First Post?

I guess this is my first post in here. I'm usually busy studying up in college in Syracuse, NY most of the time, but this week I'm back home on Long Island for spring break, so I'm hoping to get a boost in a yearlist competition I'm in (https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/discord-inaturalist-yearlisting-2019). I'm also very enthusiastic about trying to see as many of the planet's one trillion species as possible, so most of my adventures surround trying to get new species that I have never seen before.

Today I went from my western Long Island homebase out to a few spots in the biodiverse Pine Barrens on the eastern end of the Island. The Barrens are extremely biodiverse (and very ticky!) in the summer, but most of it dies off in the winter, leaving only a few evergreen plants and wintering vertebrates visible for most people. Nonetheless, I managed to somehow get +30 new species (and countless others that I already had seen) on a trip out there earlier this year in a spot that I already had visited last summer, so the Pine Barrens are usually still worth the trip in the dead times between November and April.

The first spot was a place labeled on eBird as the Preston's Pond Complex. Preston's Pond and the surrounding pine barrens ponds are apparently very good spots for Dragonflies in the summer, so I wanted to scout them out beforehand. While I didn't get a chance to go deep into the area, I did pick up a few interesting species, such as the locally common lycopod Dendrolycopodium obscurum and some weird lichens. A half-decayed White-tailed Deer in Preston's Pond was also interesting, although I didn't get a chance to take a photo of it in its gory glory due to time constraints and to resist the temptation to show it to my death-queasy family.

Up next was the EPCAL Grasslands right across the street from Preston's Pond. I've visited here in the summer a few times to see the breeding Grasshopper Sparrows in the fields, but never in the winter beyond a quick dusk trip to look for Short-eared Owls years ago. I managed to pick out a few Field Sparrows, a Savannah Sparrow and two Horned Larks from the grasslands, but the star of this spot was a Red-tailed Hawk that swung down to a Woodchuck that crossed the road a few minutes before. The two disappeared before I could see what happened between them, but I'm assuming that either the Woodchuck was smart enough to follow the fence it was using as a shield against the hawk into the safety of the woodlands nearby or the Hawk got a very large meal.

The last stop was all the way east on the North Fork in a patch of woods just outside of Greenport. I've heard that an interesting species of plant was present out there (I'm not allowed to say what it is), so I spent most of the hour or so I was there looking for it. While I never found the plants, I did wonder through some pretty weird habitat, which included a large steep-sided ravine and ephemeral ponds everywhere. I picked up my first Snowdrops of the year as a single plant near the entrance then a huge area about 30ft in diameter covered with Snowdrops. I also got my long awaited lifer European Holly, a local invasive on Long Island that I thought I had some time ago but turned out to be a much stranger species (https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/19257504), and my first Spotted Wintergreen, a common plant denizen in the Pine Barrens. Another highlight at this spot was a Green Wood Cup in the heartwood of a downed branch, staining it an almost unnatural aquamarine color.

Tomorrow I'm heading south to get coastal oddities on the beaches and along the pools on the Barrier Islands. If I'm lucky I might be able to catch an early Eastern Phoebe that's been found in one area a few days ago.

Lifers today: 5
Total species: 2121

Publicado por astrobirder astrobirder, 12 de marzo de 2019

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Marzo 11, 2019 10:36 AM EDT

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Líquenes Verdes Género Parmotrema

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Marzo 11, 2019 10:48 AM EDT

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Marzo 11, 2019 10:50 AM EDT

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Marzo 11, 2019 10:53 AM EDT

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Perforanieves Galanthus nivalis

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Marzo 11, 2019 01:15 PM EDT

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Quimafila Manchada Chimaphila maculata

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Marzo 11, 2019 01:30 PM EDT

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Acebo Ilex aquifolium

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Marzo 11, 2019 01:43 PM EDT

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Marzo 11, 2019 01:49 PM EDT

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Gorrión Llanero Spizella pusilla

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Marzo 11, 2019 11:08 AM EDT

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Gorrión Sabanero Passerculus sandwichensis

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Marzo 11, 2019 11:21 AM EDT

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Alondra Cornuda Eremophila alpestris

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Marzo 11, 2019 11:21 AM EDT

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Marmota Canadiense Marmota monax

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Marzo 11, 2019 11:32 AM EDT

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Marzo 11, 2019 11:33 AM EDT

Comentarios

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Wonderful entry — I too am amazed at all of the organisms we share this planet with. This tool of iNaturalist is a great starting point to appreciating them...all. :)

Publicado por sambiology hace alrededor de 1 año (Marca)
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Are you seeing any southern pine beetle damage? I know that's been advancing up the coast, and it recently trounced one of our inland serpentine barrens.

Publicado por choess hace alrededor de 1 año (Marca)

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