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Bluebird Trail Reports 3/14/22

Here are the weekly reports from the following Bluebird Trails:

  • Balm-Boyette Preserve: No activity yet

  • Lake Park: 11 nests (8 bluebird, 3 Carolina chickadee), 5 bluebird eggs

  • Lettuce Lake Park: 2 Carolina chickadee nests, 2 Carolina chickadee eggs

  • Sargeant's Park: 1 bluebird nest with 5 eggs

After the wonderful (and badly needed) rain over the weekend, the Flatwoods Park Bluebird Trail was turning green, and with a little more water in the lakes and wetland areas. We have a total of 18 nests (10 bluebird, 8 Carolina chickadee), with 7 bluebird eggs. (See attached spreadsheet for details). Box F6, where we installed an extra box, hoping the bluebirds would return to the new box if the bats didn't leave the original one (they left), has the beginnings of nests (a few pine needles in the box), in both boxes. That's good news! We also have a new bat in box F11 that probably took refuge when the cold weather arrived. We were very happy to see 4 bluebird eggs in box F28, and 3 bluebird eggs in box F45.



The cool weather and rain also seemed to make the birds more active and vocal. Right away we had a special treat when we saw a brown-headed nuthatch, which we rarely see. Then a covey of 11 bobwhite quail and a wild turkey ran right in front of us. In addition to a lot of bluebirds, Northern parulas, cardinals, white-eyed vireos, red-shouldered hawks, Eastern towhees, American and fish crows, Carolina wrens, palm and yellow-rumped warblers, a red-bellied woodpecker, tree swallows, ground doves, and tufted titmice were flying and calling all over the park.



Wood storks, great and little blue herons, ibis, great egrets, and an osprey, were foraging in the additional water from the recent rain in the lakes and wetland areas. Black and turkey vultures were soaring with the thermals.



Sherry spotted a plant that I had never seen before, a Floating Bladderwort (Utricularia inflata). This is a carnivorous aquatic plant whose bladders, at the base of the plant, trap and digest insects and small aquatic animals.


We also saw Bog Batchelor's Buttons (Polygala lutea), and Blue-eyed Grass (Sisyrinchrium atlanticum), popping up everywhere.


Mary


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