Preliminary survey planning has begun at a number of sites, and we are excited to be in the woods again! Ezra, Rachel, and I were the survey team on Tuesday. Our goals during preliminary survey during the winter months are focused on identifying unique plant communities. This helps us to prepare for growing-season efforts to identify plants and animals and classify the plant communities. Ezra comprised the Avian Fauna team, and observed 20 species on a relatively quiet day, including Purple Finch (Haemorhous purpureus purpureus), Brown Creeper (Certhia americana), and Winter Wren (Troglodytes hiemalis). For a complete list of species and counts check the “Winter Birds: Part 2” post.
We continue to see valuable and uncommon natural resources hidden on a variety of landscapes throughout the Piedmont. Today we had the good fortune of encountering plant communities very close to Charlottesville that will likely classify as Basic Mesic Forests and Piedmont Mafic Barrens. On Monday a preliminary walk-through at a location in Southern Albemarle property produced an extensive Basic Seepage Swamp. Each of these ecosystem types are critical for regional biological health. To learn more:
- Basic Mesic Forest: http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural-heritage/natural-communities/nctiib
- Piedmont Mafic Barren: http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural-heritage/natural-communities/nctivb
- Basic Seepage Swamp: http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural-heritage//natural-communities/ncpiia