Monday, December 31, 2012

Winter Wildlife Watching

Weather was beautiful on December 23, 2012 for a wildlife watching field trip. Lolo Creek Campground west of Lolo, MT by 15 miles along Highway 12 was the destination. Target species for the trip were: chestnut-backed chickadee (Poecile rufescens), gray jay (Perisoreus canadensis), Steller's jay (Cyanocitta stelleri), and a host of macrolichen using bark as a substrate. Habitat here somewhat described in previous blog posting. Found the forest quiet for most of field trip...only few common raven (Corvus corax) calling. However, did find and photograph three life lichen species, small and beautiful:

Ophioparma rubricosa
Pacific Bloodspot (Ophioparma rubricosa)
Ochrolechia oregonensis
Double-rim Saucer Lichen (Ochrolechia oregonensis)
Calicium viride
Green Stubble Lichen (Calicium viride)
To get a flavor of the conditions and experience, below is a video...a multimedia field notebook. Field Notes on Science and Nature is a book to motivate you to record your own wildlife sightings in the more traditional format. Most importantly, get outside and find something great!