04 de janeiro de 2024

BioBlitz at Indian Creek Ranch - April 12-14, 2024

This journal post is for logistics related to the April 12-14, 2024 ICR BioBlitz. In 2022, we made about 1,400 observations and it was a hot, dry winter. So far, this year, we have been getting considerably more rain. Indian Creek Ranch is a privately owned, 10,000 acre hunting ranch, located about 1/2 an hour SW of Rocksprings, TX. Lat/long is: 29.84797, -100.33126. The terrain is varied from steep ravines to large patches of grassland. Here is the link to the ICR iNat page.

I think I have received all the permissions that I will from landowners. We have about 1900 acres to explore, a lot of which may be reached on foot from our base camp on Tract 7 in Phase 2. The map may be seen here.

Those who come would need to sign a liability waiver.

For the hub of operations, we will be in the Phase 1 & 2 part of the ranch, which is a short drive up a steep hill, so bringing a camper is not recommended unless you have 4 wheel drive. There will be plenty of room to park a car, pitch a tent, and set up mothing stations. Electricity will be available as well as access to an indoor bathroom with a shower. A fridge and limited cooking facilities will also be available. Additionally, there are some motels, a B&B and places with power to park a travel trailer in Rocksprings.

For birds seen at the ranch, my list of species has been created as a journal post and includes rare gems such as montezuma quail, golden-cheeked warbler, and black-capped vireo.

Tagging folks that were tagged in @pfau_tarleton 's 2024 bioblitz planning post. Please pass this along to individuals I missed.

@swissagnes, @pbynum, @textileranger, @amzapp, @annikaml, @bacchusrock, @baxter-slye, @bosqueaaron, @brentano, @butterflies4fun, @cameralenswrangler, @centratex, @chasingchickens, @currenfrasch, @connlindajo, @dillon_kyle, @eaneubauer, @elytrid, @franpfer, @gcwarbler, @gwaithir, @ldennis, @immortalwhat, @inhat83, @isaaceastland, @jcochran706, @jeff_back, @jeffmci9, @jellyfishmambo, @jgw_atx, @joshua_tx, @k8thegr8, @knightericm, @kimberlietx, @lorimalloy, @lovebirder, @lulubelle, @mammelton50, @megachile, @mpintar, @mikef451, @nanofishology, @oddfitz, @observerjosh, @pynklynx, @prairie_rambler, @pufferchung, @rkostecke, @reidhardin, @rymcdaniel, @sagaciousoctopus, @sambiology, @tadamcochran, @wildcarrot

Posted on 04 de janeiro de 2024, 01:35 PM by bacchusrock bacchusrock | 27 comentários | Deixar um comentário

03 de novembro de 2023

Madagascar Bugs

I recently met someone who specializes in spiders and insects on Madagascar. I wanted to check if there would be any interesting by anyone in participating in an organized trip to Madagascar to search them out. The timing would be in the Jan - April 2025 timeframe.

Daniel has written various guidebooks and wildlife guides to Madagascar.

Update from @danielaustin on proposed itinerary and pricing:

A 14-night trip would be optimum, so as not to rush. This is longer than we were at first proposing, so we can look at the feasibility of options closer to my original 11-night suggestion if people are short on time. For now, the guideline quote is based on that, with the following assumptions:

Six people in the group. Obviously there would be some limited economies of scale if it was a larger group, reducing the per-person price a little.

The price is £4,795 (approx US $6,000) per person sharing in a twin or double room (for those wanting solo accommodation the price would typically be about 15% more).

The price includes all accommodation, all meals, the internal flight, all transfers and transportation in 4x4 vehicles, services of myself as tour leader as well as the various drivers and local guides etc, all excursion and activities, park/reserve permits, park/reserve guiding fees, and bottled water on excursions/journeys.

So the price includes pretty much everything except: your international flights, and obviously any extras (like drinks, souvenirs or laundry etc), and tips.

ROUTE & HOTELS:
Day 1: Arrive, overnight near airport
Day 2-4: Drive to Andasibe for 3 nights at Mantadia Lodge
Day 5: Head back to Antananarivo, overnight there
Day 6-7: Fly down to Tulear, drive to Ifaty, 2 nights at Paradisier
Day 8-9: Up the RN7 to Isalo for 2 nights ar Jardin du Roy
Day 10: Continue up RN7 to Ambalavao, overnight Betsileo Country Lodge
Day 11-13: Continue up RN7 to Ranomafana, 3 nights at Hotel Thermal
Day 14: Overnight Antsirabe, Couleur Café
Day 15: Departure

As a side note, the Magic Eyes of Masoala is a stunning, big, heavy coffee-table book with about 500 pages and tonnes of incredible photos. Mainly about the moths. The work was done in Masoala (northeast) but a lot of the species are found throughout the rainforest belt including Andasibe and Ranomafana that feature prominently on our proposed itinerary.

@amzapp, @annikaml, @bacchusrock, @baxter-slye, @bosqueaaron, @brandonmeadows, @brencero, @brentano, @butterflies4fun, @cameralenswrangler, @centratex, @chasingchickens, @currenfrasch, @connlindajo, @daltonlawing, @devinpedraza, @eaneubauer, @elytrid, @franpfer, @gcwarbler, @gwaithir, @immortalwhat, @inhat83, @isaaceastland, @jcochran706, @jeff_back, @jeffmci9, @jgw_atx, @k8thegr8, @katherinedaniels, @knightericm, @kimberlietx, @laurahaynes, @lorimalloy, @lovebirder, @lulubelle, @mammelton50, @megachile, @mpintar, @mikef451, @oddfitz, @observerjosh, @pfau_tarleton, @pynklynx, @prairie_rambler, @rkostecke, @rymcdaniel, @sagaciousoctopus, @sambiology, @steven_bach, @swissagnes, @tadamcochran, @wildcarrot

Posted on 03 de novembro de 2023, 09:37 PM by bacchusrock bacchusrock | 31 comentários | Deixar um comentário

22 de abril de 2023

Canyon Wren Nesting Behavior

For years I have had canyon wrens nesting it boxes attached under the eaves on my house. Apparently this is rare and I am just one of 5 participants to have ever reported on Canyon Wrens nesting in nest boxes on Nestwatch.org. An article on the nesting activity was written up in the NestWatch Digest for the 2022 Nesting Season.

Posted on 22 de abril de 2023, 03:10 PM by bacchusrock bacchusrock | 2 comentários | Deixar um comentário

01 de novembro de 2021

Birds of Indian Creek Ranch

These are confirmed sightings of bird species at Indian Creek Ranch. Some of these are just fly-bys.

brewer's blackbird
yellow-headed blackbird
eastern bluebird
western bluebird
northern bobwhite
indigo bunting
lazuli bunting
painted bunting
varied bunting
bushtit
crested caracara
northern cardinal
gray catbird
yellow-breasted chat
carolina chickadee
chuck-will's-widow
brown-headed cowbird
bronzed cowbird
sandhill crane
whooping crane
dickcissel
common ground dove
eurasian collared-dove
mourning dove
white-winged dove
whistling duck
golden eagle
cattle egret
snowy egret
prairie falcon
house finch
cassin's finch
northern flicker
acadian flycatcher
ash-throated flycatcher
hammond's flycatcher
scissor-tailed flycatcher
vermilion flycatcher
blue-gray gnatcatcher
american goldfinch
lesser goldfinch
common grackle
great-tailed grackle
blue grosbeak
black-headed grosbeak
rose-breasted grosbeak
northern harrier
cooper's hawk
harris's hawk
red-tailed hawk
sharp-shinned hawk
swainson's hawk
zone-tailed hawk
great blue heron
anna's hummingbird
black-chinned hummingbird
broad-billed hummingbird
broad-tailed hummingbird
calliope hummingbird
lucifer hummingbird
ruby-throated hummingbird
rufous hummingbird
woodhouse's scrub-jay
dark-eyed junco
american kestrel
eastern kingbird
western kingbird
golden-crowned kinglet
ruby-crowned kinglet
purple martin
western/eastern meadowlark
northern mockingbird
common nighthawk
red-breasted nuthatch
audubon's oriole
baltimore oriole
bullock's oriole
hooded oriole
orchard oriole
scott's oriole
osprey
eastern screech-owl
elf owl
great horned owl
eastern wood-pewee
eastern phoebe
say's phoebe
pine siskin
american pipit
sprague's pipit
common poorwill
pyrrhuloxia
montezuma quail
common raven
american redstart
greater roadrunner
american robin
red-naped sapsucker
yellow-bellied sapsucker
loggerhead shrike
wilson's snipe
townsend's solitaire
black-throated sparrow
chipping sparrow
clay-colored sparrow
field sparrow
fox sparrow
house sparrow
lark sparrow
lincoln's sparrow
olive sparrow
rufous-crowned sparrow
savannah sparrow
song sparrow
white-crowned sparrow
white-throated sparrow
vesper sparrow
barn swallow
cliff swallow
northern rough-winged swallow
scarlet tanager
summer tanager
western tanager
brown thrasher
long-billed thrasher
sage thrasher
hermit thrush
black-crested titmouse
canyon towhee
spotted towhee
wild turkey
verdin
bell's vireo
black-capped vireo
blue-headed vireo
hutton's vireo
red-eyed vireo
white-eyed vireo
yellow-throated vireo
black vulture
turkey vulture
blackburnian warbler
black-and-white warbler
black-throated green warbler
golden-cheeked warbler
macgillivray's warbler
mourning warbler
nashville warbler
orange-crowned warbler
pine warbler
prothonotary warbler
tennessee warbler
wilson's warbler
yellow warbler
yellow-throated warbler
yellow-rumped warbler
cedar waxwing
acorn woodpecker
golden-fronted woodpecker
ladder-backed woodpecker
bewick's wren
canyon wren
carolina wren
house wren

Posted on 01 de novembro de 2021, 10:33 PM by bacchusrock bacchusrock | 2 comentários | Deixar um comentário

31 de outubro de 2021

BioBlitz at Indian Creek Ranch - May 6-8, 2022

Starting this journal post to engage in discussions to organize a BioBlitz at Indian Creek Ranch (https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/indian-creek-ranch-biodiversity) and copying some of the information from the previous journal post as well as adding new content.

Indian Creek Ranch (a 10,000 acre unexplored (except a little bit by me) area). It is privately owned, so not open to the public, located about 1/2 an hour SW of Rocksprings, TX. Lat/long is: 29.84797, -100.33126. I have found many poorly documented species here, starting with the infamous Anemone edwardsiana. Others include: Carlowrightia linearifolia (which is way out of documented range) and Muhlenbergia spiciformis (for which it seems I've submitted the first and only oberservation in iNat; go figure). The terrain is varied from steep ravines to large patches of grassland.

I have checked with the landowners and there are open to having a group explore the ranch and document what they found. Edwards County in general is overlooked. Observations would not need to be obscured. The landowners are actually interested in what is at the ranch, which is why a place and project (see above for link) has been created for the ranch. Those who come would need to sign a liability waiver (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1aAvSxxuTRtxZ4wmxFcckVKan7kpUcE9L/view?usp=sharing).

For accommodations, the ranch has an 18 acre landing strip (if someone has a plane, yes, you can fly in) where there is a hangar and plenty of room to park a car or pitch a tent. There is electricity at the hangar and a small fridge. There is also a portable toilet including a small sink. There are some motels, a B&B and places with power to park a travel trailer in Rocksprings. I will also be asking the landowners if anyone is interesting in hosting.

The project page only shows about 660 documented species. This accurately shows what plants and insects I have found, although it took the October Pollinator BioBlitz to get me interested in the latter. For, birds, my list of species has been created as a journal post (https://www.inaturalist.org/journal/bacchusrock/59437-birds-of-indian-creek-ranch) and includes rare gems such as montezuma quail, golden-cheeked warbler, and black-capped vireo.

Posted on 31 de outubro de 2021, 01:57 PM by bacchusrock bacchusrock | 130 comentários | Deixar um comentário

27 de maio de 2021

Rare Gems in Edwards County

Over the past 6 months I have begun a journey to recognize the plants around me. I have been surprised to find quite a few that have few observations submitted to iNaturalist, but I see regularly. These are:

1) Edwards Plateau Anemone (Anemone edwardsiana)

I must start with with this early bloomer that introduced me to how little is known about the flora in Edwards County. USDA has records of it growing in 3 counties in New Mexico and 9 in Texas, Edwards County not being one of them. If it weren't for the lifecycle, progress pictures I have been capturing, there would be less than 100 observations in iNat. And yet it appears all over: from cliff edges and crevices in rocks to open meadows and barren slopes.

2) Purple Dalea (Dalea lasiathera)

With less than 30 observations submitted in iNat I find it surprising that I encounter it regularly along the highways in Edwards County. According to USDA, it is found in 27 counties, mostly in the Edwards Plateau.

3) Aristolochia coryi

A member of the Birthwort family with less that 50 observations submitted in iNat. Presents a unique, unassuming flower, and grows vine-like among the rocks throughout the ravines that I wander. Sometimes exposed and sometimes peaking out from bushes. According to USDA it grows in the south-west part of the Edwards Plateau and southern Trans-Pecos. A good one to look for in Big Bend perhaps.

4) Maccart's Swallow-Wort (Metastelma palmeri)

A vigorous climber that closely resembles Bearded Swallow-Wort (Metastelma barbigerum), it has less than 50 observations in iNat. It seems to clamber over many juniper that I target for cutting and brush piles of junipers that I have left scattered. I suspect little is known about it as USDA shows it occurring in a smattering of 7 counties in southern Texas, most of which are not contiguous. As my Metastelma are coming into bloom, I have found all to be M. palmeri so far and I may need to update my previous identifications of M. barbigerum.

5) San Antonio Stoneseed (Lithospermum mirabile)

I've seen fewer this year than I remember from previous years, perhaps being impacted by the big freeze. It too has less than 50 observations in iNat and, according to USDA is scattered across 21 counties in southern Texas.

6) Small-leaf False Cloak Fern (Argyrochosma microphylla)

The last on my list of real rarities, with about 50 observations in the US and 25 in Mexico submitted to iNat. Seen less frequently on my walks I'll be sure to seek it out. A beautiful, delicate fern shown to occur in 14 counties in Texas and 1 in New Mexico according to USDA.

Posted on 27 de maio de 2021, 02:03 AM by bacchusrock bacchusrock | 2 comentários | Deixar um comentário

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