October 23, 2013

Notes and Changes since last report

  • It was 56°F and partly cloudy with light breezes at 1:30 PM on October 23, 2013.
  • Next week, November 1, the grounds close for the season until April 1.
  • This will be the last report of this season.
  • The birding hot spot today was once again the Sedge Meadow Trail.

The Trails

  • It was a beautiful late fall day as I passed by the front Old Hayfield on the way to the Scotch Pine Alleé.
  • It had been dark and overcast early this morning, and would cycle between the two states throughout the day.
  • While admiring the sun lit Little Bluestem Meadow, I was amazed to find a couple clouded sulpurs still flying in the 50 something degree air.
  • It got dark on the way through the Old Gravel Pit. No mosquitos there today...
  • At the top of the Fern Glen, hobblebush buds were ready for winter.
  • Aphids on the buds were a surprise; I looked for more under the leaves.
  • There again a surprise: what appeared to be a winged male mating with a wingless female. I thought only the winged sexes mated and that the wingless were all females that reproduced parthenogentically, i.e., without mating, and viviparously, i.e., not laying eggs but bearing live young. Aphids are interesting and I've got more to learn...
  • Along the Cary Pines Trail, a flurry of chickadees, kinglets (golden-crowned) and creepers (brown) was a challenge to sort out by ear.
  • The Sedge Meadow Trail was again full of robins, yellow-rumped warblers and white-throated sparrows. A couple guest appearances included a pair of female purple finch.
  • Another surprise: how many times had I walked - or stood - by this spot without being um, alerted?
  • That was right about head high. The mowers were certainly low enough, but still the commotion when they went by...
  • It was only by warming the dying battery in my pocket that I could get that last shot. But it was just about the end of the trail, the end of the day, the end of the season.
  • Until the spring...
Front Old Hayfield
Little Bluestem Meadow
Hobblebush
Aphids on hobblebush
Aphids mating on hobblebush
Hornet nest on the Sedge Meadow Trail
Hornet nest on the Sedge Meadow Trail

Sightings

Birds
  • 1 Belted Kingfisher
  • 2 Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • 2 Downy Woodpecker
  • 2 Northern Flicker
  • 5 Blue Jay
  • 19 Black-capped Chickadee
  • 1 Tufted Titmouse
  • 2 White-breasted Nuthatch
  • 1 Brown Creeper
  • 4 Golden-crowned Kinglet
  • 24 American Robin
  • 13 Yellow-rumped Warbler
  • 6 White-throated Sparrow
  • 2 Northern Cardinal
  • 2 Purple Finch
  • 3 American Goldfinch
Butterflies
  • 1 Clouded Sulphur

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