Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Green Swamp Hike

On Sunday, I took a little recon trip out to the area of the March 2004 sighting. I know this area very well, as it borders TNC's holdings out in the GS. The Green Swamp in this area is known as Honey Island. There's not much of an island there anymore since most of the GS has been ditched by paper companies to grow pines. Actually, there's not much swamp there either for that matter. The jury is still out regarding Ivorybills and pine pocosin, but I can say I did see some interesting things out there.

First stop was the bridge where the fellow who made the report stopped and put in his canoe. Thing is, there are two creeks a mile or so apart. Here is the northernmost one.

I don't think this was the one in question, but it's not much smaller than the other creek. It's about 12 feet or so wide. And it sure didn't look navigable. The southern creek looked a little better. It's a little wider and it looked like it might go for a bit.

The fellow probably didn't go too far, so I'm going to return with my kayak and a pocket chainsaw for the treefalls. I'm going to give a good look for nesting cavities. I'll also play some calls and see what happens. I'm almost done remastering the 1930's Allen recording and I'll be burning it to cd soon.

This creek is the northern border of TNC's land. There is a remnant of their original sign here on the southern bank.

You can just make out "ecological preserve" on the sign. They have new ones now.

There is a parking area down the road at the trail head. While on the trail I saw many signs of woodpecker activity. The thing I didn't see was woodpeckers. Nor did I hear them. The entire forest was almost devoid of birds, save for a few chickadees and titmice. It was eerie in there with hardly any birds. The only sounds were from the chickadees. I also found a pine with a large nesting cavity. The cavity measured around 120mm in diameter. It was about 15 feet high in a tree with a dbh of 16 inches. The pine was devoid of bark. I would have a picture but my camera ran out of space. I'll get it next trip, since I now have a new digital camera with tons of space. I need to know how large IBWO nesting cavities are in relation to pileateds.

One thing that stands out here is the abundance of dead or dying trees. They are everywhere here. If they produce a food source, I can see woodpeckers having a field day here.

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