Will Waller reports that he met "this morning with Mike Parsen and Professor Charles Quagliana for a field tour of the surface water runoff problem that borders Eagle Heights Community Garden and Bill’s Woods. Water flows from the hill crest that divides the gardens and BioCore Prairie. It travels through the garden’s weed and leaf staging area, then through the woods to the old Owen Drive segment that runs in Bill’s Woods. The water accelerates quickly on the old cement roadway and flows into the recently constructed swale system along the Lakeshore Path.
Professor Quagliana thinks this is an appropriate project for one of his Capstone Study teams. These are teams of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) students supervised by Engineering faculty and professional mentors. Being in their senior year of study, they are ready to research real world problems and propose solutions. Capstone students have done consulting work for clients like the Arboretum and Epic Systems." The Friends look forward to support this project as it unfolds.
Arlene Koziol has this exciting report about a Western Grebe observed along the shoreline of the Preseve.
"On July 24th, birder Paul van Ginkel, was out by the Limnology Building without his binoculars. He saw a large grebe diving and foraging close to shore. “It had a large yellow bill and red eye with black on top of the head going into the neck. The back was grayish black with whitish specks on it. The face and front/side of the neck where very white.” It was confirmed as a Western Grebe. “The Western Grebe is the largest Grebe in North America. It is 22-30 inches long and 31-40 inches across the wings.” Birds On Line, Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Roma Lenahan commented “Very unusual, at least on Lake Mendota. They are spotted every year or two in the fall on Lake Mendota – I have never heard a report in July here!”
My husband Jeff Koziol and I were able to watch the Western Grebe on Lake Mendota on three other occasions. On one occasion we had the opportunity to watch the Western Grebe actively dive and forage in high winds. We saw it in the same location swimming close to shore near the Limnology building. We saw it catch two perch. One fish was so large, it had to squeeze it hard in it’s bill for about five minutes before it could swallow it dead in one gulp. It was amazing the Grebe hold on to a thrashing fish in the strong winds and waves."
Below is a link to my pictures on Flicker.
A few of Arlene's splendid photos are reproduced here. Please see her Flicker site for the entire story. And, please let us know about YOUR sightings.
Gisela Kutzbach and contributors