Sunday, May 8, 2011

Bona Dea Update

As mentioned in this blog recently, there was tremendous flooding at Bona Dea. I believe this was the worst I have ever seen and lasted longer. The spillway and most of the trails were completely under water to the extent that the various pools/ponds and all creeks were actually all meshed together. Only a few high spots were available for wildlife to go to. I know that there was a similar flood a few years back in the winter months and the number and kinds of mammals and amphibians have decreased. For instance, I used to see extremely large needle nose Smooth Softshell Turtles. Also used to see many large Copperhead snakes. I have been wanting to get photos of both of these for some time at Bona Dea. This photo shows a look from the spillway and downstream of Prairie Creek. You can see how high the water line was at the peak of flooding. This was between 8 and 10 feet. This was the creek and close to the lowest part of the park. The other photo shows the water line being about 4 to 5 feet on Waldon Pond at the other side of the spillway. While I was taking these photos, a Muskrat-Ondatra zibethicus came swimming up Prairie Creek. So I suppose it survived the flooding. Also as I was leaving this area, I saw a low spot on Swinging Bridge Trail that was under water the day before and then I was there and could not cross over put saw at this low spot, where the water was moving like something was there. I got as close as I could and decided it was fish going back and forth from Goose and Waldon Ponds. So I then figured out that the night before, Raccoons had been having a feast on the fish as they would be easy to catch. This photo is of the numerous Coon tracks just in that one area of the trail.I then went over to Beaver Trail. There I found the birds. I had just crossed over the bridge and saw this pretty yellow Prothonotary Warbler-Profonotaria citrea. These are the front and rear views. A little ways down the trail I heard this Red-bellied Woodpecker-Melanerpes carolinus, just pecking away. Don't know why it is red bellied but it is pretty with the big red splash on its head. When I left the park and was close to my vehicle, I just had to take this beautiful sunset to end the day.

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