Archivos de diario de febrero 2017

08 de febrero de 2017

Cedar Waxwings at TCC South Campus and my ongoing mission 2-7-2017

For the most part yesterday was a very good day for the birds. My normal ritual when I arrive at school is walking around for a while and see what I can find. I started doing this ritual last year when I stopped to watch the pollinators and insects at school once I started to take my camera with me. Anyway yesterday was a very cool day because I got to see a mass Cedar Waxwing rush. There were hundreds of them just flying about and perching in the trees. From eight or so in the morning to by the time I headed to the TCC math building where my class is held; just dozens of the little beauties. Cedar Waxwings are just one of my absolute favorite birds. They are natures busy nomads. The thing about Waxwings is that you never know when they will turn up or go away. The term here today gone tomorrow never seemed to be more to the truth until I start my birding quest in 2014. Technically I count 2015 as the point I really began to get serious about birding. The Waxwings are very interesting birds and I have been known to call them Egyptian birds. For one thing they have a dark mask that kind of make a point away from their eye that looks like the Egyptian eye make up. Another interesting feature is the smoothness of the birds. They hardly look like they have feathers at all. They are very handsome seamless birds. They do have feathers but they are very fine feathers and are very fine. The Cedar Waxwings also have a bit of red on their winds and their tails have a yellow bar. The yellow bar to the person who named the bird was the ID mark because the tail looked like it had been dipped in wax. The Cedar Waxwing is a very community driven bird. They love to travel in groups and hardly ever fuss or get into squabbles. They are a very cooperative bird and often help each other out to feed in some cases. They just love berries and sometimes they will eat over ripened fruits and wind up getting plastered. You heard me right they eat fermented fruit and get drunk which makes them very vulnerable to flying crazy and if not careful they might fly into buildings and window, or maybe in the cross-hairs of a hungry predator, or they could be able to be approached by a human. These birds are very interesting but it is a very curious on why they get falling down drunk. I don't know if is on purpose or by mistake but it does occur from time to time. I have never seen a drunk Waxwing before but I have read about it in field guides and pod casts and I have heard stories from other birders on YouTube and other sources. The Waxwings at school never really stop to land; normally they just pass by flying over the campus ground letting me just take a glimpse as they fly out of site. Yesterday was very different for me. They didn't just land at the campus but they gathered in huge numbers. I have never seen so many Waxwings in my life. As I took the photos I noticed some went to some of the berry bushes and trees and began to feed. I did notice before I saw the flocks come in their familiar droppings. A good indicator of weather or not a group of nomadic Cedar Waxwings have payed a place a visit is to look for their very odd droppings. The droppings are kind of a clear jelly like mix that is very interesting to study. It is not like regular bird droppings and is quite unique. I have noticed the Waxwing dropping in my own front yard on the driveway for the record. Cedar Waxwings make a very soft call that is like a short whistle. To the trained ear it is unmistakable. Once you hear it you might want to start looking for a bunch of little yellow missiles with wings going by. They come in fast and they come in large groups. I saw several small groups go into several big groups as they came to rest in the trees by to Rotunda Lecture Hall in the center of the Campus. That is where the Waxwings thought it seemed like a good spot to hang around up in the tops of the trees. When I was taking pictures I focused on a few individuals but I thought it was best to get group shot both big and small. When taking pictures of these you might have a hard time photographing a foraging party. When feeding it is hard to get them to be still they just do what they please but if you can get them perched in the trees when at rest then start to take photos however you wish. These birds never stop to fascinate. My little Nikon Coolpix may not be the fanciest camera ever but me and and that little camera have seen some pretty amazing things. Yesterday even though it became sadder when I found out that Richard Hatch from the 1978 Original Science Fiction Series Battlestar Galactica who played Captain Apollo passed away; that morning was the most beautiful and most extraordinary morning I have had when birding at school. I do study but when I have nothing much to do I practice my naturalist skills and fine tune them. I have found so many things that most of the student body has missed. I have seen many different species and have made a project dedicated to the wildlife of that campus and all other TCCD campuses. I have seen a lot of wildlife at both the Southeast Campus and a lot more at TCC South. I attend South Campus but on occasion I will go birding at the pond by TCC Southeast in Arlington. I have seen rabbits at TCC Southeast and many different birds at both campuses; TCC South is more for the many pollinators like the ones I have seen in last spring and fall semester. Each Campus is home to many wonderful species and as a Texas Master Naturalist I have tried to spread the word mostly to the few friends I make every semester and they start to see what they are missing. I do share my photos both in person and via facebook. I have been finding a lot of different things and as a naturalist I have a new found appreciation for the underdogs. I always find time to look for new and exciting species at my school when I have some free time. It keeps me busy and keeps me away from the hustle and bustle of the video game room and just sitting at the Student Union building. Why just sit around when I am done with my studies. I make the search part of my reward system. Life at the campus is very quiet for the most part I can just pick up my camera and take photos at the pollinator friendly flowers and I may get looked at funny but you know I don't care what others think of me. It really doesn't bother me. I have dedicated my life to understand species deeper and as a naturalist and a wildlife enthusiast I am going to keep on documenting my stuff and continue to contribute to citizen science in this time of uncertainty. It is good to keep a life list and I want my life list to grow so I can keep a track of all I have learned and what I have seen. It make my campus life more exciting and very interesting. I never know what I am going to find next. That goes for all the other places I go. I find this site to be very good and it does aid in my mission to understand all life forms a little bit better. I know I have said this before but I can't stress it enough. Well that is it for this post until next time nature fans I will talk to you later.

Ingresado el 08 de febrero de 2017 por galactic_bug_man galactic_bug_man | 1 observación | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

Early bird entomology specimens

It all started with January when I found an insect in the Genus Largus by the TCC South campus library. Well in that same day I found some kind of small worm that was a caterpillar of some kind. The jury is still out on the ID so I still don't know what they heck it is, but that is okay I will just let time pass until it gets an ID. Well anyway then a few day after that while I was sleeping my family found a Spring Cankerworm Moth on our kitchen ceiling. We have had a few warm days but it seems to me that this is the earliest I have seen insects come out. Then at Lake Arlington I keep finding droves of young Wolf spiders. As far back as I can remember it was Crane Flies that I would normally start to see. However after becoming a self proclaimed naturalist I have noticed many other species of insect early birds. This is really cool to see some of the early bird insects come out from their hibernation. I have seen about two Largus species or so, and I even found a Bumblebee I think it may have been an American Bumblebee. Anyway I heard from Sambiology that Cloverworm Moths were active now but so far I haven't seen any of those. However I did a little digging a couple of days ago when I was logging the ever growing string of backtrack photos from as early as 2015- 2016. I took a break to show my mom what a cankerworm looked like. I like to share my photos with my mom and tell her about my sightings and observations and tell her what I know about the subjects. I was showing her the cankerworms and found out that they like cold weather. That is what kind of threw me because insects are cold blooded so before that point I thought that they were not active but now I am singing a different tune about insects and spiders. I need to really do more research on these insects. I have been trying to look up stuff from my observations and I think I am going to do a mass study session this summer when I have more time and learn about my observations. Some of the stuff I have needs a little more digging into so that way if I ever encounter another one of those creatures I can tell the groups about them more in detail. Just so that way I don't have to blank if it is one I really want to talk about on a hike. I am new at this and kind of green but I am a fast learner when it comes to these sort of things. I may not be a fast learner at math but natural science and English and history are more my speed. I guess I need to do a little bit more digging into the insect list and see what else comes out this time of year. The winter is almost over and spring is almost here so it is going to be a very interesting season. for now I will be looking for more early birds but it will soon be spring and my camera is at my ready. So I guess that is all for this post until next time I am going to study up on more early comers.

Ingresado el 08 de febrero de 2017 por galactic_bug_man galactic_bug_man | 8 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

26 de febrero de 2017

My February Review

It seems that spring has come a little bit early for us. I have found several insects and plants that are signs that spring is here. The Crowpoision flower is blooming and so are the bluebonne too. Crowpoision as I have come too understand is an indicator plant that tells us spring has arrived. It seems that the way climate is going it is getting warmer and warmer. We have had several warmer days this month; it has been a very good time for insects. I saw a Robberfly, A sulphur butterfly, a Goatweed Leafwing Butterfly, a Common Buckeye Butterfly and several other cool insects including crane flies which are very common around this time of year. There ways also honey bees and I even saw a Spotted Cucumber beetle. I have been keeping an eye on things at school and Elmer W. Oliver and have noticed several plants and other things. I have also seen a mixture of spring time birds and winter birds too. This month I got to see a few Eastern Bluebirds one of which was gathering nesting material. Yesterday on the 25th I saw a Red-breasted Nuthatch before I went in to volunteer. I saw several Redbuds at Elmer W. Oliver and Fort Worth Nature Center. I even seen some Tiny Bluets growing last week. It has been a very interesting time for plants and insects. I have noticed things early on from last month but this month it seems that my observations page has spiked. I am now at 427 observations on my page with a total of 293 species varified. (Some still have yet to be narrowed down so it is going to be a while before I get any confirmation on exact species that are designated as Genus names.) I have been very busy with my iNaturalust page and it has really shot up since January. It seems like we are smooth sailing with more up to date photos I have posted a few older posts but not as many as I did in January. I have been getting out more to observe stuff before my class and after school. I have also made it a habit of arriving a few more minutes early so I can walk around the nature center and take photos. I have even found some things around my house. I go just about anywhere to get my stuff. I have been to some of the most Unlikeliest of places to look for some of my observations and documentation. I have a few I have not posted yet but later today I will get right on that. I still have to post some of those aquatic plants I found in the body of water near the excersize track at school. I have been keeping a separate life list of all my verified animals on Windows excel and have found that I have quite a lot of animals I have seen throughout my life. I have added things I have seen before iNaturalist came into my life. I still have to get out and try to find the things I have missed getting on camera. I have been doing a lot of traveling in recent days trying to contribute all my services to document all life forms during this very odd season. We seem to be no longer in winter which makes all of our observations that more important to research. The month is not over yet there is still a few more days left of February so I will try to get out as much as I can for the next few days until the next month rolls around. The Easter weekend Nature Challenge is coming up fast and I am so ready to participate. I just love using this iNat program and I am ready to get this years bounty logged in. It's just like Pokémon I get gotta catch em all. Well I think I will be wrapping this entry up. I will go login other observations until I run out of new things to login. I will then see if there is anything else I missed getting from previous years. I am still not convinced I have everything logged in. Oh well better late than never I guess. I will be seeing you soon.

Ingresado el 26 de febrero de 2017 por galactic_bug_man galactic_bug_man | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario