A Common Dandelion by screek
A Common Dandelion

Yellow Mandarin by USWildflowers
Yellow Mandarin

‘Sea’ Poppy blazes yellow on a roadside in the Camargue by dustygedge
‘Sea’ Poppy blazes yellow on a roadside in the Camargue

A Sunflower by screek
A Sunflower

Wild Iris in the Meadow by pianamon
Wild Iris in the Meadow

Orange Agoseris by pianamon
Orange Agoseris

Mariposa Lily at Caribou Ranch by pianamon
Mariposa Lily at Caribou Ranch

Happy 1st Day of Spring by preskittgurl
Happy 1st Day of Spring

Shooting Stars in the Rain by robinclifton
Shooting Stars in the Rain

Western Blue Flax at Wonderland Creek by pianamon
Western Blue Flax at Wonderland Creek

#NPOD: Canada Violet #Nativeplants by USWildflowers
#NPOD: Canada Violet #Nativeplants

Spiderwort (Tradescantia sp) by Bodark
Spiderwort (Tradescantia sp)

Wild Rose in the Forest by pianamon
Wild Rose in the Forest

The Season’s First Pasque Flowers by pianamon
The Season's First Pasque Flowers

My Favorite Images / Pink & White Trillium Wildflowers by NatureWurks
My Favorite Images / Pink & White Trillium Wildflowers

Common Blue Violet (Viola papilionacea) by Bodark
Common Blue Violet (Viola papilionacea)

Shooting Star (Dodecatheon meadia) by Bodark
Shooting Star (Dodecatheon meadia)

Woolly Locoweed at Walker Ranch by pianamon
Woolly Locoweed at Walker Ranch

Queen Anne’s Lace ~ Wildflower Elegance by KerriFar
Queen Anne's Lace ~ Wildflower Elegance

Balsamroot Wildflowers on the Snow King Summit by cavaroc
Balsamroot Wildflowers on the Snow King Summit

A Weed By Any Other Name by akanaphoto
A Weed By Any Other Name

Autumn Lace by KerriFar
Autumn Lace

Limonium sp, Sea Lavender by Pescalune
Limonium sp, Sea Lavender

Yarrow, Achillea millefolium by Pescalune
Yarrow, Achillea millefolium

Red Columbine, Aquilegia formosa

Jewelry of Nature by KerriFar
Jewelry of Nature

Yellow Fumewort (Corydalis flavula) by Bodark
Yellow Fumewort (Corydalis flavula)

Henbit Dead-nettle, Lamium amplexicaule by Pescalune
Henbit Dead-nettle, Lamium amplexicaule

Dandelion by NaturalVisionPhoto
Dandelion

Signs of Spring by robinclifton
Signs of Spring

Violets! by robinclifton
Violets!

Morning Dew Drops by KerriFar
Morning Dew Drops

Dec 232011
 

Landscaped Nesting by ShowMeNature
Landscaped Nesting

A Belted Kingfisher On A Foggy Day by screek
A Belted Kingfisher On A Foggy Day

A Bluebird Trying To Figure Things Out by screek
A Bluebird Trying To Figure Things Out

The mightiest owl of Australia – #birds #nature #wildlife – high in a tree in the Royal Botanical… by dustygedge
The mightiest owl of Australia - #birds #nature #wildlife - high in a tree in the Royal Botanical...

American Avocet by BeverlyEverson
American Avocet

Great Blue Heron On The Green Carpet by screek
Great Blue Heron On The Green Carpet

Ever Vigilant by JKissnHug
Ever Vigilant

Photo of the Day: Northern Flicker by MaineBirder
Photo of the Day: Northern Flicker

Mésange bleue (Cyanistes caeruleus) , Blue Tit by Pescalune
Mésange bleue (Cyanistes caeruleus) , Blue Tit

Tufted Titmouse Posing for Me by KerriFar
Tufted Titmouse Posing for Me

Don’t Bug Me by preskittgurl
Don't Bug Me

Momma Looking For Lunch by akanaphoto
Momma Looking For Lunch

Boat-tailed Grackle by MickiP65
Boat-tailed Grackle

Tawny Frogmouth by dustygedge
Tawny Frogmouth

Clark’s Grebe by sniehans
Clark's Grebe

Photo of the Week! A Loon with Open Wings! by NaturalVisionPhoto
Photo of the Week! A Loon with Open Wings!

Day 314: Double-crested Cormorant by MickiP65
Day 314: Double-crested Cormorant

Photo of the Day: Common Grackle by MaineBirder
Photo of the Day: Common Grackle

Dusky Wood Swallow by dustygedge
Dusky Wood Swallow

Snowy Egret by NatureWurks
Snowy Egret

Baltimore Oriole by MaineBirder
Baltimore Oriole

Kookaburra – Royal National Park, NSW by dustygedge
Kookaburra - Royal National Park, NSW

A Pileated Woodpecker Feeding On Berries by screek
A Pileated Woodpecker Feeding On Berries

Tiny mocking bird, big attitude by rangerous
Tiny mocking bird, big attitude

Black-capped Chickadee by BeverlyEverson
Black-capped Chickadee

Sharp-shinned Hawk with fresh kill by robinclifton
Sharp-shinned Hawk with fresh kill

Hovering Hummingbird by MaineBirder
Hovering Hummingbird

Dec 232011
 

Pack Creek by ShowMeNature
Pack Creek

Beaver Crossing by screek
Beaver Crossing

Elk on the Beach! by sniehans
Elk on the Beach!

O Deer by robinclifton
O Deer

Doe With Breakfast by screek
Doe With Breakfast

Buck Mule Deer by NatureWurks
Buck Mule Deer

Close To The Wrong End Of The Skunk by screek
Close To The Wrong End Of The Skunk

Winter is a Time for Discovery at Sky Meadows State Park by VAStateParks
Winter is a Time for Discovery at Sky Meadows State Park

Bull Elk With His Harem by screek
Bull Elk With His Harem

Black bear in the yard. by mountain_trails
Black bear in the yard.

Full Beaver Moon by screek
Full Beaver Moon

Foxy times 2
Foxy times 2

Large Oklahoma 8 Point Buck by screek
Large Oklahoma 8 Point Buck

Modeling Raccoon by screek
Modeling Raccoon

Ghostly Coyote by screek
Ghostly Coyote

Bull Moose at Autumn Oxbow Bend by cavaroc
Bull Moose at Autumn Oxbow Bend

Sow Grizzly Bear with Cubs by NatureWurks
Sow Grizzly Bear with Cubs

Red Squirrel by NatureWurks
Red Squirrel

Not a Mole… by adam_jack
Not a Mole...

Stalking Red Deer, but spotted! by HadleyWildlife
Stalking Red Deer, but spotted!

Puddy Goes Home
Puddy Goes Home

Young Coyote by BeverlyEverson
Young Coyote

Moose in the Yard by Unattributed
Moose in the Yard

Amazing How A Large Elk Can Jump A Fence by screek
Amazing How A Large Elk Can Jump A Fence

Elk Bull by NatureWurks
Elk Bull

Posing Marmot
Posing Marmot

Anan Creek, Alaska by ShowMeNature
Anan Creek, Alaska

Muskrat by adam_jack

Bullwinkle in the Rockies by betiam
Bullwinkle in the Rockies

A Large Oklahoma Whitetail Buck by screek
A Large Oklahoma Whitetail Buck

Dec 222011
 

The tinest toad….Oak Toad by PineLilyFNPS
The tinest toad....Oak Toad

Green Tree Frog by rangerous
Green Tree Frog

Eastern Iberian Painted Frog by dustygedgeEastern Iberian Painted Frog

The Toad by screek
The Toad

There are tons of tree frogs down here! (Taken with Instagram… by rangerous
There are tons of tree frogs down here!  (Taken with Instagram...

Green Frog by robinclifton
Green Frog

White-spotted Slimy Salamander by gonehikin
White-spotted Slimy Salamander

Don’t Kiss That! by robinclifton
Don't Kiss That!

Red-spotted Newt Close-up by KerriFar
Red-spotted Newt Close-up

A White Mediterranean Tree frog (Hyla meridionalis) by Pescalune
A White Mediterranean Tree frog (Hyla meridionalis)

Protected Oregon Frog Northern Red-legged Frog Rana Aurora by mrsroadrunner
Protected Oregon Frog Northern Red-legged Frog Rana Aurora

Tiny squirrel treefrog! the siding is only 4-1/4 inch. by PineLilyFNPS
Tiny squirrel treefrog! the siding is only 4-1/4 inch.

Eastern Newt aka Red-spotted Newt by KerriFar
Eastern Newt aka Red-spotted Newt

ABC Wednesday: Frog (American Bullfrog – Lithobates catesbeianus) by Bodark
ABC Wednesday:  Frog (American Bullfrog - Lithobates catesbeianus)

Frog Eggs by Bodark
Frog Eggs

Baby Mediterranean Tree Frog, Hyla meridionalis by Pescalune
Baby Mediterranean Tree Frog, Hyla meridionalis

Dec 212011
 

Some interesting invertebrate encounters from the WildObs community for 2011.

Monarch Caterpillar – Seen through the Leaf by KerriFar
Monarch Caterpillar - Seen through the Leaf

Creepy Crawlers by robinclifton
Creepy Crawlers

Western Sulphur Butterfly by MrsRoadrunner
Western Sulphur Butterfly

Orthoptera love on gorse  by Dusty Gedge
Orthoptera love on gorse - #MarcroMonday - #nature #wildlife - anyone know the species? #wildobs

Hummingbird Hawk-moth on Rocket flowers by Pescalune Hummingbird Hawk-moth

First Luna Moth of the Season by Bodark Luna Moth

Dragon In The Wheat by BeverleyEverson Dragon In The Wheat

Black-and-yellow Lichen Moth (Lycomorpha pholus) by Bodark Black-and-yellow Lichen Moth

Awesome #green eyed carpenter #bee by Rangerous Black-and-yellow Lichen Moth

Olivaceous Noctuid Moth by sniehans Olivaceous Noctuid Moth

Monarch Butterfly by gonehikin Monarch Butterfly

Dec 212011
 

Baby Green Anole by BeverlyEverson
Baby Green Anole

Green Anole At The Bog by BeverlyEverson
Green Anole At The Bog

Baby Turtle by Justin Westerfield
Baby Turtle

Eastern Kingsnake (Lambpropeltis getulus getulus) by Forester_Jim
Eastern Kingsnake (Lambpropeltis getulus getulus)

Eastern Milk Snake by gonehikin
Eastern Milk Snake

Red-eared Slider On The Road by screek
Red-eared Slider On The Road

Dusky Pigmy Rattlesnake, a species I could live without by PineLilyFNPS
Dusky Pigmy Rattlesnake, a species I could live without

Tiny five lined skink by rangerous
Tiny five lined skink

Young Western Green Lizard (Lacerta bilineata) by Pescalune
Young Western Green Lizard  (Lacerta bilineata)

Saturday Supplemental: Turtles by robinclifton
Saturday Supplemental: Turtles

“EYE To EYE” with a Black Snake by NatureWurks
“EYE To EYE” with a Black Snake

Turtles are back! by robinclifton
Turtles are back!

Eastern Hognose Snake (Heterondon platirhinos) by Bodark
Eastern Hognose Snake (Heterondon platirhinos)

Nesting Turtles by robinclifton
Nesting Turtles

box turtle.jpg by poqfiremedic13
box turtle.jpg

Juniper Springs,Ocala National Forest,Florida by dawnfine
Juniper Springs,Ocala National Forest,Florida

Day 176: Tiny E. T. York Center Visitor by MickiP65
Day 176: Tiny E. T. York Center Visitor

Loggerhead Turtle by KIPTOPEKE
Loggerhead Turtle

American Alligator by MickiP65
American Alligator

Bird House Snake by screek
Bird House Snake

Lurking Alligator by MickiP65
Lurking Alligator

Lizard Looking at Me by KerriFar
Lizard Looking at Me

Day 63: Green…. by MickiP65
Day 63: Green....

Snapper Turtle by NatureWurks
Snapper Turtle

Silver River State park ~ Florida by dawnfine
Silver River State park ~ Florida

Snake Swimming by mrsroadrunner
Snake Swimming

Steady and Constant by KerriFar
Steady and Constant

iguana by morodvanschi
iguana

Red Eared Slider by BeverlyEverson
Red Eared Slider

PILEUP! by Jeanspics
PILEUP!

American Alligator by SharonIsSharing
American Alligator

Sep 072011
 

It’s been a while since I’ve published this information, so here we go for August 2011. This information is based on the community encounters posted to WildObs.

Wildlife Species

The most popular species observed this month:

Wildlife Places

The 10 most popular places for wildlife spotting this month:

Wildlife Observers

The 10 most prolific observers.

May 042011
 

It is definitely a time of change for the critters around me. Lots showing up, although some are late.

The Northern Pygmy Owl is happily calling out to claim it’s territory. I was so lucky to the day I was able to put a sound to this Owl, and be educated that is was a Northern Pygmy Owl. Now I know instantly when I hear it, and I can picture who is calling and why. Sometime I think there might be more than one calling, but maybe it is just moving around. Still, it is a cool and welcome regular companion.

The House Wren showed up again, as have the Golden Mantled Ground Squirrel.

The main notable missing character is the Broad-tailed Hummingbird. Not only did no scouts show earlier this year, but despite me hearing them down on the flat lands (and hearing reports from others) I’ve yet to see them at my place. Given that I normally see hummers in Coal Creek Canyon in April, and then lots in May, this is a strange start to the season for hummingbirds.

At least the Turkey (from the noisy gobbles of the males, and the furtive sneaking of the females) seem hard at work nesting, and the weather seems to be working in their favor this year. Last year was not a good year for reproduction (the weather timing worked against the turkey’s style) so hopefully this year will make up for it.

Change is definitely in the air, and it is fun to watch the critters going about their business.

Apr 162011
 

I couldn’t believe it. April 15th is my hummingbird arrival day, or has typically been for the last decade (plus or minus a day), and here I am sitting at a computer unprepared, not really even looking or listening. Yes, I put the main “hummingbird welcome mat” out two weeks ago, just in case, but I’d not gotten feeders near my office. What was I thinking? How would I see/hear the birds without them?

Hummers coming...

Folks who know me and live in Coal Creek Canyon know I typically report the first hummingbird of the season. I’ve done it for many years. It is not that I kid myself that others haven’t seen one, but more that I am the only one daft enough to broadcast it to the canyon. I do it primarily for fun (mine), but also with the more serious message of “clean those hummingbird feeders” (and get ready to enjoy the influx.)

The scouts (ahead of the pack) arrive first. One or two usually stop and rest here a day or so. They typically move on, and the masses arrive by the start of May, but they deserve to be noticed, noted as first of season and to grab a snack for the journey. The period between these visitors feel long, but knowing the gangs of little critters will be back soon enough is enough to keep me listening for the overhead buzz.

I get my feeders out early in the hopes of getting more than my fair share of birds who chose to make a territory here. I get my hummingbird sticks out at the same time, that this becomes a more mellow neighborhood.

Today, once alert to the need for HEO, I placed two feeders outside my office windows. The benefits of working from home include having a ‘corner office’, and so I positioned the feeder such that they aren’t visible to each other (through the room.) I placed a hummer stick high on the one, hoping to draw a male in to it (and so he’d not see the other.) For me, the females (who are likely working their small bodies hard enough to produce eggs and raise chicks) don’t needed the aggression from the males, and deserve to drink in peace. There is no science behind these sticks (there is about keeping multiple feeder out of sight from each other) but I do my best to keep feeders available for females to sneak to.

So … now I feel ready/able to encounter those scouts, to give them a new fresh snack from a clean feeder. They might be a day or so late due the foot of snow we just received, but if they do come (and don’t bypass us) then all the more reason to give them a warm welcome.

Are your humming bird feeders out? clean? fresh?