At the park: 50

a smaller, muddier oneTwo trips to the park not to check nest boxes (though we did check a couple), but rather to assist Kat, who is surveying crayfish activity. We went 0-18 on the smokestack traps, but negative data is still data. And the reptiles and amphibians provided some alternative entertainment.

hoistShe has been using submerged basket traps like this one, baited with an opened can of sardines. But she was interested in finding other species, ones that don’t spend all their time in the water.

tulle tooltrap setThis weekend’s project was to trap crayfish in their burrows. The plan was to use a bit of fine mesh, attached with string to a bit of dowelling. Insert the mesh into the burrow, wait overnight, and pull up a critter in the morning. Unfortunately, this morning we found no crayfish entangled in the mesh. Instead, we found a couple of our traps pulled completely into a burrow and out another entrance. And one trap went missing altogether. Maybe one day it will turn up incorporated into an Osprey’s nest.

Meanwhile, songbirds are actively nesting. Great-crested Flycatchers and Red-eyed Vireos were audible; a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher is nesting in full view of the boardwalk, at the first wide spot. And Prothonotary Warblers (Protonotaria citrea) are active! Nests (probably dummies) are being constructed to the right of the trail, just after the fork and before it enters the wetland.

The beavers continue to work on dams at the upper end of the wetland. The past month’s dry conditions have dropped the downstream water level; the gauge reads only 0.28 m.

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