26 de março de 2020

Berry Springs Preserve Herps of Texas report, 25Mar2020

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, there was no group outing to Berry Springs Park and Preserve this month. However, two people checked on the amphibians while staying at least six feet apart from each other at all times.
There had been over 1.5 inches of rain in the previous week, and four species were observed: Rio Grande Leopard Frog (Call Index = 2), American Bullfrog (CI = 1), Green Treefrog (CI = 1), and Blanchard's Cricket Frog (CI = 2). Photos and/or recordings were collected for all except the American Bullfrog.
There was still no flow to the pond from the middle slough springhead, but there was considerably more water there than last month. The water level in the main ponds was average.
The monitoring period was 19:45 - 20:45.
Participants were Kathy and Christie.
Environmental conditions at the middle slough springhead at sunset:
- Air temperature = 70.9 deg F
- Water temperature = 68.6 deg F
- Sky = no/few clouds
- Water level = below average
- Relative humidity = 57 %

Publicado em 26 de março de 2020, 04:24 PM por k_mccormack k_mccormack | 3 observações | 0 comentários | Deixar um comentário

18 de fevereiro de 2020

Berry Springs Preserve Herps of Texas report, 15Feb2020

After getting almost two inches of rain in the previous week (according to USGS 08105095 Berry Ck at Airport Rd nr Georgetown, TX, https://waterdata.usgs.gov/tx/nwis/uv/?site_no=08105095&PARAmeter_cd=00045), two frog species were seen at Berry Springs Park and Preserve during the monthly monitoring. Rio Grande Leopard Frog (Call Index = 1) was seen at the middle slough springhead and main ponds, and then finally photographed at the ditch in the pecan orchard, where Mike also photographed an American Bullfrog (CI = 0).
There was still no flow to the pond from the middle slough springhead, but again there was more water there than last month. The water level in the main ponds was average.
The monitoring period was 18:20 - 19:50.
Participants were Kathy, Bekki, Mike, Kristin (welcome !), Lynne, and Amy & Mike (and Zelda).
Environmental conditions at the middle slough springhead at sunset:
- Air temperature = 59.9 deg F
- Water temperature = 65.4 deg F
- Sky = mostly cloudy
- Water level = much below average
- Relative humidity = 49 %

Publicado em 18 de fevereiro de 2020, 02:56 AM por k_mccormack k_mccormack | 1 observações | 0 comentários | Deixar um comentário

26 de janeiro de 2020

Freshwater Mussels of Texas report, 24Jan2020

On January 24, 2020, three people did a random shoreline freshwater mussel search along Inks Lake, one of the Highland Lakes in Burnet County, Texas. Water levels were approximately eight feet below normal due to an intentional drawdown by the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) for continued dock maintenance and cleanup after historic flooding in the fall of 2018. The weather was warm and sunny.
The monitoring period was 2:00 – 3:00 PM, and we walked approximately 900 feet east of the fishing pier in the Day Use Area of Inks Lake State Park (at approximately 30.74431, -98.36480). The substrate was mostly sand. Non-native Asian Clams were observed, but no non-native Zebra Mussels were observed. Five native freshwater mussel species were observed:
- Giant Floater – 5 shells;
- Southern Mapleleaf – 1 shell, 2 valves;
- Tampico Pearlymussel – 1 shell, 1 valve;
- Paper Pondshell – 2 shells; and,
- Threeridge – 2 shells.
We then spent half an hour surveying a stretch of beach at the western end of the park, but no new species were observed. Survey participants were Kathy, April, and Mike. Many thanks to Marsha May for again providing remote assistance with identification (via texting photos) that afternoon.

Publicado em 26 de janeiro de 2020, 08:09 PM por k_mccormack k_mccormack | 6 observações | 1 comentários | Deixar um comentário

19 de janeiro de 2020

Berry Springs Preserve Herps of Texas report, 19Jan2020

Two frog species were seen at Berry Springs Park and Preserve during the first monthly amphibian monitoring of 2020. Four Blanchard's Cricket Frogs (Call Index = 0) were photographed - two at the middle slough springhead, one where the middle slough crosses the trail, and one at the main ponds. At least two American Bullfrogs (CI = 0) were seen in the ditch in the pecan orchard, and Mike got a photo of one of them. It was a cool but clear night, and there had been about half an inch of rain during the previous week.
After the monitoring hour was complete, we got to watch the International Space Station rise in the southwest, go overhead, and then disappear into the earth's shadow in the northeast. Cool !
There was no flow to the pond from the middle slough springhead, but there was more water there than last month. The water level in the main ponds was average.
The monitoring period was 17:55 - 18:55.
Participants were Kathy, Christie, Mike, Diane, Krystal & Mark (welcome !), and Tracy & Mark.
Environmental conditions at the middle slough springhead at sunset:
- Air temperature = 53.6 deg F
- Water temperature = 64 deg F
- Sky = No/few clouds
- Water level = Below Average
- Relative humidity = 41 %

Publicado em 19 de janeiro de 2020, 09:45 PM por k_mccormack k_mccormack | 3 observações | 1 comentários | Deixar um comentário

22 de dezembro de 2019

Berry Springs Preserve Herps of Texas report, 21Dec2019

Three frog species were seen, but not heard, at Berry Springs Park and Preserve on the shortest day of the year. Two Blanchard's Cricket Frogs escaped capture where the middle slough crosses the trail, and Mike Farley photographed two Rio Grande Leopard Frogs and one American Bullfrog in the ditch in the pecan orchard. About a third of an inch of rain had fallen the day before, and it was a cool and clear evening.
There was no flow to the pond from the middle slough springhead, but the puddle was larger than last month.
The monitoring period was 17:35 - 18:35.
Participants were Kathy, Christie, Lynne, Mike, Krystal & Ryan (welcome !), and Larry.
Environmental conditions at the middle slough springhead at sunset:
- Air temperature = 47.5 deg F
- Water temperature = 60 deg F
- Sky = No/few clouds
- Water level = Below Average
- Relative humidity = 43 %

Publicado em 22 de dezembro de 2019, 02:58 AM por k_mccormack k_mccormack | 1 comentários | Deixar um comentário

18 de novembro de 2019

Berry Springs Preserve Herps of Texas report, 16Nov2019

The monthly amphibian monitoring at Berry Springs Park and Preserve carried on as usual during the Good Water Master Naturalist chapter's picnic, and because of this concurrent activity we had a number of new folks join us. I stopped counting at 19, and there were at least three little guys enjoying the adventure with the big kids. Unfortunately, no frogs or toads were seen or heard (there had been a freeze for the last six consecutive mornings, so we couldn't blame them for not being active), but the middle slough springhead was flowing again (after being dry for the last two months), bats were heard on the bat detector after dark, and we all had a nice walk.
The monitoring period was 17:35 - 18:35.
Participants were Kathy, Christie, Jim, Keri, Lynne & Walter, Helen (welcome !), Mike, Diane, Bekki, Krystal, Randy & Sandra, Thomas & Binnur (welcome !), Mary Gail (welcome !), and Lisa & Kayden & William (welcome !).
Environmental conditions at the middle slough springhead at sunset:
- Air temperature = 50.9 deg F
- Water temperature = 60 deg F
- Sky = No/few clouds
- Water level = Average (at the main pond)
- Relative humidity = 35 %

Publicado em 18 de novembro de 2019, 02:27 AM por k_mccormack k_mccormack | 0 comentários | Deixar um comentário

20 de outubro de 2019

Berry Springs Preserve Herps of Texas report, 19Oct2019

Although Austin's Camp Mabry had another record high of 96 deg F, and it was still warm when we started our monthly amphibian monitoring, a couple of cold fronts and a little bit of rain over the last two weeks have eased the drought conditions somewhat. The middle slough springhead was dry, and the artesian well was not flowing, but the main ponds still had water.
A dozen folks pitched in by stopping to look and listen, shining flashlights, spotting frogs, catching toads, carrying equipment, and doing bucket lid duty. We observed four amphibian species - Blanchard's Cricket Frog (Call Index = 0), Gulf Coast Toad (CI = 0), Rio Grande Leopard Frog (CI = 2), and American Bullfrog (CI = 0). The latter was observed in the slough between the playground and the main pond, but it escaped capture and getting its picture taken.
The monitoring period was 18:55 - 20:40.
Participants were Kathy, Amy & Mike, Christie, Carolyn & Susan (welcome !) & Gary (welcome !), Jim, Keri, Mark & Tracy, and Lynne.
Environmental conditions at the main pond 1.5 hours after sunset:
- Air temperature = 68.4 deg F
- Water temperature = 71.5 deg F
- Sky = No/few clouds
- Water level = below average
- Relative humidity = 41 %

Publicado em 20 de outubro de 2019, 03:48 PM por k_mccormack k_mccormack | 3 observações | 0 comentários | Deixar um comentário

22 de setembro de 2019

Berry Springs Preserve Herps of Texas report, 21Sep2019

Another month has passed, and still no rain at Berry Springs Park & Preserve - we had hot and humid, summer-like weather for the monthly amphibian monitoring. What may have been a record turnout of folks (18 !) observed a good number of individuals of two amphibian species - Rio Grande Leopard Frog (Call Index = 2) and Gulf Coast Toad (CI = 0).
The middle slough springhead was dry, but someone pointed out a rabbit in the weeds and Mike was able to take a bunch of photos. Maybe it was a Swamp Rabbit ?
Mary Ann was waiting for us where the middle slough crosses the trail and she told us that Rio Grande Leopard Frogs were calling nearby. With teamwork, we caught and examined one Rio Grande Leopard Frog and one Gulf Coast Toad, and we got a recording of the leopard frogs.
More Rio Grande Leopard Frogs were seen along the slough by the playground and on the banks of the main ponds. A couple of additional Gulf Coast Toads were seen at the main ponds, as well as outside the restroom at the end of the night.
Mike was kind enough to set up his bug light for us, and folks got to see some flying invertebrates after the amphibian monitoring was done. Thanks, Mike !
Many thanks to everyone that spotted and netted frogs and toads; carried buckets, nets, and the clipboard; shone flashlights where needed; were quiet when needed; and helped others to have a safe and fun outing.
The monitoring period was 19:30 - 21:30.
Participants were Kathy, Mike & Carol & Mariah, Amy & Mike & Jimmy (& Zelda), Christie, Carolyn, Jim, Mary Ann & Tobyn (who patted a toadie for the first time - way to go, Tobyn !), Keri, Mark & Tracy (welcome !), Kim (welcome !), Krystal (welcome !), and Bekki (welcome !).
Environmental conditions at the main pond an hour after sunset:
- Air temperature = 82.4 deg F
- Water temperature = 77.9 deg F
- Sky = No/few clouds
- Water level = average
- Relative humidity = 53 %

Publicado em 22 de setembro de 2019, 09:10 PM por k_mccormack k_mccormack | 2 observações | 1 comentários | Deixar um comentário

21 de agosto de 2019

Berry Springs Preserve Herps of Texas report, 17Aug2019

For a hot August night after two dry months, the frogs and toads at Berry Springs Preserve were surprisingly active - several Gulf Coast Toads were seen (Call Index = 0), about a dozen Rio Grande Leopard Frogs (CI = 2) were seen on the banks of the main pond and the slough by the playground, Green Tree Frogs and Blanchard's Cricket Frogs were heard at max CI = 3, and an American Bullfrog (CI = 0) was seen in the ditch in the pecan orchard (Mike got a photo of the latter).
We started the evening down at the middle slough springhead where several Plain-bellied Water Snakes were hunting minnows and cricket frogs in the tiny, shrinking pool that was left (the slough itself was dry). However, the slough by the playground and the main ponds still had a decent amount of water.
The monitoring period was 20:00 - 21:45.
Participants were Kathy, Mike & Ryan (welcome !), Rowin, and Keri.
Environmental conditions at the middle slough springhead at sunset:
- Air temperature = 84.6 deg F
- Water temperature = 77 deg F
- Sky = No/few clouds
- Water level = Much below average (the main ponds were below average)
- Relative humidity = 40 %

Publicado em 21 de agosto de 2019, 01:57 AM por k_mccormack k_mccormack | 4 observações | 1 comentários | Deixar um comentário

23 de julho de 2019

Berry Springs Preserve Herps of Texas report, 20Jul2019

Another great turnout of monitors had fun observing five species of frogs and toads at Berry Springs Preserve on the 50th anniversary of the first manned landing on the moon. The evening started out with a large beetle found in the women's restroom - Mike submitted a picture of it to iNat, and it was identified as a Hardwood Stump Borer. We walked down to the middle slough springhead, then went over the footbridge to the boardwalk, hung out around the fishing deck in the main pond for a while, and returned to the parking lot along the slough by the playground. Blanchard's Cricket Frogs got up to their normal max Call Index of 3. We saw one female American Bullfrog (CI = 0) floating on top of an algal mat at the footbridge. Just like last month, Green Tree Frogs (CI = 3) were calling everywhere and we were able to catch one at the edge of the main pond. One young Gulf Coast Toad (CI = 0) was photographed near the small pavilion, but the big one in the water dish by the restroom escaped into a crack in the wall before anyone could take a photo. However, the highlight of the evening was hearing all of the Rio Grande Leopard Frogs again, eventually calling at CI = 3. It might have been because we stayed for two full hours after sunset instead of the usual one hour, but it was wonderful !! We were also lucky enough to get photos of a young one that was in the grass by the edge of the main pond.
The monitoring period was 20:30 - 22:30.
Participants were Kathy, Amy & Mike & Jimmy (welcome !), Diane, Mike, Hunter, Mary Ann (welcome back !) & Tobin (welcome !), Lynne, and Christie.
Environmental conditions at the middle slough springhead at sunset:
- Air temperature = 84.2 deg F
- Water temperature = 78 deg F
- Sky = No/few clouds
- Water level = Average
- Relative humidity = 43 %

Publicado em 23 de julho de 2019, 12:16 AM por k_mccormack k_mccormack | 5 observações | 1 comentários | Deixar um comentário