What is your Favorite Lifer from this week?

Friday was awful weather - it had rained for the whole day on Thursday (actually quite welcome, but not just NOW, when I wanted to participate in the bioblitz about butterflies and moths in Iberia. It suddenly turned cold and nothing was flying… so out of boredom or frustration I peeled off some bark of sycamore trees in a park. And there were those tiny points - just visible with the eye - and moving. I checked what my Olympus tough would see - and was absolutely amazed: zebra-striped springtails!!


https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/142304042
Even though they will never get IDed to species (and probably even the genus is just a good guess) they made my day! :-)

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Nothing but invasive plants this week.

Wintercreeper

Creeping Jenny

Both creeping plants.

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Friday was actually a great duck watching day for me. I saw my first Green-winged Teals! Three were from the American subspecies, while the forth was from the Eurasian subspecies. You can distinguish the two by a white stripe. American has a vertical white stripe by the breast, and Eurasian has a horizontal white stripe on the wing.

They were very small and didn’t really interact with the other waterfowl.

American subspecies:


https://inaturalist.ca/observations/142410580

Eurasian subspecies:


https://inaturalist.ca/observations/142410836

While not lifers, there were some other interesting occurrences. I saw a Wood Duck in breeding plumage for the first time, a Mallard drake courting and mating (odd for late fall), and a Canada Goose with white feathers on the top of its head.

Wood Duck:
https://inaturalist.ca/observations/142415836

Mallard:
https://inaturalist.ca/observations/142416736

Canada Goose:
https://inaturalist.ca/observations/142417720

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Great stories on your obs, too! :relaxed:

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Thank you! I had fun writing them.

Last week I saw this Talamona maculata barely moving probably to the temperature. https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/141903654

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…and this Buttercup Oil Beetle https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/142540146

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Finally! A cedar waxwing:

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/142641861

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I thought I wouldn’t have any lifers for a while with all the flowers gone for the season in Ohio, but I started closely examining cliff walls and tree bark lately as I walk past - and there’s a whole new hidden world of wonder there. Two new to me species from the past weeks:

A black fluffy lichen growing on rocks, probably Racodium rupestre: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/141213886

A tree-growing moss, probably Orthotrichum genus (but the entire Orthotrichaceae family is a lifer for me), with very festive golden trumpets: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/142629132

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From just a few minutes ago – a white-throated sparrow, which I had spotted a few times before but never formally observed or ID’d. This is the year when sparrows will stop being a mystery!

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I saw! Congrats!

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My friend in Iowa broke her ankle, so I went to stay with her a while and be helpful during her recovery. I arrived to subfreezing temperatures and snow on the ground – very difficult for me having lived most recently in the Bay Area. Through her window, I saw this little one:


The species isn’t a lifer – fox squirrels are introduced in the Bay Area, and I have seen the nominate subspecies in Georgia – but this subspecies, Sciurus niger rufiventer, the western fox squirrel, is new to me.

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Nice find! Congrats!

Finally found one of the more elusive stereums in NA!

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/142869946

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Okay, here we are. Two days away from my six-month iNat membership point, and despite my misgivings about the seasonal end of all things tiny out there, I’ve had more luck than I thought I would with extending my sightings!

In fact, just a few days ago, I spotted this on an oak tree trunk:

Looks like a UFW (unidentified flower weevil). I’m still trying to ID it, but it was a thrill to find something still moving about after a snowfall, and a very frosty week out there.

Oh, and now I’m working my way into winter birds, since I’ve got a new zoom cam.

The common merganser I’ve spotted enough times, but this was the first one I was able to get a decent shot of.

I’m feeling a bit better about facing the season of bleakness. What’s that saying? Life goes on? It sure does.

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The winter is natures way of reminding us to relax.

We busy ourselves with work and holiday chaos, consumerism, parties.

But its okay to pause. Its good to take a break and relax, hole up for a bit. Winter is nature gently reminding us of this :)

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I might take issue with the use of ‘gentle’, but otherwise, yes. (Being Canadian, I think of it as more than just a ‘pause’ though. We are God’s Frozen People.)

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Hahaha fair enough.
I grew up in Michigan so i kinda get it. I adore snow but not for 6 months! Now in Alabama, if it snows the world shuts down and we can enjoy it: and freak people out that we can yes, drive on it :joy:

Maybe start tracking? Snow is good fun for tracks.

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While diving today, I found this Spotted Moray


This Whitespotted Filefish was another favorite from today

…and my least favorite lifer today LOL was this highly invasive lionfish

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Equatorial Antpitta

heard extremely close (<5m away) after we parked our vehicle last weekend.

Recorded multiple audio samples confirming species.

Heard at least 2 more, so sick.

There’s only one more antpitta in the region we haven’t observed!

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