Saturday, November 7, 2020

Cave Swallow at Point Pelee !?!?!

Back in late October - I was at Point Pelee and enjoyed a nice sunny afternoon walk at the Delaurier Homestead pathway. I had a great walk --- I had seen Fox Sparrows, Pine Siskin, Eastern Bluebirds, Purple Finches, Rusty Blackbirds and Eastern Phoebes. At one point though, I looked up and noticed a swallow-like bird. I was not sure if it was a Cave Swallow - but I had made an attempt to capture it in photos --- flying around. I was eager to get home later and compare my photos to my fields guide photos. Luckily, Jeremy B had reported seeing this bird from Delaurier as I was driving home. 

Good Birding!

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Shorebirding at Keith McLean Conservation Area, Essex West Lagoons - Aug 2020

This past week - I've had some time to followup on a few excellent birding finds in southwestern Ontario. In particular - I had seen a Western Sandpiper at Essex West Lagoons (Found by Jeremy Hatt) and a Red Knot at Keith McLean (Found by Steve Charbeneau). 

I share some photos below: 

A Western Sandpiper was seen at Essex West Lagoons - Some photos below: 

Good Birding!


Monday, July 13, 2020

Comet - Neowise + Some Underwing Moths

I woke up this morning at 4:00 am, and headed out to Lakewood Park South, which is in Tecumseh ON. I met up with Steve Pelerin, who is a local astronomy expert. Using my 400mm lens on a cropped sensor resulted in many blurry, shaky photos. I had arrived having realized my wife removed my tripod from my car recently.

I will try to go back tomorrow with my tripod, and I might also try using different (non-telephoto) lenses.

I have been mothing alot lately - at least once per week. So far this year, I have seen at least 6 species of underwing moths, with three new lifer moths!

Below I have four that I was able to photograph:

Ultronia Underwing
Little Underwing (lifer)
Hawthorn Underwing (lifer)
White Underwing (lifer)
Ilia Underwing (not shown)
Girlfriend Underwing (not shown)

Good Astronomizing & Mothing,

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Bog Coppers + Skunks Misery Butterfly Tour

I have visited the Sifton Bog natural area several times over the last few years and its always been a nice, small natural area with distinct bog plants and geography. It really is a bog!

See interpretive brochure:

I had noted on the interpretive sign they have in their parking lot that they had bog coppers - but I had (wrongly) assumed that they were extirpated, as I had not seen them on any of my previous visits.

So this week - I had to purchase something in London - and made a trip to Sifton Bog, as well as Newbury ON (Skunks Misery).

These are tiny butterflies!  They have wingspans from 11mm-17mm! This is my fourth Copper species  --- the other three being: American, Bronze & Dorcas Coppers.  Bog Coppers are also called Crannberry Bog Coppers because they nectar and feed almost exclusively on Cranberry plants.

A lady on the bog viewing platform pointed out this frog with a snake attempting to consume it.

The white flower in the top right - looks like a cranes head looking down.
That is where Cran - Berry comes from (Crane-berry)

After my trip to London, I returned back towards Windsor with a plan to "scout" skunks misery for some butterfly species. They are having an annual butterfly count this weekend and its always good. I was hoping to see a Compton's Tortoiseshell but ... my luck had been exhausted in London. 

Some butterflies seen include:

Cabbage Whites - 10
Eastern Comma - 6
Gray Comma - 3
Question Mark - 5
Tawny Emperor  500 (an outbreak on Sassafras Rd!)
Great Spangled Fritillary  -6
Monarch - 3
Black Swallowtail - 3
Eastern Swallowtail - 2
Giant Swallowtail - 1 
Silver Spotted Skipper 5
Skipper Sp. 5
Banded Hairstreak  6

It seems that there is an outbreak of Tawny Emperors at Skunks Misery. On Sassafras Rd, towards Concession Line - there were hundreds of Tawny Emperors.  They were all over the road, and sadly, I noted many that had been killed by cars driving by. 

Good butterfly watching, 


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