Trout Creek Ecological Reserve August 10 2015–Warden’s Report

Posted August 10, 2015 | Categories : 7,Rare Species,Warden Reports |

On August 10, 2015, The Ecological Reserve Laurie Rockwell made his monthly visit to the Ecological Reserve and has sent this report.

  • It was 19c with a periodic breeze under an overcast sky; it was very quiet and very dry,much more so than in past years at this time.
  • I saw or heard 14 species of birds,including 1 blue-listed Gray Flycatcher (Empidonax wrightii), all 3 Nuthatches and 3 Common Nighthawks (Chordei minor); I was pleased with this sighting as there numbers have drastically decreased in North America.
  • I added one plant to the reserve plant list (#138), Blue Elderberry ( Sambucus caerulea). This is the only plant that I have found on the reserve and,ironically, I walked passed it for years and just realized that it was not on the plant list! I found no knapweed (Centaurea diffusa) or Sulphur Cinquefoil (Potentilla pudica). The toadflax (Linaria genistifolia) has been severely impacted by the beetle Mecinus janthinus as I saw only 3 flowers and most plants looked emaciated with relatively few seed pods and most of these were not open. Some Rabbit Bush (Ericameria nauseosa) and one Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus) plants showed insect galls; the latter plant appeared to still be in bud. The only flowering plant was Narrow-leaved Stephanomeria (S.tenuifolia)
  • The only mammal seen was a lone Red Squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus), a rare sighting on the reserve. There were no bear scats and no deer tracks or scats as there is no browse and the Saskatoon berries dried up quickly due to the (early) heat. Not to mention no water source on the reserve.
  • I saw one grey grasshopper and a large, black, fly-like insect. It had a small head and antennae, long, slim wings that appeared to fan at the end and 4 very long legs. I am seeking entomological input as to the possible identification of this previously unseen insect on the reserve.
  • There were no signs of human activity. Fence repairs are outstanding. It did not appear that the reserve was still being watered by the adjacent golf course at the 12th green.
  • Cheers….Laurie