Archivos de Diario para diciembre 2017

04 de diciembre de 2017

Scout day at River Legacy 2017

Well I had a blast yesterday. It was a beautiful day to help lead hikes and teach kids all about wildlife. It was kind of a crazy day at first my little brother had an SAT to go to that morning so I got a ride with my aunt and my brother and headed off for TCC Southeast. Once there it was still around seven o'clock and not yet time for me to be at River Legacy so we killed sometime after we dropped off my brother by going to the pond and looked at the Buffleheads and the RIng-Necked Ducks. Once I got out of the car and got into position the birds took off to the other side of the pond. I was having the hardest morning taking photos of birds. The sun was still rising and it was in my eyes and it made the birds a lot darker than normal. Anyway soon I got the shots I needed and headed off into town. My aunt got her breakfast and we headed for River Legacy. She dropped me off and I was just in time to help set up stuff. I always love helping out when I can before scheduled volunteer time. I got the table set up and then went to my post which was the hike station. I ran into @charley and Anne and chatted for a little bit. We discussed the plan of action as well as what was on the trail. I had been out there twice before the even and saw a few things but not much that was too different. Charley told me about the bees in the nesting box and the Towhees that I missed that morning. I still have to get those on my life list. I will one of these days. Anyway I helped get people signed up at the table with a few others and soon it was time to get going to the hike meeting area near the red bridge. This was the first time I actually led a hike myself and I was kind of nervous but it was all good. The first group was so big that we had to split it up but the other groups that we hiked with later were very small groups and we all went as a combined group. I really enjoyed working with the kiddos and showing them stuff. The coolest things we found were the Diamondback Water Snake, the Red-Shoulder Hawk eating the Western Ribbon Snake, and the Spiny-backed Orb Weaver. The Diamond-backed Water Snake was there the whole day and he was the first thing we would show to the kids and they had a little trouble spotting him at first but they soon were all able to see him. It was quite the snake; it was pretty large and had possibly just ate. He was just sitting on top of the tarp keeping very still except a few times when he would change positions when we would look away. I think the DB water Snake is one of the prettiest I have ever seen. I love snakes in general and don't think they deserve their reputation. Some people just don't understand and get all in a panic for nothing. Sure it is wise to use caution but not develop an unhealthy fear about them. That is what is hard to unlearn is fear and it is hard to unteach it. The hikes were good and boy the last one was the coolest. I was giving a talk on Inland Seaoats and someone said there a hawk got something. It was the same hawk we had been seeing all day as well. I was in mid paragraph when I shot up and began frantically looking for the bird. I have never been upstaged by a bird before but it was kind of neat. The hawk had something for sure but it was hard to tell what it was at first. At first we thought it was a rat or a squirrel but then we soon found it was a snake. I didn't see it at first but I saw the hawk step on it when he turned around and strung it out. He soon flew on a nearby branch and showed us his catch. It was all twisted around his foot. The kids loved it and they were both kind of awestruck and kind of grossed out too. Kids and gross stuff like that make for interesting teaching moments. That was the first time I have ever seen a hawk eat anything like that in the wild. That was a very wild experience for me and for the others. My ticker was just racing trying to gather all of what happened. The rest of the hike went on and we all had a great time. I was pretty tired and my legs were sore. I went home soon after my parents came to pick me up and I went home with my photos and then uploaded my photos and went to bed. That was pretty much how my day went; I had a little too much excitement with that last one. That was the highlight of the day. Until next time this is Zachary Chapman signing out.

Publicado el 04 de diciembre de 2017 a las 03:56 AM por galactic_bug_man galactic_bug_man | 4 observaciones | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario

13 de diciembre de 2017

The road to 2000 observations

Well this month has been a steady one. I have been finding a lot of stuff at different parks and other places around my home town. I am just 98 observations from reaching 2000 observations. Mainly I have been doing a lot of birding; I am not finding many insects but that is to be expected during these winter months. I have found a couple but mostly in arachnids and insects and other animals have been very scarce. The herps have been hiding from me but I am still trucking to reach my goal. I have seen a lot this year and as of right now I have 750+ species on my iNaturalist life list. I have seen and done so much this year. I have been on a roll with data collecting and photo upload. I still have one or two photos to upload before I am done with the observations from the last couple of days. I took my final exam today for my math class so the semester is over for me so I can now focus on getting more observations. My dad and I have some places we want to scout out over the break so maybe I might get lucky and go out to a new area I have never been to before. I have been kind of restricted to the DFW area but that is the way it goes. I have been meaning to expand my range and got to parks and places I have never been too. It has been a great year I must say. I have been out and about a lot getting everything that I can find that isn't nailed down. I am hoping to get all 98 observations that I need so I can get started on my next thousand next year. I can say that I am obsessed with this site. I have to admit it is really cool and I have been learning so much from so many cool and interesting people. Every time I am on this site I am learning more and more stuff about wildlife. I am so glad that I am a part of this project. I absolutely love iNaturalist. It is the one app I have stayed pretty constant with. Nothing else has got the same attention on my phone or my computer as much as iNat. I can't wait to see what I might find next. You can bet it will be something very exciting. So until next time this is Zachary Chapman signing off. I will see you on the trail.

Publicado el 13 de diciembre de 2017 a las 05:15 AM por galactic_bug_man galactic_bug_man | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

15 de diciembre de 2017

Swan Excursion plans

I have heard of the recent Tundra Swan sighting at the Fort Worth Nature Center for the last couple of days and I think I am going to try and go out there this weekend to see if I can't locate them. @lulubelle has been such a help to me in rare bird matters. She told me just a while ago on my Facebook that a Trumpeter Swan has now joined them. I really want to see them. I have never encountered a swan before in my life. I know from books and guides that they are mainly a northern species. I don't want to pass up on this chance to document them. I have always wanted to see swans since I became a birder. I don't always get rare birds on my iNaturalist account. I do have that Mandarin Duck that was spotted last year in Irving but that was an exotic but still a rare bird for this area (may had been someone's pet.) Anyway now is my chance to get a couple of new ones to my Life List. I have been itching for a good sighting since I am not finding many different things. I would like to just hike at the Fort Worth Nature Center as well. I will have to bring my family along for the ride on this one; I am sure they have never seen a swan either. Maybe at the Zoo but not in the wilderness of their natural habitat. I am really excited: I just asked my aunt if we had any plans and she said we are in the clear so this weekend we are going to the Nature Center to get some really cool birds and to spend time at the park to get other things too. I am hoping to get a few other birds too that are down here for the winter. I am so ready to see these birds. I will have to make a e-bird check tomorrow and then ask the front desk attendant where they are when we get there if they know. I hope they don't fly off before they get there. Keeping my fingers crossed on this one. I hope they stay grounded until this weekend. Anyway that is my plan and I am sticking to it. This is Zachary Chapman signing off.

Publicado el 15 de diciembre de 2017 a las 01:45 AM por galactic_bug_man galactic_bug_man | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

20 de diciembre de 2017

A long backtrack and a year in review

Well it is done; I have officially put in all previous trek photos into the iNaturalist databank. I am now closer to 2000 than ever before. I am currently at 1962 and with that I only need 38 more to go before I finish this year with my short term goal. I am so happy with the catch that I have collected over the years. I have posted a bunch mainly from my primary birding days. I may be a big time bug hunter now but when I was getting my start I was a birder till I went to the bugs. I still love birds though so it is all good; I am kind of like an every thing in nature kind of guy. If it moves I will photograph it; that is the way I am. I have found quite a few cool things including a Forster's Tern and a Franklin's Gull which I didn't know I had until tonight. Today was pretty rainy and I couldn't get out since my brother has been under the weather. I thought it would be good on my part to get all of the past photos put on the site before they got more and more over due. I am now for the first part of my iNaturalist career caught up. For many months now I have gone back in time (file wise) and have been trying to get all of the observations from past adventures on the iNat site. It took me a while I had quite a few cool adventures to go back. As I went through I couldn't help but think of all the fun I had on those treks and I was also thinking of where the rest of my travels will take me. Heaven only knows what is to be in my life. I have to say it has been a good start. You can say I am addicted to this site. I love it a lot and I just can't stress it enough. It is the coolest program I have ever used to date. Nothing else I use gets as much attention as my beloved iNaturalist APP. I am so glad @sambiology and @brentano taught us how to use the site at the meetings and during the Master Naturalist classes. I have met so many cool people who use this site. @kimberlietx is just one of many who I had the pleasure of meeting this year. It all happened when I was helping out at Oliver Nature Park. We were helping recruit volunteers for the City Nature Challenge. We had a great time doing our bug hunt she is very knowledgeable and quite the person to hang out with. I love her style and I am hoping we will go to Crystal Canyon next year and do another bug hunt. Then there is @briang I had the pleasure of meeting him at the Southwest Nature Preserve during the Nature Challenge. He is the guy to go to for anything Dragonfly. I liked hanging out with him spending time looking at dragons and damsels. We also spent time together on another bioblitz out at LLELA not too long ago. Sam, Brent, @mchlfx and a few others were on that excursion looking for that hybrid damselfly. Michael Fox was one of the other people that I found very knowledgeable and interesting. He was the first person I met out at LLELA after I got a little lost. We soon became acquainted and we spent a little time looking at insects and stuff while looking for the group. It was a real pleasure meeting him. I have had a lot of fun meeting and spending time with people that use the app which brings me to @lulubelle. Lulu is one of the the Master Naturalist class of 2016. She has been a real big help keeping me in the birding loop and has told me some very cool things. We got to spend some time at Stovall Park in Arlington during the Nature Challenge. We spend the morning looking for some good insects when the wildflowers were still flourishing. We found some pretty amazing stuff. We did stop to talk about a few birding matters but most of that hike was for the insects. I never meet anyone dull that uses the iNaturalist app. Each person I have met always brought something new and exciting to the table. I am glad to call all of the people I have met in the iNaturalist and Master Naturalist circle my friends. Never before have I felt so accepted in a group. Sure I felt this way in FFA but more so in this group. I feel like I have been able to nurture my love for wildlife in ways I have never felt possible when I worked for Six Flags. After my kidney surgery I had to quit that job and I spent my time recovering by birding when I felt up to it. I spent a lot of time with the birds and then I found the Master Naturalist group in 2015 the same year I became a volunteer for the Southwest Nature Preserve. I didn't even think a group like this existed but I am so glad I have found it. It is like an extended family to spend time with. This group has also helped me find stress relieve from my Grandmother's situation with the cancer she has been fighting. It has been a very stressful year but in the long run it has been a year of discovery and a year of friendship and adventure. I am so glad to be a part of inat and the Master Naturalist group. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year. Here's to many more wonderful iNaturalist filled years. Live Long and Prosper one and all! I will see you on the trail.

Publicado el 20 de diciembre de 2017 a las 07:37 AM por galactic_bug_man galactic_bug_man | 6 comentarios | Deja un comentario

28 de diciembre de 2017

2000th observation December 23rd 2017

Well this was a very Merry Christmas indeed; I got a lot of good stuff for Christmas that I could use out in the field but the best thing I was able to get this year was my goal. I was able to go to a new park on the day before Christmas Eve. Bob Eden park is a very nice park out in the Mid-cities area in Euless. The park is right on Little Bear Creek (I think) it is a place I would like to go back to to look for Odonata life forms. Anyway I was able to see over the goal I had set. I got up to 2005 observations at that park. I love the park; it was not that big but it had a lot to offer. The place is wooded with the creek and then there is a residential area in the back near the play ground. I saw a bunch of birds and another Parasitic Wasp. my 2000th observation was a little Tufted Titmouse; It was not what I was expecting to be number 2000 but heck anything goes I guess. I was able to make it over 2000 this year. Next year I am going to try to get to 4000 hopefully. That will all depend though on how much I get out and what all I see. I can assure you though I am going to try to get over 1000 species next year. I am up 767 species so far from the last few weeks of observations. However I may not get much more done this year on the account that I caught a cold or something so no birding for me until I mend and get better. I had a good year this year and what a year it was. I was able to spend more time in the woods then ever before. I had more days to observe stuff. I was even able to do a lot more volunteer work. I went on quite a few bioblitzes this year too. My life list has truly exploded this year. have over 500 observations that have been fully IDed. I sure had a lot of fun this year now it is time to have even more iNaturalist in the New Year. 2018 is going to be filled with even more observations and species I can feel it in my gut. I am hoping to go to the bridge in Austin with the Bats soon so maybe I might get my first bat observation soon. I can only imagine what lies in store for me. I can only say that I will meet every new thing with much enthusiasm as I did this year. I am always finding new ways to love what I find. I am hoping to find even more birds and insects in the new year. I need to find some new explorartion areas and need to up my game. I am thinking about getting a tripod for my camera so I can take more photos without the crazy hand shaking when I am in the wind. I am also wanting to start taking more videos and stuff. I have a few new tricks ton use in the new year. I am not done with this yet; but from the looks of it I may never want to be done using this site. I love it too dang much. I wish all of you a happy New Year and a nature filled 2018. This is Zachary Chapman AKA Galactic_bug_man signing off.

Publicado el 28 de diciembre de 2017 a las 05:15 AM por galactic_bug_man galactic_bug_man | 2 comentarios | Deja un comentario

31 de diciembre de 2017

A New Challenge

As I am starting to feel a little better from a slight head cold; I have just received word of a new bird I would like to try and get as a lifer. My friend @lulubelle told me on Facebook that a Red-Throated Loon has been spotted at White Rock Lake. I had been there only once before for a birding event but it was a long, long, long time ago. I was just a small boy when I went to White Rock Lake during a mass gathering of birds. I am not sure the date but I was there with my family. I have already discussed going to White Rock Lake with my aunt; and with my mom coming back home from the rehab center I may be able to bring along the entire family group to go and look for the bird. I first heard about the sighting a few weeks back. Lulu said that she dipped out; but at last she caught it on the rebound. I have to go and see if I can't take a few good shots of the bird. I have never encountered a Loon before so I will try not to pass up a golden opportunity to find my first Loon for my life list. Normally Red-throated Loons are a northern species ranging from Northern Canada and Canada in the spring and summer during the breeding season. They somewhat migrate down across the far northeastern part of the US. They over-winter in and around the eastern and western seaboards. I have never been able to travel up north to see them yet but I am hoping one day to get out and see all the bird species in the US. I have always wanted to travel up north to go birding. I have been wanting to see northern species but with time, school, money, and other constraints it has been very hard for me to leave this immanent area. I do travel in other places of Texas sometimes on vacations but most of the time I find myself birding and wildlife watching in the good old DFW area. I have no problem with that; it is a good area and a place I am familiar with. I love the wildlife here and I love the rare visitors we get here. I am just hoping this one stays put and I can get him on my life list. I have my sights set on going day after tomorrow. Tomorrow my mom comes home so we are going to catch up and stuff so that is family day. I am hoping to see that bird; I nearly missed the swans but didn't get a great photo of it. Hopefully that will not be the case for this bird; I want to get a series of great photos of this bird. Until next time this is Zachary Chapman AKA Galactic_Bug_Man signing off. I will see you on the trail.

Publicado el 31 de diciembre de 2017 a las 06:22 AM por galactic_bug_man galactic_bug_man | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario