02-26-16 Field Note

Winter precipitation has helped to refill ponds that dried out last year. Red-winged Blackbirds have returned.  

Red-winged blackbirds have returned to the Swan Valley. I followed their loud konk-la-ree song to the Entrance Pond and found eleven birds perched in a cottonwood tree.
I noticed that Entrance Pond had filled to a normal water level after drying out during last year’s drought.
Home Pond needs more water to reach a typical depth. The red arrow above shows the water’s edge right now, and the green arrow shows where it should be.
Invertebrates with protective cases made from gravel grazed the surfaces of rocks in Cooney Creek. Every rock harbored these insects recently, but they weren’t conspicuous a month ago. What environmental cue triggered this abrupt change in life stage?
The larvae seemed to use crevices in the rocks to escape areas with faster current.
birds in flight
 
 
Posted on 2/26/2016 by Beau Larkin
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