Posted November 26, 2023 | Categories : 130,Ecological Monitoring,Photos,Species List,Warden Reports |

2023 Ecological Reserve #130 Mahoney Lake Wardens’ Annual Report

Wardens: Kathryn McCourt, Dan Nieman

Report date: November 15, 2023

April 13, 2023 – Kathryn McCourt

9:45 – 10:49. 6℃, sky overcast, wind calm

Plants in bloom: Ranunculus glaberrimus, Frittilaria pudica

Birds: Redwinged Blackbird, American Robin, Song Sparrow, Black-capped Chicadee,

American Coot, Ruddy Duck, Canada Goose, Pied-billed Grebe, Mallard.

May 30, 2023 – Kathryn McCourt

Report unavailable

June 28, 2023 – Kathryn McCourt

9:05-10:55. 22℃, sky 30% cloud cover, wind calm.

Did first waterfowl survey. (submitted)

Plants in bloom: Alfalfa, Tragopogon dubius, Grindelia squarrosa, Ribes cereum, Vicia spp.,

Achillea millefolia, Gaillardia aristata.

Non-water birds: Common Nighthawk, Chipping Sparrow, Cedar Waxwing, American Robin, White-breasted Nuthatch, Red-winged Blackbird, Mourning Dove, Song Sparrow, House Wren Western Wood-Peewee, Spotted Towhee, Brown-headed Cowbird.

July 5, 2023 – Dan Nieman

Waterfowl Survey:

Time: 07:41 to 10:37    Temp  +27°C to +32°C    Cloud :  0/10      Wind:  NE 10 kph        Precip.  Nil


Waterfowl:   PBGR (4) (2, plus 1 with 1 chick)

Other Birds:  KILL(1), RWBL (3), MODO (2)


Waterfowl:   AMCO (1), RUDU (2

Other Birds:  Flycatcher (Unid) (1), AMRO (1), CONH (2), GRCA (1)


Waterfowl:   AMCO (2), RUDU (3), CAGO (6), MALL (12), CITE (3), PBGR  (4) plus (1) chick.

Other Birds:  RWBL (3


Waterfowl:   CAGO (2)

Other Birds:  RWBL (3), AMRO (1), SPSA (2)


Waterfowl:   RUDU (4), PBGR (2), AMCO (4) plus (4) chicks

Other Birds:  RWBL (3), AMRO (1), HOWR (1), BHCO (3), SPTO ((2), SOSP (1), CHSP (1), MODO (2), Flycatcher (1) unid.


Waterfowl:   AMCO  (4) plus 3 chicks

Other Birds:  RWBL (2), AMRO (1), HOWR (1), BHCO (5), SPTO (1), Flycatcher (1) unid., PYNU (sound of small flock)

July 13, 2023 – Kathryn McCourt

7:57 – 9:05. 17℃, Sky clear, light breeze

Did final waterfowl survery (submitted)

Non-water birds: Western Wood-Peewee, House Wren, Red-winged Blackbird, Northern Flicker, Spotted Towhee, Brown-headed Cowbird, America Robin, Eastern Kingbird, Mourning Dove.

Insects: Dragonflies

Plants in Bloom: Grindelia squarrosa, Achillea millefolia, Alfalfa.

 August 24, 2023 – Kathryn McCourt

14:00-14:40. 25℃, Sky hazy and smoky, brisk north wind.

ER closed because of wildfire.

Cleared small garbage from all four pullouts.

Birds: American Coot, Mountain Chickadee, Pygmy Nuthatch, American Goldfinch.

Insects: Grasshoppers, Dragonflies.

Plants in bloom: Alfalfa, Grindelia squarrosa, Symphyotrichum falcatum.

August 25, 2023 – Kathryn McCourt.

8:00 – 8:30.

Removed large amount of kapok-like garbage from East pullout.

   Sept 3, 2023  – Dan Nieman 

Time:  08:32 to 14:30   Temp.  +22°C to +26°C    Cloud :  6/10      Wind:  N 5 to 10 kph        Precip.  Nil

Waterfowl survey:


Waterfowl:   AMCO (7)

Other Birds:  SOSP (1))


Waterfowl:   RUDU (1)

Other Birds:  0


Waterfowl:   AMCO (5): 3 adults, 2 juv., RUDU (1)

Other Birds:  SACR (35): flying high above the lake.


Waterfowl:   RUDU (2), AMCO (5), PBGR (2)

Other Birds:  0


Waterfowl:  AMCO (7 adults, 3 juveniles )

Other Birds: CONI (1),


Waterfowl:   AMCO (2 adults, 1 juvenile)

Other Birds:  RTHA (1)


  • Very quiet with few birds present.
  • It was concerning to find Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum slicaria) growing on the perimeter of the lake (at the upland limit of Scirpus growth). Most of the plants were in full flower with a few seed spikes. Observed plants were removed, including as much root and rhizome material as possible. We must remain vigilant with regard to this invasive. The  number of plants and general locations where Loosestrife was removed:  SW PIN (0), S PIN (0), SE PIN (6), E PIN (3), N PIN (2), and NW PIN (1).  I will continue to monitor the situation.
  • Removed one European Bittersweet (nightshade) (Solanum dulcamera).
  • There was only a small amount of refuse in the parking areas and in the vicinity of each PIN; it was retrieved and disposed in the Oliver landfill.
  • Very few vehicles at most sites: S PIN (1), SE PIN (2)
  • The gate between NE PIN and NW PIN (adjacent to the cattle guard) was left open and very tangled. It must be repaired and kept closed. A sign should be posted at that location asking users to please close the gate. The main support posts for the gate are loose and in need of repair or replacement.
  • The fence on the west side of the lake remains down due to a fallen tree. Repairs are necessary.
  • I am designing a project to assess public use of the Mahoney Lake ER. This information may be useful in determining the future management of this (and perhaps other) Ecological Reserves considering what appear to be recent changes in the number of visitors and how they access and use the ER (e.g. use since the Covid pandemic, and the increasing popularity of e-bikes which may impact habitat integrity and lead to potential conflicts with other users)

September 21, 2023 – Dan Nieman

Time:  13:05 to 16:55       Temp.  +23°C   Cloud :  0/10      Wind:  NW 8 kph        Precip.  Nil

Waterfowl survey:


Waterfowl:   0


Waterfowl:   0


Waterfowl:   0


Waterfowl:   RUDU (1


Waterfowl:  AMCO (38), MALL (4), RUDU (1), AMWI (1), PBGR (1)


Waterfowl:   GWTE (3)

Other Birds:  SACR (25) Flying overhead




  • Small amount of refuse at only one PIN (E PIN)

September 23, 2023 – Kathryn McCourt

9:43 – 10:21. 15℃, Sky cloudy, Gusty South wind.

Took photos at all pins (atttached)

Birds: Northern Flicker, Canyon Wren, American Coot.

Plants in bloom: Symphyotrichum falcatum, Grindelia squarrosa, Mustard spp., Taraxacum spp.


October 20, 2023 – Kathryn McCourt

14:20-15:08. 17℃, Sky overcast, hazy sun, moderate North wind.

Birds: Mallard, American Coot, Ring-necked Duck, Lesser Scaup, Greater Scaup, Northern Flicker, Common Raven.

Insects: Dragonflies: Large blue, medium red.

Plants in bloom: Grindelia squarrosa, Mustard spp., Centaurea diffusa.

The gate by the cattleguard was wide open.

There was little garbage at any of the pullouts.


November 3, 2023 – Kathryn McCourt, Dan Nieman.

12:56 – 14:56. 7℃, Sky cloudy, Wind calm.

Birds: Mountain Chickadee, White-breasted Nuthatch, Northern Flicker, Accipiter spp.

Plants in bloom: Achillea millefolia, Symphyotrichum falcatum, Linaria spp

We walked all the way around the lake starting from the yellow gate and returning there. The gate by the cattleguard was closed.

On the west side of the lake, we observed the tracks of deer, coyote, raccoon, bear, Canada Goose, dog and human.We observed a grass that is possibly Phalaris arundinacea (Reed Canary Grass, which will be checked again in spring.

There was relatively little garbage, except for cans in the ditches along the road.