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Bog BioBlitz VI 2018 Wrap-Up

BOG BIOBLITZ VI WRAP-UP (Sat. Aug 4, 2018)

Despite gray skies in the threat of rain, over 30 folks and 8 leaders participated in the 6th annual SAX-ZIM BOG BioBlitz. And the rain held off until early afternoon so we were able to get a fair amount of field time in. Kelly Beaster and Ethan Perry led the wildflower group and found over 200 species of flora! Along with participant Norma Malinowski, the group made an exciting discovery of a Threatened carnivorous plant; Hidden-fruited Bladderwort (Utricularia geminiscapa).

Joan Hunn took folks out to look for lichens and turned up an amazing 35 species of which four were new for the Sax-Zim Bog! One of the fun lichens they found is called Moosehair (Bryoria trichodes).

Cassie Novak and Bill Tefft explored the admiral road gravel pits. If you are scratching your head on why they would go to such a human-altered place called gravel pits are an amazingly diverse habitat with many types of insects. I found a cluster of about 20 Pelecinid wasps.

Head Naturalist Clinton Nienhaus and Kristina Dexter discovered the very cool and colorful Vesper Bluet damselfly. They also caught several new moth species for the Bog.

The early morning birding group led by Executive Director Sparky turned up a respectable 40 species; not bad for early August, a time when most birds have quit singing. The group had extremely close views of several rarely seen species including a juvenile LeConte’s Sparrow (who hadn’t quite learned his proper song yet), a very cooperative Black-billed Cuckoo, a semi-cooperative American Bittern hunting in the ditch near the Welcome Center. But the biggest highlight was a non-bird… two young Coyotes were just waking up on top of some large round hay bales right near the road along Mcdavitt.

Despite the dreary conditions, Jerry McCormick and crew were able to find some fun butterflies and other insects.

FOSZB member Kathy invited the canoeing group to access East Stone Lake for a little aquatic exploration. Five canoes plied the calm, misty waters and found some cool stuff including a mama Wood Duck and 7 young, a Donacia beetle that lives on floating lily pads, several Blue Dasher dragonflies, a beautiful black, white and gray Cross Orbweaver spider, and a massive and dense stand of Wild Rice.

Rain forced most groups back to the Welcome Center by 1pm or so where we all shared our findings and enjoyed good conversation.


We will have a list of all species compiled in the next few weeks. It will be posted on our Bog Blog at www.saxzim.org. See you all next summer at Bog BioBlitz VII.

Wild Cucumber (Echinocystis lobata) is a native plant. The vines drape over surrounding vegetation and cling by tendrils (the spiral stem in background).

The spiny fruits of Wild Cucumber reminded someone of a mini cucumber.

The early morning (6am-9am) bird trip found this very cooperative juvenile LeConte’s Sparrow. It was singing its abbreviated song, and not the typical song. Note that it has not yet acquired its beautiful orangey plumage on head and breast. Poplar Road.

Beautiful Liatris cluster. It is often called Gay-Feather or Blazing-Star. This growth is not native, but an escapee from a farmer’s garden. Overton Road.

FOUR in the bush is worth one in the hand…The birding group watching a single bush that held a LeConte’s Sparrow, Sedge Wren, Common Yellowthroat and Swamp Sparrow.

TWO juvenile Coyotes were just waking up on these big round hay bales. They seemed reticent to move.

Young Coyote found by the birding trip.

Two-time participant Casey (left) joined us between a job in Alaska and a trip to Maine. Kristina (right) led the dragonfly trip with Clinton.

The groups getting ready to depart for the field.

Head Naturalist Clinton briefing the group.

A striking specimen of Cross Orbweaver (Araneus diadematus).

Hay bales become the preferred perches of many birds in late summer. Here a Red-tailed Hawk takes off from its round perch.

FOSZB member Kathy (foreground) kindly let the canoe group access remote East Stone Lake from her cabin. The group found many cool things including a Wood Duck mama with 7 young, Donacia beetles that live on floating lily pads, and acres of Wild Rice (fuel for migrating ducks each fall).

Arrowhead (Saggitaria sp.)

Dense Wild Rice near FOSZB’s East Stone Lake Bog. Note the two heads just popping up out of the rice bed in the upper left.

Several Blue Dasher dragonflies inhabit East Stone Lake Bog. This is at the northern edge of this species range.

An as yet unidentified mushroom growing from a dead waterlogged aquatic stem.

The strikingly-patterned Chestnut-marked Pondweed Moth (Paraponyx badiusalis) inhabits the floating water-lily leaves of lakes. It weakly flutters from lily pad to lily pad when disturbed.

The spider Pisaurina mira is a good mom…She builds this “nursery web” for her 100s of offspring to safely grow and molt. In fact, her common name is Nursery Web Spider. East Stone Lake.

Female Hagen’s Bluet damselfly.

Tetragnatha spiders are VERY common in Wild Rice beds of late summer…and that is exactly where this one was found.

The East Stone Lake canoe group eating lunch in the rain. A hardy group!

Sandhill Crane family (photo by Lori Williams)

Colorful Vesper Bluet caught by Kristina Dexter on the dragonfly trip.

The real fun is sharing all the groups finds for the day. Due to the rain we had to do this indoors.

See you at Bog BioBlitz VII in summer 2019!