Arb Sightings 10/2/09

Posted on October 2nd, 2009 by

While this report is coming a day late, there has been no shortage of interesting sightings this week! The weather, finally, seems to be acting more autumn-like, as temperatures are now struggling to reach the mid-60’s.¬† The arboretum has received more than two inches of rain (and still counting!) between today and yesterday; this October rain has been much anticipated and will do wonders for our plants transitioning into their dormant phases.

On Monday, September 28, strong winds out of the NW gusted to over 40 mph, blowing many leaves off the trees and furnishing the first significant  cold front of the season in southern Minnesota. With these winds came migrating birds, particularly raptors. In two hours of hawkwatching in the Arb Monday afternoon, the following species were observed flying southeast with the strong winds:

Turkey Vulture – 3

Sharp-shinned Hawk – 2

Broad-winged Hawk – 6

Swainson’s Hawk – 1 (new species for the Arb!)

Red-tailed Hawk – 10

Merlin – 2

Also of note was a large flock of 52 Turkey Vultures flying south last Friday afternoon 9/25. Surprisingly, a single Peregrine Falcon was mixed in with the group. Another Peregrine Falcon was observed flying over campus (this time at much closer range) on the afternoon of Wednesday 9/30.

Here are some other highlights from this week in the Arb:

– First Dark-eyed Juncos of the fall seen 9/29 near the Interpretive Center (one day earlier than last year)

– Gray Squirrels seen caching hickory nuts near Borgeson Cabin 9/29

– Flock of 1,000+ Franklin’s Gulls flying low over campus 9/28 (against 40+ mph wind!)

– Spreadwing (a type of damselfly) sp. photographed near Jim Gilbert Teaching Pond 9/29, establishing the first photographic record of this genus (Lestes) in Nicollet County

Spreadwing sp. (genus Lestes) on Tamarack near Jim Gilbert Teaching Pond, 9/29/09.

Spreadwing sp. (genus Lestes) on European larch near Jim Gilbert Teaching Pond, 9/29/09.


Comments are closed.