20 de mayo de 2023

Berry Springs Preserve Herps of Texas report, 15May2023

In spite of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there was a small group outing to Berry Springs Park and Preserve again this month.
Six amphibian species were observed in the main ponds, sloughs, and ditch in the pecan orchard: Western Narrow-mouthed Toad (CI = 3), Rio Grande Leopard Frog (CI = 2), Blanchard's Cricket Frog (CI = 3), Gulf Coast Toad (CI = 2), American Bullfrog (CI = 2), and Green Treefrog (CI = 3). Photos were obtained for three species, and recordings were obtained for all six species.
According to the USGS gauge station at Berry Creek at Airport Road near Georgetown, TX (https://waterdata.usgs.gov/monitoring-location/08105095/#parameterCode=00065&period=P7D), there had been 1.0 inch of rain two days before monitoring. The ponds and sloughs were full, and water was running over the main dam. We saw Common Nighthawk, Green Heron, Pied-billed Grebe, Black-bellied Whistling Duck, Franklin's Gull, and bats at sunset, heard Eastern Screech-Owl at sunset, and heard Barred Owl after sunset.
The monitoring period was 20:15 - 21:45.
Participants were Kathy and Christie.
Environmental conditions at the main ponds at sunset:
Air temperature = 72.3 deg F
Water temperature = 74.0 deg F
Sky = mostly cloudy
Water level = above average
Relative humidity = 67 %

Publicado el 20 de mayo de 2023 por k_mccormack k_mccormack | 6 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

27 de abril de 2023

Berry Springs Preserve Herps of Texas report, 15Apr2023

In spite of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there was a small group outing to Berry Springs Park and Preserve again this month.
Five amphibian species were observed in the main ponds, sloughs, and ditch in the pecan orchard: Rio Grande Leopard Frog (CI = 2), Blanchard's Cricket Frog (CI = 3), Gulf Coast Toad (CI = 3), American Bullfrog (CI = 1), and Green Treefrog (CI = 2).
According to the USGS gauge station at Berry Creek at Airport Road near Georgetown, TX (https://waterdata.usgs.gov/monitoring-location/08105095/#parameterCode=00065&period=P7D), there had been 1.9 inches of rain in the last 10 days. The ponds and sloughs were full, and water was running over the main dam. We heard a Barred Owl after sunset.
The monitoring period was 20:00 - 21:15.
Participants were Kathy, Christie, Carolyn, and Amy.
Environmental conditions at the main ponds at sunset:
Air temperature = 69.3 deg F
Water temperature = 71.0 deg F
Sky = no/few clouds
Water level = average
Relative humidity = 32 %

Publicado el 27 de abril de 2023 por k_mccormack k_mccormack | 5 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

28 de marzo de 2023

Berry Springs Preserve Herps of Texas report, 25Mar2023

In spite of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there was a small group outing to Berry Springs Park and Preserve again this month.
Three amphibian species were observed in the main ponds, sloughs, and ditch in the pecan orchard (Rio Grande Leopard Frog at CI = 2, Blanchard's Cricket Frog at CI = 3, and Gulf Coast Toad at CI = 1). Amy got a recording of the latter, and I heard it, but I didn't get a recording.
According to the USGS gauge station at Berry Creek at Airport Road near Georgetown, TX (https://waterdata.usgs.gov/monitoring-location/08105095/#parameterCode=00065&period=P7D), there had been 1.25 inches of rain since the last monitoring event, but only 0.16 inches in the last four days. The ponds and sloughs were full, and water was running over the main dam.
The monitoring period was 19:45 - 21:00.
There were about 60 Redhead on the main ponds, we saw two Yellow-crowned Night Herons, a Great Egret, and bats flying over the ponds at sunset, and heard a Barred Owl after sunset. Numerous large, chubby tadpoles were also seen in the ponds and sloughs - hopefully, they'll all turn into Rio Grande Leopard Frogs and not American Bullfrogs.
Participants were Kathy, Christie, Carolyn, and Amy.
Environmental conditions at the main ponds at sunset:
Air temperature = 61.0 deg F
Water temperature = 67.9 deg F
Sky = no/few clouds
Water level = average
Relative humidity = 41 %

Publicado el 28 de marzo de 2023 por k_mccormack k_mccormack | 2 observaciones | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario

25 de febrero de 2023

Berry Springs Preserve Herps of Texas report, 20Feb2023

In spite of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there was a small group outing to Berry Springs Park and Preserve again this month.
Two amphibian species were observed in the main ponds, sloughs, and ditch in the pecan orchard (Rio Grande Leopard Frog at CI = 2 and Blanchard's Cricket Frog at CI = 3). All of the Rio Grande Leopard Frogs in the ditch were extremely wary - well before we could get within net range, they squeaked once and then disappeared under the water. This was interesting behavior that we had never seen before. The recorded Rio Grande Leopard Frogs were in the main ponds.
According to the USGS gauge station at Berry Creek at Airport Road near Georgetown, TX (https://waterdata.usgs.gov/monitoring-location/08105095/#parameterCode=00065&period=P7D), there had been one inch of rain/ice since the last monitoring event. The ponds and sloughs were full, and water was running over the main dam.
The monitoring period was 18:20 - 19:20.
Participants were Kathy, Christie, and Amy.
Environmental conditions at the main ponds at sunset:
Air temperature = 73.0 deg F
Water temperature = 71.4 deg F
Sky = no/few clouds
Water level = average
Relative humidity = 47 %

Publicado el 25 de febrero de 2023 por k_mccormack k_mccormack | 2 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

23 de enero de 2023

Berry Springs Preserve Herps of Texas report, 22Jan2023

In spite of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there was a small group outing to Berry Springs Park and Preserve again this month.
One amphibian species was observed in the main ponds and the ditch in the pecan orchard (Rio Grande Leopard Frog at CI = 1).
According to the USGS gauge station at Berry Creek at Airport Road near Georgetown, TX (https://waterdata.usgs.gov/monitoring-location/08105095/#parameterCode=00065&period=P7D), there had been 0.23 inches of rain since the last monitoring event. The sloughs and ponds were mostly full, but water was not running over the main dam.
The monitoring period was 17:55 - 18:55.
Participants were Kathy, Carolyn, Christie, and Amy.
Environmental conditions at the main ponds at sunset:
Air temperature = 51.1 deg F
Water temperature = 58.5 deg F
Sky = no/few clouds
Water level = average
Relative humidity = 21 %

Publicado el 23 de enero de 2023 por k_mccormack k_mccormack | 1 observación | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

20 de diciembre de 2022

Berry Springs Preserve Herps of Texas report, 17Dec2022

In spite of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there was a small group outing to Berry Springs Park and Preserve again this month.
One amphibian species was observed in the main ponds and the ditch in the pecan orchard (Rio Grande Leopard Frog at CI = 1) - several recordings were collected, but no photos were obtained. We also heard a Great Horned Owl call a couple of times at sunset.
According to the USGS gauge station at Berry Creek at Airport Road near Georgetown, TX (https://waterdata.usgs.gov/monitoring-location/08105095/#parameterCode=00065&period=P7D), there had been 0.13 inches of rain three days before monitoring. It was nice to see the sloughs and ponds full of clear water.
The monitoring period was 17:30 - 18:30.
Participants were Kathy, Carolyn, and Christie.
Environmental conditions at the main ponds at sunset:
Air temperature = 44.1 deg F
Water temperature = 58.5 deg F
Sky = no/few clouds
Water level = average
Relative humidity = 36 %

Publicado el 20 de diciembre de 2022 por k_mccormack k_mccormack | 1 observación | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

28 de noviembre de 2022

Berry Springs Preserve Herps of Texas report, 26Nov2022

In spite of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there was a small group outing to Berry Springs Park and Preserve again this month.
One amphibian species was observed in the ditch in the pecan orchard (Rio Grande Leopard Frog (CI = 0), but no photo was obtained. It was chilly, damp, and very quiet.
According to the USGS gauge station at Berry Creek at Airport Road near Georgetown, TX (https://waterdata.usgs.gov/monitoring-location/08105095/#parameterCode=00065&period=P7D), there had been 1.69 inches of rain during the week before monitoring, and 4.97 inches of rain since the last monitoring session on 23Oct2022. The sloughs and ponds were full again, water was flowing over the dam, and the flow in Berry Creek was normal.
The monitoring period was 17:15 - 18:30.
Participants were Kathy and Carolyn.
Environmental conditions at the main ponds at sunset:
Air temperature = 52.5 deg F
Water temperature = approximately 62 deg F
Sky = no/few clouds
Water level = average
Relative humidity = 41 %

Publicado el 28 de noviembre de 2022 por k_mccormack k_mccormack | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

29 de octubre de 2022

Freshwater Mussels of Texas report, 27Oct2022

On October 27, 2022, two people did a random shoreline freshwater mussel search where Backbone Creek empties into Lake Marble Falls (i.e., the back side of Lakeside Park in Marble Falls). Lake Marble Falls is one of the Highland Lakes located in the Colorado River basin in Burnet County, Texas.
Water levels were down approximately seven feet in Lake Marble Falls due to an intentional drawdown by the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) for continued maintenance, cleanup, and repairs after historic flooding in the fall of 2018. The weather was sunny with mild temperatures.
The monitoring period at Lakeside Park (lat/long approximately 30.567, -98.279) was 11:00 AM – 12:45 PM and we walked approximately 400 feet. The substrate was mostly silt.
Non-native Asian Clams and Zebra Mussels (both too numerous to count) were observed. Note that Zebra Mussels were not observed when we performed a similar survey at this location on January 12, 2019 (https://www.inaturalist.org/journal/k_mccormack/21654-freshwater-mussels-of-texas-report-12jan2019).
Two native freshwater mussel species were observed:
• Giant Floater – none alive, five shells, and seven valves; and,
• Paper Pondshell – none alive, one shell, and no valves.
Note that Threeridge (two valves) and Tampico Pearlymussel (two valves) were observed at this location in the previous survey (which covered approximately 1,200 feet and spanned 2.5 hours), but the Paper Pondshell was a new observation for us this time.
Survey participants were Kathy and Amy. Many thanks to Marsha May for remote help with identification (texting with photos !) during the survey.

Publicado el 29 de octubre de 2022 por k_mccormack k_mccormack | 6 observaciones | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario

25 de octubre de 2022

Berry Springs Preserve Herps of Texas report, 22Oct2022

In spite of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there was a small group outing to Berry Springs Park and Preserve again this month.
Four amphibian species were observed in the ponds: Rio Grande Leopard Frog (CI = 2), Blanchard's Cricket Frog (CI = 0), Gulf Coast Toad (CI = 0), and Western Narrow-mouthed Toad (CI = 0). Audio recordings were obtained for Rio Grande Leopard Frog, and photos were obtained for all four species.
We saw an armadillo at sunset and a mother wolf spider carrying her babies on her back.
According to the USGS gauge station at Berry Creek at Airport Road near Georgetown, TX (https://waterdata.usgs.gov/tx/nwis/uv/?site_no=08105095&PARAmeter_cd=00045), there had been 0.88 inches of rain five days before monitoring. The sloughs were still dry, the ponds were still lower than normal, no water was flowing over the dam, and the flow in Berry Creek was lower than normal.
The monitoring period was 18:50 - 20:20.
Participants were Kathy, Christie, Amy, and Carrie (welcome !). In addition, a family of five found three species (Blanchard's Cricket Frog, Gulf Coast Toad, and Western Narrow-mouthed Toad) for us within the first 30 minutes of monitoring.
Environmental conditions at the main ponds 40 minutes after sunset:
Air temperature = 77.7 deg F
Water temperature = 67.9 deg F
Sky = no/few clouds
Water level = much below average
Relative humidity = 36 %

Publicado el 25 de octubre de 2022 por k_mccormack k_mccormack | 5 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

22 de septiembre de 2022

Berry Springs Preserve Herps of Texas report, 19Sep2022

In spite of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there was a small group outing to Berry Springs Park and Preserve again this month.
Four amphibian species were observed in the sloughs and ponds: Rio Grande Leopard Frog (CI = 2), Blanchard's Cricket Frog (CI = 1), Gulf Coast Toad (CI = 0), and possibly Green Treefrog (CI = 1). Audio recordings were obtained for two species (Rio Grande Leopard Frog and Green Treefrog), and Rio Grande Leopard Frog and Gulf Coast Toad was also documented with photos. Blanchard's Cricket Frog called briefly only a few times, so no documentation was obtained for this species. If it was truly a Green Treefrog, it was a very strange call - only half of the usual two-syllable call.
[UPDATE 28Oct2022: In the member slideshow prior to the start of the Good Water Master Naturalist monthly meeting on 27Oct2022, I saw that a Squirrel Treefrog was photographed at the main pond on 16Oct2022. I've never seen or heard this species before, but I listened to an online recording of the call and confirmed that our strange Green Treefrog was actually a Squirrel Treefrog. This the first time that I've observed it at Berry Springs Park and Preserve over the past 13 years of monthly amphibian monitoring there.]
We saw Chimney Swifts overhead before sunset, and two separate armadillos after sunset. There were also A LOT of little bugs attracted to our lights - maybe they were coming from all of the decaying vegetation around the ponds.
According to the USGS gauge station at Berry Creek at Airport Road near Georgetown, TX (https://waterdata.usgs.gov/tx/nwis/uv/?site_no=08105095&PARAmeter_cd=00045), there had been 1.24 inches of rain on 30Aug2022 and 0.61 inches of rain on 04Sep2022 (15 days before monitoring). The ponds and sloughs were slowly refilling, but no water was flowing over the dam, and the flow in Berry Creek was lower than normal.
The monitoring period was 19:35 - 20:35.
Participants were Kathy, Carolyn, and Christie.
Environmental conditions at the main ponds at sunset:
Air temperature = 84.7 deg F
Water temperature = 83.5 deg F
Sky = no/few clouds
Water level = much below average
Relative humidity = 46 %

Publicado el 22 de septiembre de 2022 por k_mccormack k_mccormack | 3 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario