Warden’s Report, Trout Creek Ecological Reserve, Oct 5. 2014
Ecological Reserve Warden Laurie Rockwell reports on his trip to his reserve:
- ◦ it was an absolutely superb fall day;15c at 8.30,a periodic light breeze, and sunshine flirting for prominence with wispy clouds.
- ◦ I saw of heard 15 species of birds that were for the most part active and vocal. I was delighted to see a Pileated Woodpecker (male) which is seldom seen on the reserve. A few migrating Ruby-crowned Kinglets and Western Bluebirds(9) helped make my day,so to speak. I also got the ‘slam’ on nuthatches: Pygmy,Red and White-breasted.
- ◦ I saw one insect,a small black fly with delta-shaped wings and large red-orange eyes.It reminded me somewhat of the Urophora fly that attacks knapweed flower,but the colouring was off.
- the only sign of mammals were 2 Red Squirrels that I heard,some old coyote and bear scat and a few fresh deer tracks.
- ◦ in flower were Rabbit Bush (Ericameria nauseosa), Douglas Knotweed (Polygonum douglasii) and Pasture Sage (Artemesia frigida). I was surprised to see so many Toadflax ( Linnaria genistifolia) in seed on the south slope where bio-control beetles have been active.I dug out two small Sulphur Cinquefoil ( Potentilla recta) plants and found none in seed. There is a lush growth of Bluebunch Wheatgrass (Pseuodogenaria spicata) this year.
- ◦ I am happy to see that the old road through the reserve and the trail leading to the reserve are almost overgrown now.
- ◦ I found a small, lone Puffball emerging from the soil on this road; is probably Lycoperdon perlatum, the one that explodes when it sends forth it’s spores. I don’t recall seeing it on the reserve before.
- ◦ fence repairs are outstanding.
- ◦ it no longer appears that the golf course is allowing it’s irrigation water to soak the dryland vegetation on the reserve. This excessive watering encouraged non-native vegetation to grow and flourish.
- ◦ there was no sign of human activity. I am always vigilant this time of the year, looking for signs of deer hunting. One positive aspect of this water-free reserve is that there is little green plant growth outside of spring to encourage deer and, therefore, (illegal) deer hunters.