Warden’s Report- Trout Creek Ecological Reserve June 7 2015
Warden’s Report by Laurie Rockwell
- I was in the reserve by 5am for my monthly tour,but by 6am it was already 18c with only a periodic,refreshing breeze.
- I saw or heard 17 species of birds including 5 blue-listed Gray Flycatchers (Empidonax wrightii) and 2 unexpected Evening Grosbeaks (Coccthraustes vepertinus) which seldom appear in the reserve. The best find was two fledged Vesper Sparrows (Poecetes gramineus) that flushed, causing them to flutter a short distance before disappearing in the grass; an agitated parent supervised my presence.
- all the grasses were growing vigorously after several heavy rainfalls,yet I found no knapweed plants (Cetaurea diffusa) which often flourish in such conditions. The weevil Mecenus janthinus is doing an excellent job of keeping the Dalmation Toadflax (Linaria genistifolia) under control I saw many beetles and few flowers. I dug out one Sulphur Cinquefoil (Potentilla pudica),down from as many as 15 plants a few years ago. 8 plants were in flower and 4 in bud, including the blue listed Narrow-leaved Brickellia (Brickellia oblongifolia).
- Also in bud was a small population(12) of Showy Milkweed (Asclepius speciosa) in a small, shaded draw ,unexpected in a forest-grassland habitat. The old logging road is becoming covered over with plant growth, a sign that the reserve is thriving.
- since there is no water on the reserve I saw no signs of any mammals.
- a Swallowtail Butterfly and a few bumble bees made up for the unusual number of mosquitoes.
- the golf course is once again irrigating 3-5m of the reserve at the 12th green,causing non-native grass to flourish among the native reserve plants.
- there was no sign of human activity.
- fence repairs are pending.