12/31/13 Spent the day wandering around Fleming Park. Saw Wild Turkeys, Red-tailed Hawks, American Kestrels, Buffleheads, Snow Geese, Red-headed Woodpeckers, Bluebirds and all the backyard visitors like Chickadees, Juncos, Flickers, Red-Bellies, Titmice etc.
12/08/13 Does it bother me that a Purple Finch has joined the regulars at the feeders? No Sir, it does not.
11/07/13 Finally scored a Junco in the backyard!
11/02/13 John took a trip to Warnock Lake in Atchison, KS. He saw
Great Blue Heron
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted)
10/19/13 Visited Powell Gardens in the afternoon. Still plenty of blooms but not a lot of bugs.
10/17/13 Took some pictures of the remaining blooms in the garden - Gaura, Morning Glories, Fleabane, Common Marigolds, Asters, Butterfly Bush, Phlox, Indian Blankets, Sage, Mint, Shasta Dasies, Coreopsis, Anemone, Mums, Snakeroot and Black-eyed Susans.
10/12/13 Rachel is now in the Bs - most recently updating the Bagworm Moth description.
10/10/13 Four new critters going up today - Myzinum (Thynnid Wasp), Western Leaf-footed Bug, Clouded Crimson Flower Moth & Southern Yellowjacket
10/09/13 Posted the 10,001st nature picture this morning. Thanks again to John McConnell, Nick Varvel and Ashli Ahrens for their contributions.
More bugs from recent visit to Milford Lake: End Band Net-wing, Exoprosopa decora (Bee Fly), Mecaphesa (Crab Spider), Euschistus (Stink Bug) & Thinlegged Wolf Spider
10/08/13 Added pictures of a Black-and-Yellow Argiope, Ground Beetle (Harpalus), Cow Killer (Velvet Ant), Bronzed Tiger Beetle, Four-toothed Mason Wasp and Double-banded Scoliid to the site.
10/07/13 Rachel has finished the descriptions for the As in the insects category. She's now calling me out on a bunch of incorrectly identifed wasps.
10/04/13 Just back from a trip to Milford Lake. Spent most of the time bugging around the sunflowers and goldenrod. Photographed over a dozen new species.
09/30/13 Fantastic to see the Monarch numbers picking up!
Goldenrod is about cooked so the only flowers left in the garden for nectaring insects are a fistful of Phlox, Spanish Needles, Asters, Black-eyed Susans, Sedum, Indian Blankets, Anemone, Rose of Sharon, Snakeroot and Eupatorium. By next weekend I think Mums will be about the only game in town.
09/24/13 Rachel has started adding useful descriptions to the site. She's working her way down the Insects section in alphabetical order if you want to track her progress.
09/21/13 The butterflies are all over the place, especially when the sun hits the asters in the late afternoon. Summer's climax.
09/17/13 I think the Mums are the only thing left to bloom. They have had little buds on them for the last few weeks.
09/14/13 Tomorrow is supposed to be cloudy so I'll start posting pictures from the last week.
Found a Downy Woodpecker flopping around in the grass. It had a damaged foot. Put it in a box with some water. Called Lakeside Nature Center and left a message. The called me back and said bring him in. Went out to get him and discovered that he expired while I was making arrangements for his Lakeside visit. Lousy way to start a Saturday.
09/12/13 This coming weekend we'll start re-writing all of the insect, bird, plant, mammal and reptile descriptions. This content upgrade will make the site much more useful.
All of my Goldenrod is blooming and the insects are everywhere. I'm finding several new species every day. Will start going through the thousands of pictures in a few days and posting. I want to spend all of my free time photographing bugs until we hit a rainy day.
Lamenting not getting out and scoring some returning Warblers but mosquitoes, ticks, leafy trees etc.
09/08/13 I think every is working now.
Got a note from John that he spotted a Brown Thrasher at his seed feeder. Will post a picture once I get caught up.
09/06/13 Have been having an excellent bugging week which has resulted in many new species and the software structure of the site crumbling from their weight. I'll be rewriting some of the code over the next few days so the site may appear to be incomplete or images may be temporarily unavailable while I work this.
09/02/13 Wonderful bug day. Loads of winged insects everywhere in the garden.
09/01/13 Goldenrod and Calico Asters are blooming so getting nice little bee boom. Goldenrood Soldier Beetles are plentiful. Haven't seen any Blister Beetles yet.
08/31/13 I love mimics. On this, the 31st day of August, I sat in the backyard and watched 4 Brown Thrashers playing and foraging and a Catbird posing on anything he/she could find and enjoying a lengthy romp in the bird bath. *sigh*
08/29/13 Found a Cooper's Hawk haunting the Echinacea around 8 AM this morning. Also got to see a cicada emerge, dry it's wings and disappear into the trees.
08/26/13 Stumbled out into the gardens at 7:30 this morning just in time to see a Red-tailed Hawk snatch a finch out of the garden. I'm awake now.
Monarch activity has picked up nicely. There's almost always one somewhere in the gardens whenever I come out.
08/25/13 had a look at the Ewing and Muriel Kauffman Memorial Gardens. Got my first decent shots of a Tarantula Wasp.
08/23/13 Blue Mist is blooming. Missouri Primrose starting its second round.
08/20/13 Nice to see the Thrashers around still. I will occasionally hear a Catbird's complaining meow from my neighbor's Mullberry bush.
08/19/13 The bees, particularly the Carpenter Bees, are very cranky. I've noticed that there is a week every summer when all of the bees are very agitated. They fight with one another and run at me while I am taking pictures, which normally never happens.
08/17/13 Still seeing loads of bugs in the flowers. Won't get a chance to go through the nearly 2,000 images and post until the 18th.
08/16/13 Bugs are on! Finally! Probably added a dozen new species to the site.
08/15/13 Out in the yard later in the afternoon and saw a Coopers Hawk. That's a Red-tail in the AM and a Cooper in the afternoon. Please refer to the line "4 male goldfinches wobbling in one small patch of echinacea" before asking why I have so many hawks in my backyard.
Was out in the yard shooting bugs for 10 minutes and saw:
1 red-tail hawk flying close over my head after bursting from a tree in the yard - sobering
2 hummingbirds fighting in a butterfly bush
3 red bellies on the feeder (all the same size but I'm sure 2 were juniors)
4 male goldfinches wobbling in one small patch of echinacea
And me with my macro.
Many of the dead-headed Bee Balm, Phlox, Butterfly Weed, Phlox and Shasta Daisies are producing second blooms.
08/14/13 After a bleak summer Monarchwise I was delighted to see that two discovered one of my butterfly bushes this afternoon. The only issue was that everytime I started to take a picture they would start fighting, whatever that means in butterfly terms. I guess flying around in short repeating loops. I can assure you that nobody got hurt.
08/07/13 We have been getting plenty of rain with few sunny days or days in the 90s or above. I noticed a few days ago that my Echinacea/coneflower blooms are getting black edges. This is a fungal disease from too much water.
08/06/13 Bees are really starting to pick up. Still no Monarchs.
08/04/13 The contractors that Google hired to hang fiber are in our neighborhood. Despite assurances from them that they would be careful in the garden, they trampled (and when I say trampled I mean flattened) a fountain grass plant, 6 Phlox plants, 2 Goldenrod plants, 1 Purple Loosestrife plant and a patch of native Morning Glories. That's a lousy way to start a new relationship. For those who argue that the contractors did it, not Google, I'll ask you to remember that the next time you get poor service somewhere. It's just an individual, not the company, right? Wrong.
Neighborhood angry with tree destruction to make way for Google Fiber
Kansas City residents upset at contractor work from Google
08/03/13 Saw a Walnut Sphinx!
Discovered that much of the Purple Loosestrife that I trimmed back is blooming again. Many of the Phlox are also re-blooming.
08/02/13 Found 4 catepilars on the Dill plants. I think they are Black Swallowtails. The plants are pretty slim so I may go get a few more to make sure they have enough to support them until they go pupate.
08/01/13 Where are the Monarchs? I have 8 blooming Butterfly Bushes, hundreds of blooming Echinacea, Phlox, Black-eyed Susans and Bee Balm and a dozen milkweed varieties in the gardens and I've seen maybe 2 Monarchs float through the yard all year. The bee activity has finally picked up significantly.
07/31/13 Naked Ladies are 6 inches above ground!
07/30/13 Orleander Aphids and their predators are on most of the Milkweed.
07/29/13 Cup Plant flower opening up!
07/28/13 Common Nighthawks flying over the yard during the early afternoon. Pretty thrilling. They were coming in lower than the tops of the trees.
07/24/13 Saw my first European Hornet of the summer on his rounds in the early evening.
07/23/13 Have some bird pictures from John's recent trip to James A. Reed to put up in the next few days.
Bugs are finally starting to show up. In the afternoon the backyard was blurry with Skippers, Cabbage Whites, Swallowtails and Fritillaries.
07/21/13 Still moving little Phlox, Black-eyed Susan and Echinacea starts that are in bad places to the south garden without any ill effect.
Many of the Fernleaf Yarrow have heads for the first time this year.
Bee Balm is nearly done. Daisies have been done for a few weeks but the Shasta daisies are just now peaking. About 40% of the Phlox still haven't bloomed.
07/20/13 The Illinois Bundleflowers are starting to sport their little nuts/fruits. They are still green at this point.
Had to move some stuff, despite the lateness of the season. I have a row of Butterfly Bushes that are getting mold on the leaves. They are near the Bee Balm which is also in the back of the garden and also showing a lot of discolored leaves. Thinned out the plants around the Butterfly Bushes and sprayed the leaves with water/baking soda/dish soap. Now we play the waiting game.
07/19/13 Some of the purple Asters are blooming.
07/18/13 Black-eyed Susans are starting to show up around the gardens.
Saw a huge Katydid and my first Virginia Creeper Sphinx. More like Virginia Crapper Sphinx as it delivered a dollop on my palm when I freed it from my screened porch. See what I did?
07/16/13 Added Bee Balm, Cranesbill Geranium, Three Leaf Clover, Bachelor's Buttons, purple Asters and another type of Coreopsis to the new garden.
07/15/13 Started fleshing out the new garden (south facing) with some plants that haven't bloomed or were in bad places. Added Echinacea, Black-eyed Susan, Daisy, Comfrey, Milkweed, Fernleaf Yarrow, Missouri Primrose and Obedient Plant.
07/14/13 White, red and pink Phlox are in bloom.
07/13/13 Both of the Black Swallowtail caterpillars are now gone. Lost one yesterday and one today. Don't know if they were birdfood or if they crawled off to pupate.
07/12/13 Illinois Bundleflowers now have little white puffs. Fernleaf Yarrow suddenly has heads.
07/11/13 First pink phlox that has a nearly fullly blooming head. I think they were blooming in middle to late June last year. Four Eastern Tiger Swallowtails in the Echinacea in the evening.
07/10/13 Saw two Monarchs working the Echinacea today. A Swallowtail worked them for over an hour straight.
07/09/13 Bought some more Delphinium, Obedient Plant, Threadleaf Coreopsis, Slender Mountain Mint and Indian Blankets.
07/08/13 My friend Meri gave me some plants. Noticed two Black Swallowtail Caterpillars on the Dill.
07/07/13 Eastern Tiger and Black Swallowtails in the yard today. The Black Swallowtail rode Echinacea blooms for over an hour.
07/06/13 Had a meeting with the staff about plans for future expansion at the Jimmy Staggers Memorial Gardens. Soil treatment starts immediately and population begins in September.
07/05/13 Took a 9 PMish stroll through the Bee Balm and saw a beautiful White-lined Sphinx working the heads. Saw a second lurking. Got some flash shots that turned out OK.
07/04/13 Had a pleasant day traveling around Miami County with John McConnell. Saw Dickcissell, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher nest, Horned Lark, Meadowlark, Killdeer, Heron, Hawk carcass on a light post and a wonderful variety of dragonflies.
07/02/13 Rose of Sharon popped 2 days ago. Hummingbird is here several times a day now.
07/01/13 Not pleased with my garden/bug numbers. I wonder if it's the cool weather.
06/30/13 Rose of Sharon is a go!
06/29/13 Catbird is a regular now that the jelly source is fairly reliable. Seems like Baby House Wrens are everywhere.
Starting to see more bees! Seeing more moths and butterflies including Monarchs and Hummingbird Moths.
Honeyvine Milkweed is blooming. Bee Balm and Echinacea are grinding out flowers. Black-eyed Susans are a few days away from getting heads. Flax and comfrey still blooming. Hostas starting to send up shoots for flowers. Illinois Bundleflower are about 5 feet tall. Shasta Daisies are flowering.
06/28/13 KCWildlife.com welcomes the first Monarch of the season to rest on a flower in the Jimmy Staggers Memorial Prairie. Echinacea.
06/27/13 Seeing more bees around. Had a good session with a Bald-faced Hornet. Watched and photographed a Crab Spider mauling a large Cockroach at the top of a Bigleaf Wintercreeper. Seven foot tall Butterfly Bush has mutliple Wheel Bug nymphs at the top. Going to be a fun summer.
06/25/13 Got some Chicory at Angelo's. Not in Angelo's. In front of Angelo's. Permission obtained with the token purchase of two Coreopsis plants. Would love some thistle but I don't think I have anywhere sunny enough for it.
Put up fencing to contain the already unruly Black-eyed Susans.
Wrens yelling all day. Still no sticks in the birdhouses.
I put the Oriole feeder back up and gave it a dollop of grape jelly to see if I could entice the Catbird in my neighbor's Mulberry bush to hang around. It worked. The only downside is that it doesn't have anything to say other than the mewing sound.
06/23/13 John McConnell got some fun baby bird/nesting pictures from Heritage Park that are on the FB page.
Saw a House Wren poking around the bird houses. Didn't take in any sticks but I think we are still in the running.
Split up a giant clump of Bachelor's Buttons in the spring and they look horrible. Can't tell if over or under watering.
06/21/13 Found some Blue Flax growing under the bird feeders. Evicted some Eastern Redbud. Comfrey is blooming.
06/20/13 Coreopsis is nearly spent. Bee Balm, red Phlox are ready to pop any day. Milkweed heads are about to change color. Tall Geum is blooming.
06/17/13 ...and here come the Crab Spiders.
06/14/13 Bee Balm has heads! Big surge in bugs and Hummingbirds are right around the corner. Columbine and Hollyhocks also popped today but the Bee Balm will what brings 'em in off of the streets.
Seeing loads of Soldier Beetles in the garden for the first time.
06/11/13 Saw a Candy-striped Leafhopper.
Missouri Primrose is blooming and Honeyvine Milkweed is climbing.
A friend gave me some Comfrey a few weeks ago. It was pretty ratty but she said to plant it, cut it back and it would come back. About 3 days ago it shot up about 6 inches and already has blooms. What a will to live!
06/10/13 John photographed a Chuck-will's-widow in the middle of the night. Picture coming soon.
Woodpecker still trapped in garage.
Mulberry bushes are full of fruit. Wild Blackberry, Purple Loosestrife and Blue lobelia are blooming.
06/09/13 Woodpecker still trapped in garage.
Saw Dung Flies and Rust Flies today.
Milkweed, Threadleaf Coreopsis, Columbine, Echinacea, Daisy Fleabane, Daylilies, Loosestrife and some of the Bee Balm are all within a day or two of blooming. Coreopsis, Indian Blanket, Roses, Sage, Spiderwort, Mock Orange going strong. Daisies and some of the sage are getting long in the tooth. Bachelor's Buttons and Carnations are spent. I added a lot of things over the last few weeks that were already blooming - Columbine, Gaura, Delphinium, Astilbe and Carnations. It will be interesting to see if and when they pop next year.
06/08/13 Downy Woodpecker trapped in the garage with an obvious instinct to fly up rather than out when threatened. Waited him out and I think he finally left sometime before dark. It's also possible that I'm going to find him behind something in 2 weeks.
06/07/13 Seeing more bugs. Lots of Wolf Spiders, jumpers, Lynix, Wheel Bug nymphs, Soldier Beetles, Syrphid Flies and bees.
Added Columbine, Delphinium, Dwarf Goat's Beard and Little Joe Pye Weed to the garden.
06/03/13 Took a day trip to James A. Reed to see what I could find. Didn't see a lot of water fowl beyond Mallard, Canada Geese, Heron and American Coot. Did get some good dragonfly and skimmer pictures.
Every day I watch the lily and Black-eyed Susan leaves for sunning bugs. Lately I have noticed bits of insects left on the leaves. Finally caught a Wheel Bug nymph making groceries out of some unfortunate.
06/02/13 A patch of Daisy Fleabane is getting ready to bloom. Oddly it has found its way to a cluster of daisies. Thank you Brett and Betsy for the ID.
06/01/13 Gardened and harrassed bugs all day. Planted some Delphinium, Dill and Peppermint.
05/31/13 The bugs are back in town in earnest.
05/29/13 Added lots of new flowers to the gardens over the last few days. Columbine, Gaura, Knockout Roses, Astilbe, Lamb's Ear, Eupatorium argentinum and more.
05/26/13 Overnight the roses, Peonies, Mock Orange and Japanese Lilies all popped.
Found neat bugs on the dasies today. Saw Potter Wasp, Flower Fly, Honey Bee, Skipper, Bottle Fly and a Picture-winged Fly.
05/25/13 Over the past few days I have seen Cuckoo Bee, Bean Weevils, Fork-tailed Bush Katydid, Ground Sac Spider, Frit Fly/Grass Fly, Lacewing Fly, Crab Spider all on daisy heads.
Saw a Monarch zoom through the garden.
05/23/13 Daisy heads are starting to get interesting! Teeming with insects.
05/21/13 Had a choice this morning between going birding or expanding the flower garden. Garden expansion won. Added some white Bachelor's Buttons, Tickseed, Carnations and Rose Verbena to the mature gardens.
05/20/13 John's recent beautiful picture of a Redhead duck ties us back up at 144 birds photographed in KS and MO.
05/19/13 My recent Pewee, Cuckoo, Orange-crowned Warbler, Tennesee Warbler, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Lark Sparrow and Field Sparrow have nudged Georgie (see Costello, Elvis) one unique species photographed in KS or MO over her rival. At least for one day. Thanks to Nick, Brett and Rick Wright for the IDs.
05/18/13 Squirted out to Heritage Park for the day. Saw Orchard Oriole, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Northern Mockingbird, American Goldfinch, Yellow Warbler, Eastern Phoebe, Warbling Vireo, Barn Swallows, Purple Martins, Brown Thrasher, Eastern Kingbird an unidentified bird that I am trying to bait Dr. Nick into identifying and all of the lake and shore staples.
05/15/13 Three Leaf Clover are flowering. Saw a Northern Crab Spider on a Carnation.
05/14/13 Morning birding trip to Longview Lake. Saw Cedar Waxwings, Scissor-tailed Flycatchers, Spotted Sandpiper, Lesser Yellowlegs, Mallard, American Coot, Baltimore Oriole, Heron, and misc. Warblers and Flycatchers.
05/13/13 Spent the morning and afternoon at Roe Park and Heritage Park. Saw a lot of Warblers. Now starting the painful ID process. Got some shots of an eagle fishing at Heritage.
05/11/13 Went birding at Council Grove Lake in Council Grove, KS and the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve in the Flint Hills. Saw a lot of wonderful birds. Many varieties of sparrows. Got a Tennesee Warbler, Bell's Vireo, Orange-crowned Warbler and American Redstart.
05/10/13 Took a trip to the Konza Prairie Research Natural Area in Manhattan, KS. Got my first Lark Sparrow and Field Sparrow. Saw some great birds in the wooded areas.
Bought a non-Stokes suet cage feeder earlier this week. Woke up this morning to see it broken and laying in the garden, about 12 feet from the feeder pole. Stokes will get my next $30.
05/09/13 Blue False Indigo, Geranium and Lily of the Valley are blooming. Dasies, Azaleas and Bachelor's Buttons are close.
05/08/13 Illinois Bundleflower has some shoots on the old stalks. I didn't know they came back that way. I had nearly given up on them.
Added a dozenish Fernleaf Yarrow plants in the gardens where there are holes.
05/07/13 Spent the morning at Roe Park. Photographed 4 firsts for me - Northern Parula, Yellow-throated Warbler, Blackpoll Warbler and Black-and-white Warbler. Also spotted an Eastern Phoebe, Great Crested Flycatcher and Purple Finch. Thank you to John and the rest for helping me with identification/verification.
Added Milkweed plants to the garden and a batch in a large plastic pot.
05/06/13 Heard a Barred Owl at the church this morning so walked back up after dinner. Heard just a portion of the "Who cooks for you?" call really close. Spotted him on a branch eating a rabbit with the setting sun illuminating him perfectly!
Gray Catbird in the yard. Suddenly everything that was wrong with the seasons has been righted and the Enterprise is once again pointed at earth.
Stopped by the church while out running errands. Saw Yellow Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Northern Mockingbird, Great Crested Flycatcher, White-throated Sparrow and Brown-headed Cowbird. Also head a Barred Owl a half-block away in a Leawood neighborhood. Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you all?
Thinned out the aster corner that I built late last year. They beefed up bigger than I anticipated!
Something is eating the Lavender, Forget-me-nots and Russian Sage. Bunnies?
05/05/13 Haunted Shawnee with John McConnell. Saw:
Dickcissel (thank you Brett!)
Eared Grebe (thanks Dr. Nick!)
05/04/13 John got an Orange-crowned Warbler and Tennessee Warbler today.
Visited Shawnee Mission Park and Roe Park in the rainy AM. Photographed:
05/03/13 John noted that his Goldfinch feeder population has dropped off.
The McConnells have now added a few more Orioles, a Tanager and Indigo Bunting to their feeder collection.
05/02/13 It's snowing and sticking. It looks beautiful with the green and the flowers.
05/01/13 Ran to the Leawood church (which has a creek running around the back part of the property) every time the sun came out. Was rewarded with a female Indigo Bunting (thanks Brett, Nick and Ma Parker), Common Yellowthroat, Carolina Wren and Northern Rough-winged Swallow.
Lilac bushes are heavenly!
04/30/13 Dashed off to Roe Park with Migration Fever. Saw Meadow Phlox that weren't there during my last visit. Photographed:
Great Crested Flycatcher
After a week or more of hearing about the Orioles in everbody's backyards I finally scored one on the Oriole and Hummingbird feeders.
04/28/13 Visited a couple of Great-blue Heron rookeries. During my travels saw:
Red Admiral Butterfly
Eastern Tailed-Blue Butterfly
Variegated Meadowhawk Dragonfly
04/27/13 Was running errands and stopped by the Roe heron rookery to see what was going on. Saw the Black-bellied Whistling Duck with its head tucked. A Red-headed Woodpecker flew up into tree with all the nests.
Planted some Cranesbill Geraniums, Cabbages, Red Phlox, Salvia, False Indigo, Forget-me-nots and some blue/purple Bee Balm.
Noticed that the Cabbages from last year have new starts on the stalks.
Missing or unable to identify some of the plants that were in the NW corner garden last year. Don't see Buffalo Bur, Primrose, Coreopsis, Bundleflower, Thistle, Oxeye, Partridge Pea, Sida, Velvetleaf, Zinnia or Venice Mallow. Of course there hasn't been much sun lately and the season is young.
04/26/13 The God of Hellfire took pity on me and gave me a pair of Harris's Sparrows working the garden alongside a Chipping Sparrow.
John got a Yellow-throated Warbler on the Mill Creek Trail and a Horned Grebe at Shawnee Mission Park.
Two Thrashers in the yard creating aural bedlam.
04/25/13 Back at Roe for 3 hours. Nothing special. Did see a beaver scrambling around in the grass near the condo construction.
The residents of the McConnell household welcome a Rose-breasted Grosbeak to their feeders this morning.
Lincoln Sparrow and White-crowned Sparrow in the yard. Sad challenge to John's Grosbeak.
Since it's the first year I wasn't sure what the Goldenrod looked like as a start. I can make it out now. It's the same height as the Phlox and Asters.
04/24/13 John got a Ruby-throated Hummingbird at his feeder today. A good week for the McConnells!
Roe Park AM list:
Planted a Cup Plant. Can't wait to see to see this beauty bloom. Also added 5 batches of Fernleaf Yarrows to some holes in the garden.
Encountered 4 leashless dogs while in Leawood parks this morning. A reminder to locals about the city of Leawood's position on unleashed dogs:
"All animals must be confined to the premises of the owner, except when taken off premises on a leash, or in a car, or other conveyance. Any animal(s) causing injury to persons or damage to property shall be presumed not under control of keeper/owner. Any animal picked up by Animal Control is subject to a leash law fine as well as a daily board charge. An animal picked up in Leawood must have current rabies vaccination and a city license before the animal can be released."
Leawood, KS Leash Law
04/23/13 I have a compost pile comprised of leaves and grass clippings. Because of the drought last year it is a bit short on grass clippings, meaning that it's mostly leaves. The Brown Thrasher has animated this pile. It's in the far back corner of the yard so he blends in with it nicely. It appears from the house that little sections of it are undulating. Kind of like when you wriggle your finger under a sheet to get a cat to pounce.
Red-wing Blackbirds briefly in the yard. Hello Goodbye.
...and a White-crowned Sparrow.
04/22/13 Why wouldn't I go back to Foxhill North Park and Roe Park? Saw:
Black-bellied Whistling Duck
Arrived home and started looking at the pictures. Was about to delete one of the Whistling Duck shots when I noticed a Green Heron on the left. I never saw him when I was there. I looked at the picture again and saw that the Heron had a mouth full of frog.
J&J photographed an Oriole at their feeder this morning! Other people are seeing Hummingbirds and Indigo Bunting.
Still have Forsythia, Hyacinth and Magnolia blooms. Tulips are the only new flowers in the yard. And Dandelions.
04/21/13 It was briefly sunny so I scrambled out to Foxhill North Park and Roe Park again. Saw:
Black-bellied Whistling Duck
04/20/13 Ran to Foxhill North Park and Roe Park this AM. Saw:
Loads of Swallows
I'm seeing loads of Kinglets this year and they are fearless. They frequently fly to branches very close by to check me out. I'm talking 4-6 feet away. If they would sit still for 8 seconds.
John visited the same area, Shawnee Mission Park and the Mill Creek trail and saw:
Black-bellied Whistling Duck
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
04/19/13 Scooted over to the estates once it warmed up a bit. Saw:
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
House Finches with babies
Red Tails and Cooper's Hawks
Also saw a creature that looked like a river otter. It scrambled across a field and down a bank to the creek.
04/18/13 I haven't seen a Junco in the yard in weeks. The gold and House Finches are abundant.
Brown Thrasher tossing leaves and mulch.
04/17/13 It's interesting how the cool, cloudy, wet weather is not only slowing the progress of plant growth but also sustaining blooming periods. I have several plants that normally bloom for a few days and then drop their petals that have retained their flowers for well over a week.
04/16/13 Several mornings in a row with Thrasher music. Nothing today. I wonder if he moved on, found a mate or became a cat toy. I am guessing that seeing a bird thrashing around in the leaves is awfully enchanting to a watching feline.
04/14/13 Hardly any flowers in the yard. Tulips haven't even opened. Just Forsythia, Flowering Quince and Hyacinth.
04/14/13 Brown Thrasher sending a shout out to the ladies this morning. He was pretty high up in a tree but I got a few shots. Good luck, old friend!
04/13/13 Poked around Shawnee with J&J. Saw the amazing Heron tree. Chased a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher around. Got my first Kingfisher and, to Dr. Nick's imagined delight, I actually pointed my camera at some American Coot, Blue-winged Teal and Northern Shovelers.
04/12/13 Haunted the church. Saw an Eastern Phoebe and a Ruby-crowned Kinglet for my trouble.
04/11/13 Brown Thrasher in the yard!!! Brown Thrasher in the yard!!!
04/10/13 Grass is green. Flowering Quince is blooming. Asiatic Lilies are above ground. Where are the Cat Birds?
04/08/13 Hailstorm last night that tried to rob me of my Forsythia bloom climax. Lost a smattering of petals but they are still in full glory.
Read that people are starting to see Brown Thrashers!
Some of the seeds we planted on the 16th of March from last years flower heads are starting to emerge.
04/07/13 Hostas, Echinacea, Orchid Primrose, Turtlehead, Peonies, Threadleaf Coreopsis all finally above ground. Still no leaves on the trees and lots of plants that haven't emerged yet.
04/05/13 Saw a Cabbage White zoom through the yard today. Not my mimics but I welcome them all the same.
04/04/13 A dreaded sunny day so I went for a stroll with the camera. Saw the usual suspects and Turkey Vultures, Pine Siskin, bright yellow Goldfinches, Northern Green Striped Grasshoper, Mallard couple and an unsettling number of Garter snakes.
04/01/13 Phlox are coming up like mad. Hyacinth are about to turn.
03/31/13 Another walk around the estates. Saw an Eastern Phoebe. I thought it was a Western Kingbird but it had a hood. Dr. Nick informed me that Phoebes are the only Flycatchers here right now.
03/30/13 Dr. Nick saw a Northern Mockingbird at Heritage Park. The mimics are my favorite birds and Spring is only messing around until I hear Catbirds yelling in the trees and see Brown Thrashers skulking around the yard.
03/29/13 Walked around the estates and saw the same insects I've seen over the last month - Lacewing Flies, Boxelder Bugs and Mourning Cloaks. Just as we were finishing up I saw a Striped Cucumber Beetle.
Got a few yellow flowers on the Forsythia.
First Garter Snake in the yard for this year.
03/28/13 Saw an American Tree Sparrow poking around in the yard in the evening. Love getting fresh sparrows!
03/27/13 Still seeing Boxelder Bugs around.
03/25/13 This time last year I had Lilac heads, Forsythia blooms peaking and Catbirds and Brown Thrashers in the yard. Not this year.
03/24/13 Got another 10 inches of snow which means it's Juncos on the Feeders Day. They look so beautiful in the snow.
Saw someone getting their car pulled out of the snow with a tow line. Saw a Cardinal watching the event perched on the middle of the tow line.
03/23/13 A little snow on the ground with a proper snow storm predicted for tomorrow and the birds are in an absolute frenzy. Good day for feeder watching.
03/21/13 Saw a completely yellow Goldfinch in the snow this afternoon. Guessing he's new in town.
03/18/13 Took a trip to the Overland Park Arboretum & KCP&L Wetlands. Saw Deer, Cooper's Hawk, Barn Owl, Turkey Vulture, Red-tailed Hawk, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Eastern Bluebird, Meadowlark, Hairy Woodpecker, Rock Dove, Purple Finch, Fox Sparrow, Variegated Meadowhawk, Mourning Cloak, Lesser Scaup or Ring-necked Duck and the backyard birds like Cardinals, Titmice, Chickadees etc. Of course I bumped into Dr. Nick. Third time I have stumbled on him while out birding. All three locations unique. Thanks to John McConnell and J. Parker for their help with the Fox Sparrow and Purple Finch ID.
Saw a Northern Mockingbird on a power line in Leawood, KS. Catbirds can't be far behind!
03/16/13 Ran some errands in Overland Park and saw Turkey Vultures everywhere. I think it's shortly after their arrival that the Juncos head up North to look for mates.
Planted loads of seeds from last year's flower heads. Indian Blanket, Daisies, Thistle, Oxeye Sunflower, Chicory, Butterfly Weed, Orchid Primrose, Illinoise Bundleflower, native Zinnias, Bachelor Button, Fleabane, Blue Cardinal Flower and more.
03/15/13 Spent a few hours at Wilderness Wetlands. Saw Killdeer, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Great Blue Heron, Tree Sparrow, Boxelder Bugs, a butterfly and loads of Titmice, Nuthatch, Brown Creepers, Chickadees, hawks and water fowl.
Drove around the estates and saw that the Killdeer are back.
John McConnell reports that the Heron Tree is up and running!
03/14/13 Popped over to the estates for half an hour. Red-tails are back. Saw loads of birds and a Boxelder Bug!
03/13/13 Saw a Turkey Vulture in the evening! Also could swear that I saw a Nighthawk.
Grackles are holding a biker rally at my feeders.
03/09/13 Posted a couple of John McConnell's recent pictures of Pine Siskin eating seed from his hands.
John McConnell got some pictures of a Striped Skunk at Smithville Lake yesterday. Took 3 years to get our first skunk picture in the database.
03/08/13 Glanced out at the feeders and saw a Grackle! *in The Californians voice* "Whareyoudoinhere?"
03/07/13 Male Goldfinches are starting to show more yellow.
02/23/13 The 6-10 inchces of snow on the ground drove a nice variety of sparrows to John McConnell's feeders. He saw Song Sparrows, Fox Sparrows, White-throated Sparrows, House Sparrows and American Tree Sparrows.
02/21/13 I am ready to take some pictures of flowers and bugs. I told a friend that I am looking at this foot of snow today as the National Anthem before a football game. Right now we are sitting through the part of the song with all of the question marks.
02/17/13 Hacked down all the stalks of the Phlox, Echincea, Asters, Purple Loosetrife, Daisies, Black-eyed Susans, Goldenrod etc. Usually do this in the Autumn but wanted the garden to have some texture during the Winter. I think the birds also appreciated the seed heads.
02/16/13 Nearly all of the Asters have leaves at their bases. So does Purple Loosestrife and Maiden Grass.
02/15/13 All of the Crocus clusters have yellow flowers. Is that a rule, that the yellow ones pop up first?
02/13/13 First Crocus bloom!
02/11/13 Hollyhocks are getting leaves. About 70% of the Hyacinth are above ground. Daffodils are everwhere.
Light until just after 6 PM today.
02/10/13 Saw more Hostas, Chicory and Tulips coming up. Wild Hemlock has been up and growing for weeks.
Seeing more Robins around.
02/09/13 Saw a moth sunning on an Azalea leaf. My first moth of the year! Ran into the house and up to my office to grab my camera with the macro lens. Would he still be there when I returned? Yes! Start shooting. Something wrong. SD card also up in my office. Back in and up and out. He's still there! Whip off a few shots in auto. Review the pictures. Auto as usual is a big mistake in direct sun. Switch to manual setting. Aim. Moth flies away.
02/05/13 Sedum is above ground!
Have you noticed that when you go out in the morning the din from the birds is louder than it was a week ago?
02/04/12 Hostas, Hyacinth, Lilies, Surprise Lilies, Crocuses are all above ground.
02/03/13 I got my first Sharp Shinned Hawk (which Dr. Nick promptly turned into a Cooper's Hawk) at the estates. John sent some pictures of Bald Eagle, Horned Lark, Song Sparrow and more from a trip to Lewis and Clark lake.
01/27/13 I see Crocuses poking their heads up. Too early or just right?
01/19/13 Ran over to the Estates and got some pictures of a White-throated Sparrow and Carolina Wren.
Headed out for some picture taking after weeks of being glued to the computer!
01/18/13 Added a couple of John's pictures of a Wood Duck taken during an Antioch Park/Nelson Island birding trip.
01/01/12 Posted a nice batch of bird pictures from John McConnell taken today in Shawnee.
Betsy scored the Common Redpoll at her home!