Sunday, June 25, 2017

IO Moth & Giant Leopard Moth at Brunet Park in LaSalle

About three years ago, Steve Pike introduced me to a local moth expert - Moe Botus who I have had the chance to go mothing with at least once per season during the last few summers [link]. I've been bugging (no pun intended) Moe to invite me out when IO Moths were flying... As I had seen a picture of one posted a few years ago during an Ojibway Park BioBlitz.  Another moth that I really wanted to see was a Giant Leopard Moth... and amazingly, I was able to see both of these target moths tonight!

Another cool moth was this Small eyed sphinx moth shown below.

Just a closing note: Moe is doing a moth event at Point Pelee on July 7th, and Balsam Lake (Provincial Park) on July 28th.  Try to attend those events if you want to do a little mothing with an expert! If you go, tell him Dwayne sent you ;-p

Good Birding, Botanizing, Leping, Herping ... and Mothing!

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Early June Butterfly Watching and Birding at the Pinery

Wanting to get away from the house, I packed up the van and brought the family out to Pinery Provincial Park along the beautiful shores of Lake Huron. The weather today was gorgeous - just a perfect sunny day. One of my goals from this trip - (I figured it would be a long-shot ) - was to see an Eastern Pine Elfin. This is one of those species I assumed I would probably never see. I had understood that their flight window was basically during the month of May - and that they were just too rare and too distant for me to come across one. But sure enough, I had brief looks at this fluttery beauty along one of the beach dunes that one must cross from the Pinery Beach parking lots to the beach itself.

Amazingly, I did not expect to discover three new butterfly species today - but indeed, that is what happened. I was able to see: Eastern Pine Elfin, Hoary Elfin and a Dusted Skipper (thanks to Blake for some ID help)! I initially thought the Dusted Skipper has a "Pocahontas" version of the Hobomok Skipper but Blake was able to recognize the "white eyebrow" field mark of the Dusted Skipper.

Some other great highlights today was seeing a Red-headed Woodpecker at the Riverside Trail. I was blown away to hear, then see a few Prairie Warblers at some of the open juniper - dune habitat. Pine Warblers, Ovenbirds among other more common birds were heard today as well.

Dusted Skipper on Yellow Pucoon

I think this plant below is New Jersey Tea - the host plant of the Mottled Duskywing. The Pinery is such a beautiful park.... I wish it was not so far away from Windsor.

Good birding, herping and Leping!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Backyard ... Whip-poor-will??!?! + Pelee Wed May 10th photos

On Saturday May 13th, I had spent the day birding at Pelee and was particularly exhausted in the evening. Taking a nap in my room with the window open, I heard the familiar "Peent" of the local American Woodcock. I went to the window to take in the sounds, and to look if I could see the timberdoodle display, when to my amazement, an Eastern Whip-poor-will burst out into loud song! My mind was absolutely blown. I went downstairs to go out on my back porch and took the following video with my cell phone to document the occurrence. 

On another note, I went out to Pelee on Wed May 10th. Kit joined me as we often attempt to car-pool because we both have a 1-hour drive to pelee from Windsor. Wednesday gave lots of first year birds to look at. Some highlights were good looks at Prothonotary, Cape May,  Magnolia as well as Yellow throated Vireos. Most people mentioned that while Wednesday was good, Tuesday seemed to be the best day of the week with more birds and more rarities in the mix.  Below is a photo dump!

My son is beckoning me to help him with legos so I'm going to cut this short!

Good Birding,

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Soggy, Sedgy Saturday - Sedge Wren at Point Pelee

Point Pelee Sedge Wren
Its been about two weeks since I went to Pelee so I was very excited to get out and do some birding today. Of course, the weather has been brutally cold and rainy lately and birds were scarce at Pelee today. Still, there were some great birds to see. Of note was a Sedge Wren that has been hanging around the tip of Point Pelee for the last few days. I had briefly seen and heard Sedge Wrens at Carden Alvar in the past but this is perhaps my first chance to really see / photograph the bird well. I had to stand around and wait perhaps an hour to get just a brief glance at this little wren. Hearing it call from the grasses and brush piles of Sparrow Field was really nice - and made the wait a little more bearable.

Other good birds today included singles of about 9 species of Warblers, several thrushes were noted as well as a generous number of Red headed Woodpeckers.

It was great to see many birding friends at Pelee. There was a memorial bench and plaque dedicated to Alan Wormington unveiled near the visitor center entrance at about 11am today. Many people were present to remember a friend and mentor that left us too early.

Good Birding,


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