Joe Pool waders, etc.
DUNCANVILLE, TEXAS — Brian and I took a farewell tour (for him, not for me) of our haunts around Joe Pool Lake this morning. Between the huge marijuana bust and news helicopter accident, there has been some recent excitement in this out-of-the-way corner of Dallas. All was quiet this morning, however — even the birds.
Water levels have not dropped far enough (as I hoped they would) to create good shorebird habitat. However, an extensive mat of vegetation in the northeast cove seems to be providing habitat for several species. We saw three or four Green Herons, two Great Egrets, one Little Blue Heron, a coot, and two large, distant sandpipers which I assumed were Willets. The matted vegetation was so thick that the birds were able to walk on top of it, even though it undulated lightly with the waves.
Here’s the plant that’s taken over much of the northeastern cove. As far as I can tell, it’s not a native Elodea but rather the invasive Egeria densa or Hydrilla verticillata. Any thoughts?
These attractive green filaments grew thick in the shallow water. Is it possible to tell from this image (click for a larger size) whether this is a green algae (chlorophyta), a cyanobacteria, or …?
Painted Buntings were around, but I did not hear even a brief snatch of song. I wouldn’t be surprised if males have stopped singing now. I did hear a few phrases from Indigo Buntings, however, so I’m not jumping to any conclusions just yet. Bewick’s and Carolina wrens are singing, as cardinals are of course. But overall, things are very quiet. It’s the arthropods, not the birds, that will catch your attention this month.
Common sunflowers (Helianthus annuus) are in full bloom, and nearly every other flower seems to hold a green lynx spider (Peucetia viridans) lying in wait for prey. This individual had caught some sort of small dipteran.
These brilliant little damselflies were numerous around the dam. There are more shots of insects and spiders in today’s gallery.
Snow-on-the-prairie (Euphorbia bicolor) is a tall, rather striking euphorbia that’s in full bloom at the moment.