Month: January 2017

Favorite Pictures of 2016 + Lifers of 2016!

Happy New  Year!

Swamp at Beaver Dam State Park

Water Willow (Justicia americana) at Lake Springfield

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) takes off at Center Park, Lake Springfield

Pere Marquette State Park

Sunbeams in Sand Ridge State Forest

Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum) in Michigan
Rapids of Sangamon River at Carpenter Park
Graham’s Crayfish Snake (Regina grahmii) at Lake Springfield
Muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus) at Emiquon Preserve

 Least Sandpiper (Calidris minutilla) at Lake Springfield

Total Lifer Birds of 2016- 108 lifer birds

9 Birds of Prey: Northern Harrier, Rough-legged Hawk, Red-shouldered Hawk, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Barred Owl, Short-eared Owl, Merlin, Peregrine Falcon, Screech Owl

25 Waterfowl: Greater White-fronted Goose, Ross’ Goose, American Black Duck, Gadwall, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Blue-winged Teal, American Wigeon, Canvasback, Redhead, Ring-necked Duck, Greater Scaup, Lesser Scaup, White-winged Scoter, Surf Scoter, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, Hooded Merganser, Common Merganser, Common Loon, Pied-billed Grebe, Horned Grebe, Red-necked Grebe

2 Herons: Little Blue Heron, Black-crowned Night Heron

17 Sandpipers: American Golden-Plover, Semipalmated Plover, American Avocet, Black-necked Stilt, Spotted Sandpiper, Solitary Sandpiper, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, White-rumped Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher, American Woodcock, Stilt Sandpiper, Wilson’s Pharalope, Marbled Godwit

8 Gulls and Terns: Bonaparte’s Gull, Franklin’s Gull, Sabine’s Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Caspian Tern, Common Tern, Forster’s Tern, Black Tern,

47 Songbirds: Eurasian Collared-Dove, Common Nighthawk, Whippoorwill, Red-headed Woodpecker, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Hairy Woodpecker, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Willow Flycatcher, Warbling Vireo, Red-eyed Vireo, Yellow-throated Vireo, Blue-headed Vireo, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Cliff Swallow, Sedge Wren, Winter Wren, Hermit Thrush, Wood Thrush, Yellow Warbler, Cape May Warbler, Pine Warbler, Northern Waterthrush, Orange-crowned Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Hooded Warbler, Wilson’s Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, Yellow-breasted Chat, Carolina Chickadee, American Tree Sparrow, Field Sparrow, Lark Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Henslow’s Sparrow, Lincoln’s Sparrow, Fox Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Blue Grosbeak, Dickcissel, Bobolink, Summer Tanager, Eurasian Tree Sparrow. Purple Finch


 9 Lifer Reptiles: Spiny Softshell, Smooth Softshell, Common Map Turtle, Eastern Box Turtle, Six-lined Racerunner, Blue Racer, Chicago Garter Snake, Prairie Kingsnake, Graham’s Crayfish Snake

5 Lifer Amphibians: Fowler’s Toad, Western Chorus Frog, Spring Peeper, Smallmouth Salamander, Spotted Salamander

3 Lifer Mammals: Beaver, River Otter, White-footed Mouse

9 Lifer Fish:  Logperch. White Sucker, Redear Sunfish, Orangespotted Sunfish, Green Sunfish, White Crappie, White Bass, Yellow Bass, Yellow Bullhead.

Total Lifer Animals: 134!

70 Selected Lifer Plants (Orchids in bold, non-natives struck through):  White Cedar, Wood Betony, Green Dragon, Cream Violet, Hoary Puccoon, Fringed Puccoon, Pale Beardtongue, Small-flowered Skullcap, Tennessee Milk Vetch. Prairie Ragwort, Western Wallflower, Ebony Spleenwort, Goat’s Rue, Field Horsetail, Marsh Fern, False Indigo-Bush, Purple Rocket, Gray’s Sedge, Smooth Ruellia,  Silvery Bladderpod,  Prairie Sunflower,  Short Green Milkweed, Thimbleweed, Leadplant, Pale-spike Lobelia, Western Marbleseed, Hoary Vervain, Royal Fern. Round-leaved Sundew, Grass Pink, Yellow-fringed Orchid, Pink Ladyslipper, Spoonleaf Sundew, Rose Pogonia,  Bog Yellow-eyed Grass, Horned Bladderwort, Swamp Rose, Lowbush Blueberry, Kalm’s St. John’s Wort, Wild Lupine, New Jersey Tea, Hairy Puccoon, Prairie Phlox, Tall Thimbleweed, Skunk Cabbage, Michigan Lily, Eurasian Helleborine, Safflower, Allegheny Monkey Flower, Spotted Beebalm, Hemp, Halbard-leaved Rose Mallow,  Clammy Weed, Boxelder, Virgin’s Bower, Eelgrass, Water Forget-me-Not, Swamp Rose Mallow, Hog Peanut, Rough Blazing Star, Field Goldenrod, Bronze Fern, Great Plains Lady’s Tresses, Bradley’s Spleenwort, Shortleaf Pine, Cliff Onion, Cutleaf Grape Fern, Rose Verbena, Giant Cane, American Mistletoe

27 Protected Species seen (State or Federal Threatened or Endangered):  Northern Harrier, Short-eared Owl, Osprey, Little Blue Heron, Black-crowned Night Heron,  Forster’s Tern, Common Tern, Black Tern, Smooth Softshell, White Cedar, Tennessee Milk Vetch (also State-endangered), Silvery Bladderpod, Regal Fritillary,  Grass Pink, Yellow-fringed Orchid, Rose Poginia, Pink Ladyslipper, Leatherleaf, Round-leaved Sundew, Spoonleaf Sundew, Tamarack,  Buckbean, Eastern Hemlock, Kalm’s St. John’s Wort, Smooth Softshell, Bradley’ Spleenwort, Shortleaf Pine,

26 New Nature Preserves visited- Carpenter Park, Manito Prairie. Sand Ridge, Henry Allan Gleason. Chautauqua NWR, Emiquon, Emiquon NWR, Matanzas Prairie, Scrub Oak-Sand Prairie, Revis Hill Prairie, German Cemetery Prairie, Pinhook Bog. Cowles Bog,  Loda Cemetary Prairie,  White Pines Forest, Castle Rock, Nachusa, Rogue River, Calamus Lake, Spitler Woods, Bois de Sangamon, Piney Creek Ravine, Fults Hill Prairie, Horseshoe Lake, Cypress Creek NWR

Y’know, some people have really hated 2016, but for all the reasons above, I’ve kinda enjoyed it.