Berry Springs Preserve Herps of Texas report, 16Sep2017

We had a tremendous turnout of folks a week before the fall equinox and we saw and heard all kinds of interesting things at Berry Springs Preserve during our monthly amphibian monitoring.
A Scissor-tailed Flycatcher was observed from the parking lot before we walked down to the main pond. Before sunset, several Great Blue Herons and Yellow-crowned Night Herons were seen at the main pond, and a number of Chimney Swifts and two Common Nighthawks were seen flying over the main pond. There was also a large swarm of Common Green Darner dragonflies above the fishing deck at the main pond - several were caught with our nets, and Mike helped us out with the ID. Amy checked with some Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) who thought that this was a migratory event; another SME that Mike knew thought that it was actually a feeding swarm because the dragonflies were moving in different directions; whatever it was, it was pretty cool ! After dark, we heard bats on the bat detector, coyotes aroused by a passing fire engine siren, and a Barred Owl. We saw lightning bugs around the pond, and Marek brought us a mama wolf spider with babies on her back.
Although no amphibians were calling, we did observe four species: Blanchard's Cricket Frog (no photos), American Bullfrog (no photos), Rio Grande Leopard Frog, and Gulf Coast Toad. Blanchard's Cricket Frogs were seen along the slough shore as we walked down to the main pond. The monster American Bullfrog hanging out near the end of the main pond with the water well eluded capture - twice. Two separate teams caught Rio Grande Leopard Frog specimens for us to look at. After monitoring was complete, the Gulf Coast Toad was found on the sidewalk next to the restroom.
A young Blotched Water Snake (no photos) was also seen in the water at the edge of the main pond, and Randy caught us a young Western Rat Snake (which used to be called Texas Rat Snake, Elaphe obsoleta lindheimeri) on the shore near the water well. The rat snake showed off its tree-climbing abilities when we let it go in a Texas Redbud.
Many eyes, ears, and hands make light the work...... Thank you, everyone !
The monitoring period was 19:35 - 21:05.
Participants were Kathy, Mike & Amy, Mike, Tonja, Diane & Donna, Larry & Marek, Heike, Jim, Randy & Sandra, and Sondra.
Environmental Conditions at the main pond at sunset:

  • Air temperature = 81.7 deg F
  • Water temperature = 80.0 deg F
  • Sky = No/few clouds
  • Water level = Average
  • Relative humidity at sunset = 51 %
Lähettänyt k_mccormack k_mccormack, 17. syyskuuta 2017 22:36

Havainnot

Kuvat / Äänet

Havainnoija

k_mccormack

Päivämäärä

Syyskuu 16, 2017 08:40 PM CDT

Kuvaus

Two specimens observed during monthly amphibian monitoring. The smaller one still had remnants of a tail and was found in the main pond. The larger one was found in the ditch in the pecan orchard.

Kuvat / Äänet

Havainnoija

k_mccormack

Päivämäärä

Syyskuu 16, 2017 08:46 PM CDT

Kuvaus

Observed along the shore of the main pond during monthly amphibian monitoring.

Kuvat / Äänet

Havainnoija

k_mccormack

Päivämäärä

Syyskuu 16, 2017 09:08 PM CDT

Kuvaus

Observed on the sidewalk next to the restroom after monthly amphibian monitoring at the main pond.

Kommentit

What an evening this was! I feel very fortunate to have been present this evening. Thank you Kathy!

My sole observational contribution here was a Corn Earworm moth from the small east pond. Christie Gardner tells me these are a favorite for bats. This is the second time I have observed moths' here at this pond enjoying the visible nectar/sap from this same plants.
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/7979648

Kathy, I copied you in my email to Dr. Abbott. I trust you saw the reply.

Lähettänyt mikef451 melkein 5 vuotta sitten (Lippu)

Kathy, I think there is a way to link the video from the swarm feeding event in my flickr account;

https://www.flickr.com/photos/141384407@N03/37143679602/in/dateposted-public/

Lähettänyt mikef451 melkein 5 vuotta sitten (Lippu)

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