Mixed blessings in this week’s report:
Wood Thrush singing in the parking lot, and was that a Little Blue Heron in the main wetland? Warm weather, some good results and some less so.
Boxes #6 and #67 finally hatched, having been overdue. Box #3 apparently only fledged one duckling. Boxes #1 and #77 have new Wood Duck eggs, having already fledged a clutch. On the not so good side, boxes #2 and #10 were abandoned, and we cleaned out those boxes.
So while we had clutches started in 15 of our 16 boxes, which is higher than usual, 4 were abandoned — also higher than usual. Plus the predation of box #13 by a Black Ratsnake (Pantherophis alleghaniensis). Perhaps it was the same animal that we saw at the box again on Sunday.
I put another patch on the knothole in the roof of box #67.
Down lower Barnyard Run, I found a big patch of Rattlesnakeweed (Hieracium venosum), and about four Fragile Forktails (Ischnura posita), a male and three females.
So we can shift over to spot-checking the remaining boxes with eggs (#77, #84, #1, #5, #61) on our next work day, on 29 May. I am on call for work that day, so I will have my phone charged up.
* * *
Thank you very much!
Golly, with all the TVs and computers and Norton subscriptions I’ve bought, it’s not surprising that I only have 234.89 USD left to buy Bitcoin.
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Breaking: Volunteers on my team report that box #77 fledged yesterday (which would imply hatch on Tuesday, 19 April). The hen and 12 Hooded Merganser ducklings (the complete clutch) exited the box. Smiles all around.
More surprises in this week’s report:
Lots of activity in the boxes and outside, but no new hatches. We have a new clutch started in box #10, and we found 1 in in box #5 that might be the start of a clutch. That brings the total of boxes with eggs to 15 out of 16 (9 Wood Duck, 6 Hooded Merganser), which is unusually high; but it’s not clear that box #13 will be incubated. We saw a group of 7 small Hooded Merganser ducklings and hen in the new pool by the tower, so that group must have come from a natural cavity.
Several boxes were due, or almost due, on Sunday, but did not hatch, so we will have a lot of boxes to check next time.
* * *
Our next work day will be Sunday, 1 May. Much thanks!
“Have iPhone Cameras Become Too Smart?,” by Kyle Chayka. I really want to quote the whole piece as a blockquote, but I will just pull out:
We are all pro photographers now, at the tap of a finger, but that doesn’t mean our photos are good.
A much warmer and more successful morning.
More nests started, and five are incubating! Eight boxes are active. Our first Wood Duck box is #1, in the pool by the tower.
We repaired the hardware cloth on box #68. Access to #84 remains a problem: as mounted, the lid won’t open sufficiently. Next week we plan to repaint the number for box #67 and clean up trash around the tower.
Some splashes of Spring Beauty, with most buds tightly closed in the mid-morning.
Until next week! Arigatoo!
Small disaster. Last week’s cold snap and snow left the ponds iced over on Sunday. Ordinarily, we can break through the ice with our sticks, but the ice was just thick enough that instead, I tried following C’s footsteps out to box #2, the first box off the boardwalk— walking in an area that I didn’t know very well. Almost immediately, I lost my balance and caught some serious mud from the wetland. As a result, we cut the work day short. We’ll get ’em next week.
Fortunately, I had my chest waders on. My jacket got the worst of it.
After 40 years of work, Guinea worm disease is nearing eradication, but we’re not there yet. A reservoir in other animals is a hindrance to getting rid of it entirely.
Neonics aren’t just bad for pollinators. As Shauna Stephenson reports, aquatic invertebrates are also adversely affected, which is bad news for fish.