December 16, 2016 at 7:04 am (birds, botany, mammals, plant-eating insects, restoration)
Tags: black duck, Epargyreus clarus, Euonymus alatus, mallard, opossum, pintail, silver-spotted skipper, St. James Farm, white-crowned sparrow, winged euonymus
by Carl Strang
This blog has been on hiatus while I work on my annual research summary documents, but I have been paying regular visits to St. James Farm Forest Preserve, the site I monitor and where I soon will begin as volunteer steward. Today’s entry shares some photos from recent weeks.
Winged euonymus adds color to the autumn scene, but is an invasive shrub that will need to be removed at some point.
As leaves come off the trees, bird nests are revealed. This oriole nest had a significant content of synthetic fibers, including fishing line from the nearby ponds. The fuzzy white object hanging below the nest is a fishing lure, the hook not quite visible at this angle.
This silver-spotted skipper still was active on November 16.
The opossum lay dead in the center of a trail, also on November 16. Cause of death was not evident.
Late autumn migrants included this white-crowned sparrow youngster.
The most unusual stopover duck was a female pintail on the east pond.
Another duck worth noting was this male. Accompanied by a female mallard, his huge size and her identity suggest that he may be a mallard-black duck hybrid.
March 27, 2009 at 1:36 am (birds)
Tags: bufflehead, hooded merganser, lesser scaup, mallard, Mayslake, pied-billed grebe, pintail, ring-necked duck, shoveler, wood duck
by Carl Strang
This spring I have been impressed by the variety of migrant ducks stopping at Mayslake Forest Preserve. They haven’t come in large numbers, and haven’t stayed long, but the diversity has been interesting. So far I have seen (in addition to local mallards) shovelers, wood ducks, pintails, lesser scaup, hooded mergansers, and this bufflehead pair.
In addition, last fall a ring-necked duck spent a day. The brief stays and low numbers suggest that the habitat quality may be limited in some way. On the other hand, two pied-billed grebes have stayed on one of the lakes for several days, now, so there is food at least for carnivorous divers. The migration has just begun, and I look forward to discovering which species give Mayslake a try as their daytime stopover site.