Monday, April 24, 2006
Sunday I was back at the White River NWR. On Saturday I had met Pam Hines who runs the visitor center in St. Charles. It's definitely worth the visit if you get over that way. They have some wonderful exhibits and good maps. I also met Pam's husband, Richard Hines, the refuge's biologist. They are both very nice folks. The visitor center is well worth a visit. I’m happy that our tax dollars are being spent on something worthwhile for a change. I headed to East Moon Lake. While there I found some good examples of tree scaling. I did bring my digital caliper and took measurements. The largest was 6.1mm. I found plenty in the 4mm range and some in the 5’s. The tree had been gone over pretty good, and the grooves were diminished a bit from all the other woodpeckers, but there were a few good grooves left to measure. The bark was still nice and tight, and when removed, I found millipedes underneath. I found another tree on the road from Alligator Lake to Prairie Lake. The grooves were all in the 4mm-5mm range. I most wanted to see what the scaling looked like to compare to what I have here. Now I know what IBWO scaling looks like.
Saturday, April 22, 2006
I also checked out a possible IBWO sighting in Caddo Parrish, La, before I left. This does look promising, but unless I had a canoe or kayak I would have been trespassing.
This afternoon I checked out Dagmar WMA. The forest is wonderful with many trees in the 24-30" dbh range and some even larger. Hardly any pines to be seen which is kinda weird for me. I'm used to it being the other way around. The first thing I noticed is that this habitat looks very similar to the pictures that Tanner took of the Singer Tract. The trees and understory look identical.
The 4 main trees in this picture are all around 24" dbh.
Here are some smaller trees showing the understory.
I didn't see any scaling in here, but I'll admit, I was really wanting to get down to the White River NWR. Word around the campfire is that this is where the action is. I was just figuring on popping on down there. Ummm....nope. Nuh-uh. This place is freekin' huge. I started in Brinkley which still isn't the northernmost part of this place. It took me well over an hour to reach the south end of the WRNWR. And I was bookin' it on the backroads at 70mph. Wow. I would have rather stayed down there, but there isn't anything down there except soybeans, tractors, and tiny towns with no amenities for the weary traveler. The only hotel with high speed internet is here in Brinkley. I hear that there in one over in St. Helena. Maybe if I get up this way again, I'll stay there.
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
The thought that you take these sightings seriously is ridiculous.
Which of course then means if your blog takes them seriously then yes your blog is ignorant too.
The IBWO was never stupid. It was a magnificent bird that is now extinct.
Oh...ok. You're just one of the ones who thinks I'm wasting my time out there in the bush looking for imaginary ghost birds perched on Bigfoot's shoulder while waiting to board a UFO. Ok...fair'nuff. I touched on that subject on my blog. I'm used to that. Thankfully, folks telling me that something can't be done hasn't stopped me before. Hope springs eternal, as they say. Here's a little secret. When folks tell me over and over that the IB has gone the way of archaeopteryx, it just makes me want to look harder. Thanks!
I am one of the ones who keeps her head down and keeps a low profile. Frankly, I don't give two flips what people think about me or anything else. I left that back in junior high, thank god. Also, it helps to be in a place where no one really looks. Although, I'm finding more and more folks who are looking here....And you guys know who you are :-) I try not to get caught up in all the retoric. I will not let that happen here. This is simply a journal of my hobby and my outings. I did want to post a reply to that post though since CT has limited his blog to comments only by team members since a recent post stirred up a major hornet's nest of troll posts.
Sunday, April 16, 2006
Anyhoo….If you don’t know the story I won’t ruin it for you. It’s better to listen to it. I apologize for the crappy sound. It was recorded on a teeny digital voice recorder with no external mic, whaddya expect? I did run it through Cool Edit to remove some of the background hiss.
Alex Sanders Talk
Also speaking was John Cely, a wildlife biologist from Columbia. He too was bitten by the IB bug long ago. He was bitten when he read about them in RTP’s field guide to the birds. RTP mentioned that they were to be looked for in SC. So….JC just figured he’d hop on down to the swamp and have a looksee at one. Well, obviously, it wasn’t quite that easy. He did give a very nice talk about the history of IB’s in SC. I’ll give a few details about his chat in another post. Long story short…..I did get to see the Luneau video up close(I was in the front row) and it was projected the size of a movie screen. Whatever that bird is, it’s not a pileated. And, the white on the wings is on the top, not the bottom…. You lose! Good day sir!(with apologies to Willy Wonka)
The piece de resistance, was of course the Harrison video. Apparently we were the 2nd group he had ever shown it to. Upon the first viewing you realize just how darn quick it is. You’re looking at trees, then….zip!!.....some flap-happy bird with really white wings goes flying by. Once you slow it down though, you realize that this isn’t a pileated either. It sure looks like an IB to me. And I saw it 8 times, in various speeds and zooms.
He also played quite a few double knocks and calls from the ARU’s.
I’ll summarize his lecture in another post.
The next day I went for a hike in the Congaree NP. Wow. This was swamp habitat I’m not used to. This was swamp in red-clay country. Not the blackwater lowland swamps I grew up near. And the trees were absolutely HUGE. I’ve never seen this many trees so large on the east coast. The place was loaded with prothonotary warblers, red-bellied woodpecker, pileateds, downys, and hairys. I can see this being a good place for IB’s.
Friday, April 07, 2006
I head this bird calling around sunset. Not sure what it was.
Thursday, April 06, 2006
Monday, April 03, 2006
Cypress Creek Topo