Sessions Sanctuary Report

The Bird Call Blog

SESSIONS NATURE SANCTUARY REPORT: September/October 2015

By Ellen McLaughlin

The Birmingham Audubon Sessions Sanctuary is located on three acres donated by Diane and Tram Sessions, late Birmingham Audubon members known for their support of conservation and birds. The sanctuary is managed by Birmingham Audubon volunteer Ellen. W. McLaughlin. Thanks to Ellen for sharing one of her quarterly sanctuary reports with the Bird Call Blog.

I visited the Sanctuary on September 18 and September 25, 2015. The entrance which I usually use to check the property was completely impassable and blocked by debris. On Sept.18, the property had not yet been mowed and I completed a survey of fall wildflowers and other wildlife at the sanctuary. Ironweed, spilanthes, tick trefoils, cut-leaved coneflowers and goldenrod were common wildflowers in bloom. Also migrating butterflies were plentiful.

Mr. Herbert Douglas at the Sanctuary by Ellen McLaughlin. September 2015.

Mr. Herbert Douglas at the Sanctuary by Ellen McLaughlin. September 2015.

On Sept. 25, I was notified the property would be mowed that afternoon. I visited the site and met for the first time Mr. Herbert Douglas who has mowed our property for many years. He was very knowledgeable about trees, wildlife and Audubon programs. As a child, he was one of the first attendees of the Children’s programs at the Birmingham Audubon Mountain Workshop (Mentone, AL) and remembered traveling to Fort Payne by train to be met by Blanche Dean for transport to camp. He also attended the early Audubon Film series with his parents who often hosted Audubon guest speakers such as Roger Tory Peterson.

SPILANTHES

Spilanthes.

P1040547

Cut-leaved coneflower.

HEARTSBUSTIN

Hearts burstin’ with love.

FALL WILDFLOWERS IN BLOOM

  • white smartweed
  • tall goldenrod
  • American germander
  • Pennsylvania smartweed
  • cut-leaf coneflower
  • false nettle
  • spilanthes
  • ironweed
  • giant ragweed
  • mistflower
  • small white morning glory
  • three-seeded Mercury
  • panicled tick trefoil
  • virgin’s bower

BERRIES

  • hearts bursting with love
  • holly
  • nandina
  • privet
  • monkey grass
  • grape
  • Jack-in-the-pulpit

BIRDS: Robin, Blue Jay, Cooper’s Hawk and Carolina Wren.

SNAKE:  A gray snake was found in the grass during the mowing. It remained very still. Probably a water snake. The head was not triangular like a copperhead.

oligocheteworm1

1.5 mm Oligochete Worm.

AUDUBON MAYAPPLE POOL

Adult Snail.

Adult Snail.

 

 

 

 

 

POOL ORGANISMS

PRODUCERS:

  • Diatoms

CONSUMERS:

  • Bristle worm
  • Copepod
  • Spirostomum
  • Ostracods
  • Planaria
  • Daphnia
  • Snail

Report and photos by Ellen W. McLaughlin, Chair Sanctuary Committee