Phinizy Wildlife Report June 2, 2016
By Liam Wolff, Phinizy Research Intern
Summer continues as always. Not much has changed in the last few weeks. Dragonflies and Damselflies abound – notably the uncommon Yellow-winged Skimmers – and the regular Butterflies are out and about, too.
Reptiles and Amphibians are loving the warm weather. Cricket Frogs, Green Treefrogs, Leopard Frogs, Bronze Frogs, and Bullfrogs can be seen or heard throughout the park. The Alligators are sticking their heads out at the surface of the water, watching the world above water. Take caution – some brave alligators have been seen out on the trail along the Distributional Canal. Snakes of all sorts are around, including Cottonmouths and a Canebrake Rattlesnake.
As far as birds go, the swallows have been congregating in the hundreds on the wires along the Constructed Wetland Trail, right by the campus. Cliff, Barn, Northern Rough-winged, and Tree Swallows are in these flocks. Blue Grosbeak, Painted and Indigo Buntings, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, and Prothonotary Warbler are common songbirds in various areas of the park. Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks are still present, most active at dawn and dusk. Yellow-crowned Night-Herons are common at this time as well and Least Bittern can be seen flying short distances across the bulrushes in Cell 5.