Monday 20 June 2016

The Soo!

I was up north of Sault Ste. Marie ("the Soo") last week with Pat Deacon for a few days carrying out breeding bird surveys.  We flew out of Pearson on Monday morning and flew back on Thursday afternoon. Besides being stuck in a seat on the back wall of the airplane, cheek to cheek with two large gentlemen, the trip went smoothly.  We saw lots of great birds including Canada Warbler, Rusty Blackbird, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher among others.  I didn't get many great photos due to the heavy tree cover, but I managed to get a few, particularly of the wild flowers.

Northern Parula
Black-throated Green Warbler

Pat can tell you what all of these plants are.  I enjoyed see these Pitcher Plants.  You can see the flower towering over the pitcher below which catches and digests bugs that get trapped inside.

Another carnivorous plant, the Sundew! This species catches bugs with those sticky globules on the end of the spikes!

I always enjoy seeing Blue Flag Iris

Saturday 11 June 2016

Mottled Duskywing and More

The past few weeks have been busy with work and other things.  This past weekend I was up on the Bruce Peninsula leading a guided tour called "Winged Pursuits" which focused on birds, butterflies and dragonflies.  The weather was cool and windy in the morning, but we ended up seeing 84 species of birds and a few neat insects as well!  Thanks to all that came out!

I also had some field work down in the Essex area on Monday and was able to find the Dickcissel at Camper's Cove.  I snapped a record shot of this beauty below.

On Thursday and Friday I had the privilege of carrying out some butterfly surveys at work for an Endangered butterfly species, the Mottled Duskywing.  Currently there are thought to be only 9 sites in Ontario where this species is known from.  I snapped a few pictures of this beautiful, tiny butterfly below.  

Mottled Duskywing
Mottled Duskywing
This species only feeds on two different species of New Jersey Tea, which was all over the place at the site we were at.
New Jersey Tea
Silvery Blue
 The site we were at also had abundant wild Lupine.  A wonderful flower that is the host plant of a now extirpated species in Ontario, the Karner Blue.

Tiger Swallowtail
Long Dash
 We had to wade across this river to check out a site on the far shore.  We got wet but avoided getting swept downstream!

We camped at Presquile Provincial Park on Thursday night and walked the Owen Point Trail, which bright back lots of memories from my childhood when my Dad and I used to visit the park fairly often.

We saw both Semi-palmated Plover and the recently nesting Piping Plovers, another endangered species that has not nested in this park in many years!

Semi-palmated Plover

Piping Plover