Tuesday, October 04, 2005

ENV: Observations

It's a very light night at the sheets tonight (meaning early a.m. on the 4th) -- either that, or too many critters have figured out that there's a quick meal there, and cleaned us out . . .

However, since even the fire ants aren't around, methinks it's the weather. I had expected a lot when i went down there simply because there's a huge gnat emergence on the windows at the office. Not so at the sheets -- we're talking 200 yards and there's that big a difference.

Thanks to Clicked, who not only noted Circus of the Spineless today, but put it way near the top above the fold (thanks Will!). Thanks to that i also found this cool link to a live webcam at a waterhole in Botswana. In time they're way ahead of us, but prime watching time at the waterhole is the same as my middle of the hours work nights. Even when i'm not watching it, it's going in the background, and the constant sounds of birds and mammals is stunning -- and occasionally alerts me to take a look even though the occasionally revolving camera (someone is apparently manipulating the thing live, or via remote control) is rarely pointed at where the sound is coming from. Nevertheless it's a really fun piece of work. It's here:

WildCam Africa

I've seen lots of Impala, quite a few Warthogs, a trio of Ostrich, lots of Helmeted Guineafowl, a Black-backed Jackal, a Kori Bustard, a Vervet Monkey, Chacma Baboons, a Giraffe, a small herd of Grant's Zebra, a herd of Eland, at least nine Elephants, a Nile Crocodile, and tons of birds so small they can't be identified.

So the cam sparked me into doing something i've been planning and that is to film at the lights. Just another in my long string of projects. Tonight i got superbly lucky. A second Red Fox showed up a couple of nights ago, one more clearly an adult, and it was back tonight. I was able to sneak up pretty close and got about 20 minutes of excellent lowlight film. I then squeaked it up to within about 10 feet before it smelled me and took off -- got that on film as well. I also just caught, out of the corner of my eye, a Raccoon sneaking up on the light sheet and got a few seconds of film of that -- it didn't linger at all. I guess now that i have some primo film i'll be going back to get the easier stuff like Opossum, Striped Skunk, and bats.

I'm still way behind on doing all the writing i intend to on here, but one of the things i want to do is tell stories of some of the behavior i've seen under the lights in the last couple of weeks . . .
Dawned with heavy overcast, but by 9 had mostly cleared off. Still some distant dark clouds, so maybe we'll get some predicted rain.

Went to Laity Lodge tonight to do a program for KISD's Outdoor Ed Project for 5th graders. As usual it was Clifton Fifer and Steve Peters and i. We've been doing this for perhaps a dozen years. Steve does a snake program and among others had two DeKay's Snakes and a Ringneck Snake from his yeard in Kerrville. I photographed those for the records.

There was a significant migrant batch of Black and Red Saddlebags tehre -- that location is in Real County.

On our return we took a look at the sjeets and found a new Emerald Moth and a Common Green Darner flew in and i photographed both.

TX: Kerr Co., Rio Vista 4 October 2005

sev. Noctuid Moth sp. ph
1 Red-fringed Emerald Moth, Nemoria bistriaria ph
1 Four-spotted Palpita Moth ph

2 Pipevine Swallowtail
1 Sleepy Orange
1 Cloudless Sulphur
1 Hackberry Emperor/Empress Antonia
1 Arizona Sister
1 Gulf Fritillary
2 Queen
2 Monarch
2 Clouded Skipper

3 Fall Field Cricket ph
1 Field Cricket sp. ph
1 large American Cockroach

2 Green Ephemeroptera sp. ph
6 sp. Mayflies

6 American Rubyspot
2 Smoky Rubyspot
1 Comanche Dancer
10 Powdered Dancer
3 Dusky Dancer
2 Common Green Darner ph
1 Red Saddlebags
7 Swift Setwing

2 Green Hemiptera sp.
sev sp. small Hemiptera

1 huge Homoptera sp. ph
3 sp. Homoptera ph

6 Carabid Beetle sp. ph
2 sp. Ladybird Beetle ph

1 Tarantula Hawk sp
6 Red Wasp ph
1 Yellow-waisted Black Wasp ph
1 Yellowjacket ph

emergence of gnats, midgeflies and whiteflies

2 Redbreast Sunfish
4 Largemouth Bass

6 Texas Slider
1 Cagle's Map Turtle
1 Stinkpot

1 American Kestrel
1 Great Horned Owl
2 Mourning Dove
7 White-winged Dove
2 Inca Dove
1 Chimney Swift
1 Belted Kingfisher
1 Eastern Phoebe
2 Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
4 Blue Jay
1 Western Scrub-Jay
5 Carolina Wren
5 Carolina Chickadee
1 Yellow Warbler
2 Northern Cardinal
1 Lincoln's Sparrow
2 House Finch

4 Bat sp.
2 Fox Squirrel
1 Rock Squirrel
2 Striped Skunk f
1 Raccoon f
1 Red Fox f
6 White-tailed Deer

TX: Kerr Co., Ingram Dam Lake 4 October 2005

1 Large Orange Sulphur

2 Black Saddlebags

4 Turkey Vulture
2 Spotted Sandpiper
2 swallow sp.

1 Three-toed Box Turtle

2 Common Blue Peafowl
1 Egyptian Sultan
12 assorted Bantam Chickens
1 Golden Pheasant
3 Button Quail
1 Bronze-winged Parrot
1 Amboina King Parrot
2 African Silverbills
1 Cardinal Quelea
1 Orange Weaver
1 Paradise Whydah

1 Corn Snake
1 California King Snake
2 DeKay's Snake ph
1 Ringneck Snake ph

20 Suffolk Sheep
1 Hawaiian Black Sheep
1 Red Kangaroo
3 African Pygmy Hedgehogs

TX: Kerr Co., TX Highway 39 west to US83

2 Queen

60 Turkey Vulture
1 American Kestrel
15 Mourning Dove

1 Blackbuck
8 Axis Deer
20 White-tailed Deer

TX: Real Co., Laity Lodge 4 October 2005

1 Queen

300 Black Saddlebags
10 Red Saddlebags

1 Helicina orbiculata *

3 Largemouth Bass

100 Turkey Vulture
2 Black Vulture
1 Green Kingfisher
2 Common Raven
1 Canyon Wren
3 Northern Cardinal

3 White-tailed Deer

Moth 58

Red-fringed Emerald Moth, Nemoria bistriaria


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