Phinizy Wildlife Report: July 12th

Phinizy Wildlife Report: July 12th

By Liam Wolff, Phinizy Research Intern

Summer heat is here, and the animals are doing their best to stay cool. Insects seem to be immune to the warm temperatures, though. Dragonflies and Butterflies are abounding in this unpleasant heat. Slaty Skimmer, Great Blue Skimmer, Four-spotted Pennant, Carolina Saddlebags, Blue Dasher, Eastern Pondhawk, Common Whitetail, Widow Skimmer, Halloween Pennant, and Needham’s Skimmer are dragonflies currently present. Some butterflies seen this week include: Hackberry Emperor, Black Swallowtail, Zebra Swallowtail, Common Buckeye, Broad-winged Skipper, and Red Admiral.

The birds are hiding more right now during the day, but at dawn they are active as ever. Although no Whistling-Ducks have been reported this week, they are probably still hanging around at dusk or daybreak. Roseate Spoonbills were seen from the 3 Ton Bridge last week (July 2nd) but have not since been relocated. This is the first time they have been seen in the park in many years. Wood Storks have returned as expected. At least two individuals are present in the immediate area. As always, swallows are everywhere. Tree, Cliff, Barn, and Northern Rough-winged are around. At twilight they flock together in the hundreds and feed on the hundreds of thousands of mosquitoes that emerge after dark (please note the park closes at dusk). Osprey and Mississippi Kite soar in the skies while Barred Owls call at dusk and dawn.

mosquito Uranotaenia IowiiOne great record from the wetlands this week was a type of mosquito called Uranotaenia lowii – a very rare species of mosquito in Richmond County. It is a small mosquito adorned with iridescent blue scales that feeds exclusively on the blood of frogs and toads.

As far as reptiles and amphibians go, Alligators are ubiquitous as always and snakes, lizards, and turtles of all sorts are out.

Pokemon, too, are out. Mostly Pidgeys and Rattatas, but Eevee, Zubat, Squirtle, Meowth, plus a plethora of possible creatures are waiting to be caught out there. Come enjoy virtual and real wildlife together!