Invasive Removal Day A Success!
The invasive removal day in February filled more than a dumpster of invasive Boston Fern (Nephrolepis cordifolia). This invasive fern also known as tuberous sword fern is competing for space with Florida's native wild sword fern (Nephrolepis exaltata). After a brief training session on determining which is which, volunteers split into two groups and cleared areas of infestation on Sugarberry and Cline Trails. Thanks to all who care and show up and helped!
Fern Trail Renovation Help Needed
The restoration and boardwalk construction for Fern Trail is slated to begin in the Fall. Fern Trail passes through one of the Hammock's most ecologically sensitive areas, and to protect it, the trail is being upgraded. The trail is subject to flooding during our rainy season, and the boardwalk will protect both visitors and the sensitive plants along the trail.
Winter is Good for Bird Watching.
Not only is there wintering species to catch, but the lack of leaves on deciduous trees provides better viewing opportunities.
Hammock Park Land Purchase Awarded $250,000 grant from BP Settlement
The 8 (MOL) acres of ecologically sensitive "Scrubby Flatwoods" acquired last year, received an generous $250,000 grant from the Pinellas County Commission at its December 13th meeting. The commission voted unanimously to spend $7.1 million from a settlement of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. (see story below "It's Unanimous" for background.)
Hammock Bird Banding Project Summary – Fall 2016
By Jim McGinity, Master Bander
This fall season was fairly calm with good weather, but yielded a few surprises. We caught a total of 89 birds of 24 different species including 12 recaptures. The big “winner” of the season was the Gray Catbird (28 birds caught) with the Northern Cardinal in second place (15 birds caught).
The surprises included 2 new species to the station. These were a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher and an Orange-crowned Warbler. The warbler was the last bird caught while we were closing up the nets on the last day! We enjoyed having a steady stream of visitors including a field trip group from the Florida Birding & Nature Festival (a total of 87). We are looking forward to a productive and busy Spring 2017 season. If you would like more detailed information about the fall 2016 banding season (with more photos), you can visit the project blog: www.hammockbirdbanding.wordpress.com
I want to thank all my dedicated volunteers! I couldn't do this project without them. Also, thank you to the support of Clearwater Audubon Society for all their support.
Dunedin Votes Unanimously to Annex and Preserve Environmentally Sensitive Land. As a Result, Hammock Park Grows to Nearly 100-Acres.
The 8 (MOL) acres of land is an an ecological area designated as "Scrubby Flatwoods". The key characteristics are the presence of an open canopy of slash and sand pine, with a saw palmetto understory containing intermittent patches of bare, white sands. Small areas of blueberry (Vaccinium myrsinites), goldenrod (Solidago sempervirens) as well as narrowleaf silk grass also persist in small openings. This community occurs on gentle sloping terrain supporting moderately drained soils. Though this habitat is relatively small in size, it represents a unique habitat relative to the predominance of other mesic/hydric habitats found in the park and provides the only suitable habitat for a small population of the State listed threatened gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus), requiring proper management.
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