Sunday, October 1, 2017

The Fauna of Adams Pointe

A baby Eastern Cottontail sits on No. 1 green
One of the most special traits of Adams Pointe Golf Club is the abundance of wildlife on the property. From small, indistinguishable insects to white-tailed deer, every round played has encounters with the animals of Adams Pointe. And with numerous different habitats, ranging from native grasslands and deciduous forests to riparian zones and protected native wetlands, the viewing options are endless.

An unexpected find on the first hole of the day.
The baby Eastern Cottontail pictured above was inside the cup on No. 1 green on a morning in the spring. While the rabbit was undoubtedly nervous about being trapped, we recovered it from the cup unscathed, and it hopped right off. 

A young White-tailed deer heads toward greener pastures.
While many animals visit Adams Pointe at various times of year, our permanent residents are abundant. White-tailed deer can be spotted nearly any day on the course, especially during morning and evening golf rounds.

But one species that has even the deer outnumbered is the wild turkey. Large groups gather on different holes in the mornings to feed on seeds and insects, and in the heat of summer, you can hear them foraging in the shaded woods. Their high-strung nature can cause some entertaining moments, as they do everything possible to get away from approaching carts.

One of the most overlooked segments of our wildlife population is the large variety of birds on the property. Seasonal visitors such as the Killdeer and Red-winged Blackbird can be seen and heard around No. 10 and No. 18 pond during the summer. In winter, Black-capped Chickadees and Brown Creeper take over the woods on No. 8, while American Kestrels invade the grasslands on No. 15 to hunt for a rare January meal. We have observed more than 100 species of birds on the property.

An osprey perches in a tree overlooking the pond on No. 14.
This spring, we were visited by a migrating Osprey. During its rare and brief stay, we were lucky enough to spot it in the trees above the water south of No. 14.

Our most mysterious resident by far is the solitary bobcat. A lucky few have had the privilege to see one while playing a round, but the views are usually fleeting. Although bobcats prefer the dense woods and are nocturnal, there have been several sightings in the day and out in the open. If you do spot a bobcat while on the property, it is best to give it space and just enjoy the view. 

A bobcat patrols the native on No. 11. 
A bobcat kitten runs across the path to the maintenance shop.
While the bobcats might get more attention, another cat at Adams Pointe is more famous and rightly so. Affectionately named Knucklehead, the cat pictured below has lived at the maintenance shop for at least 15 years, although historians argue about the exact number. Serving as a therapy cat, head mouser, and lunch hour entertainment, she has been the best shop animal in the golf industry and continues to do her duties without complaint. If you happen by the maintenance shop and see old Knucklehead, feel free to give her a pet.

Knucklehead hiding in the tallgrass.
During your next round at Adams Pointe, be sure to keep an eye out for our wild course companions. Spying a bobcat or watching the bluebirds harass a perched Red-tailed Hawk can further immerse you in the joy of golfing. Just remember to be respectful of their space, as these creatures are nice enough to allow us to golf on their front yard.

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