Notable Wildlife Sightings at White Memorial, 10/24 & 25/2011

Rusty Blackbird photo from
Four-toed Salamander photo by Dave Rosgen
Eastern Red Bat photo from
This past Monday and Tuesday, 10/24 and 25/2011, produced a fair number of notable wildlife sightings on White Memorial property. Tops among these were an Eastern Red Bat which I saw flying around Ongley Field between 6:00 and 6:10 p.m. on Monday. It then headed off to the south. This is a rather late date for this Connecticut species of special concern. The nearby Activity Field produced a Field Sparrow and a Purple Finch for notable birds earlier this day. On Tuesday, Nicole Morin and I visited the salamander cover boards along the Windmill Hill and Butternut Brook Trails for their final inspection of the year. One of the Windmill Hill boards yielded a Four-toed Salamander, which I think is only the second one of this species found under a board in this plot since we established it about 7 years ago. The rest of the boards in this plot produced a total of 11 Red-backed Salamanders on this visit. About half of these boards were awash in floodwaters a month ago. Interestingly, the cover boards at Butternut Brook, which were completely inundated last month, produced absolutely no salamanders on this visit. However, they did harbour at least 40 earthworms. The Windmill Hill boards had only about 15 earthworms under them. Farther along the Butternut Brook Trail we encountered a nice flock of 18 Rusty Blackbirds feeding under the shrubs in the swampy area. They are a regular, but uncommon fall migrant through this area.

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