Claude’s River Survey: May 7, 2011

Location: Utley Bridge (Highway 969) to Tarcoola

Observation Date: 5/7/2011

Number of species: 52

EPISODE 60: It’s A Gar Happening

Sometimes the rewards of being a nature observer are worth all the hours spend in the field. Today’s nature observation is about Gar and not birds.

Yep, those thin long ugly creatures with the long noses and scary teeth. We found some spawning in a shallow riffle. Check out the photos of the Gar by Andy Balinsky.

Oh we had some good birds too. We had Bald Eagle. We had Pileated Woodpecker. We had Anhinga, Blue Grosbeak, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, and Northern Waterthrush to round out a collection of 54 species. We missed the Prothonotary Warbler and Dickcissel.

There is a huge list of participants that need to be thanked. This was the largest group we have ever had on a survey. Kudos go to Emily Roan, Sarah Farwell, Julie Bollman, Joan Bishop, Pam Hohman, Julia Heskett, Julia Balinsky, Tracy Novinger, Peg Gavin, Ron Armbruster, Glen Novinger, Andy Balinsky, Hemant Kularni, Bob West, Chris Masey, John Barr, and Stuart Bailey.

There were also some water skiers that kept zooming through us. Sure was glad to get past them.

Photos of the Red Damselfly, Snake and Mayfly are Pam Holman’s.

(Click the images below to view larger.)

Photo of a red-winged blackbird singing.A cluster of alligator gar, some breaching the river surface.Photo of three very large alligator gar fish in the water.Photo of a snake swimming in the river.Photo of a small red cabin in a field, with large trees on either side.Photo of a person waterskiing.Close-up of a red damselfly on a curled leaf.Close-up photo of a mayfly resting on a yellow kayak.

Number of species: 52

Wood Duck 14
Blue-winged Teal 22
Double-crested Cormorant 3
Anhinga 1
Great Blue Heron 2
Great Egret 1
Snowy Egret 5
Little Blue Heron 3
Cattle Egret 26
Green Heron 6
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron 1
Black Vulture 18
Turkey Vulture 12
Bald Eagle 2
Red-shouldered Hawk 5
Swainson’s Hawk 1
Red-tailed Hawk 2
Crested Caracara 8
Spotted Sandpiper 18
Mourning Dove 8
Yellow-billed Cuckoo 3
hummingbird sp. 2
Red-bellied Woodpecker 4
Downy Woodpecker 1
Pileated Woodpecker 2
Eastern Phoebe 4
Great Crested Flycatcher 4

Eastern Kingbird 26
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher 2
Loggerhead Shrike 1
White-eyed Vireo 28
Red-eyed Vireo 12
American Crow 8
Northern Rough-winged Swallow 6
Barn Swallow 12
Cliff Swallow 100
Carolina Chickadee 75
Tufted x Black-crested Titmouse 25
Carolina Wren 18
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 1
Gray Catbird 1
Northern Mockingbird 3
Northern Parula 4
Northern Waterthrush 2
Common Yellowthroat 3
Summer Tanager 4
Northern Cardinal 100
Blue Grosbeak 1
Indigo Bunting 7
Painted Bunting 75
Red-winged Blackbird 32
Common Grackle 12
Great-tailed Grackle 18
Brown-headed Cowbird 6