Sunday, September 18, 2016

September Yard Birding

Just a short posting for tonight. Yesterday (Saturday) it rained for the first half of the day. I wanted to get out and enjoy some nature but it was simply a washout! So I sat on my back porch and just enjoyed a coffee with binoculars in hand. To my amazement, a large redish bird perched in some shrubs in my backyard --- Brown Thrasher! Then, perhaps 20 mins later - Swainson's Thrush! Three warbler species were present - Palm Warbler, Nashville and Tennessee! Song Sparrows were singing - oddly-- then a new yard bird --- a first year Scarlet Tanager! A little later - two Eastern Pewees.  I'm amazed that even on a crappy, rainy day --- that the birding is that good in my back yard.

This morning - similar birds. I had less time to be outside - but another Scarlet Tanager showed up - to my amazement!

This afternoon, I went to Pelee to followup on a recent butterfly posting to the Ontario Butterflies Google Group. One report stated lots of southern butterflies are present around Pelee - including Little Sulfur, Grey Hairstreak, and lots of Fiery Skippers. I only walked west beach to sparrow field - but I did see two Grey Hairstreaks and a single fiery skipper among other more common butterflies. A field near the PPNP Admin building had many more fiery skippers to look at. Some posed nicely on New England Aster.

Good birding, butterfly watching and nature lovin'

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Spotted Wintergreen at Ojibway

Spotted Wintergreen at Ojibway Park (Chimaphila maculata)

A few days ago, I was walking briskly along a path at Ojibway, and this plant caught my eye. I kept walking then perhaps 30 seconds later, I backtracked and went back to find and photograph this plant. For some reason, I wanted to followup on what it was. So later on Flickr, I was looking up Slender bush Clover when I stumbled accross a photo of this plant that I was wanting to identify. Oddly enough, the photographer called this plant "Striped Prince's Pine" - but after doing some research --- it dawned on me that this is a very rare plant rated N1/S1 in Canada and Ontario [link]. More amazingly, I used google to look up this plant at Ojibway Park and realized that it was only discovered at Ojibway during the 2014 Bioblitz! Its so newly discovered that most of the documentation does not even acknowledge it being in Essex County. Its stronghold in the province is in Haldimand Norfolk County near Long Point / St Williams Forest Tract. An amazing, self discovered botanical rarity. I would love to see this plant flowering so next summer, I will try to make an effort to see these guys in flower.

I will end off this posting with images from Ojibway & some backtracking botany...

Late Summer Flowering Plants of Ojibway ~

Backtrack Botany

Heliborine Orchid (Non Native) .  I took this picture at a local ERCA natural area while looking for Purple Twayblade. I didn't know what it was when I saw it but it looked a little different. I slowly figured it out from my recently given field guide (thanks Irene), Flickr, Google Images as well as the excellent botany blogs I read! 

Good Botanizing!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Snowy Egrets at Big Creek in Amherstburg

I went birding this afternoon at Ojibway Park and met up with Kit. We walked the tallgrass prairie area but other than a brief pocket of warblers it was pretty quiet. I did get really good looks at a Southbound Canada Warbler which was nice. I think it might be my first southbound Canada Warbler at Ojibway. Canada Warblers are my favorite Warbler Species! Common Nighthawks were noted flying overhead at Ojibway.

After our walk, Kit asked if I had seen the Snowy Egrets in Amherstburg. We headed out and sure enough we saw our target birds - two Snowy Egrets! We were hoping to pick out a Little Blue Heron but no, none were seen. Kit mentioned he still hasn't seen a Horned Lark, and along concession 7, just outside of Holiday Beach, I found some in a recently ploughed farmers' field.

Canada Warbler at Ojibway Park

False Smooth Foxglove at Ojibway Park

Good birding!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Olive Sided Flycatcher & Ojibway Park's Slender Bush-Clover

A recent WEPBird posting mentioned an Olive sided Flycatcher along with some other warblers at Point Pelee so I made an effort to go out. I carpooled with Kit - who is a new and enthusiastic birder from Windsor. We walked Woodland Nature Trail at Pelee and Redbud trail then went to Sparrow Field. Lots of birds to sort through but some highlights included Red breasted Nuthatch - which is rare in my opinion - and an Olive sided Flycatcher. In Sparrow Field we had a Carolina  Wren singing as we sorted through flycatchers, warblers and vireos. Its been said by many experienced birders that Pelee is a better migration trap in the fall than in the Spring! In Sparrow Field, I had also noted a fresh hairstreak butterfly on Goldenrod, but as I switched my camera lens, it flushed not to be refound. I'm 95% sure it was a Grey Hairstreak.

Back at Ojibway, I was walking along a path recently and noted an interpretive sign mentioning that a small meadow had Slender Bush-Clover! I had read about this plant as being very rare in Ontario and Canada. Its so rare, that Ojibway Park is the only place in Canada for this plant! Its rated S1 according to this COSEWIC report[link]. I looked around the meadow, being ultra careful of where I was stepping and I immediately found my target plant. Slender Bush-Clover looks a little like Showy tick Trefoil as well as Round-headed Bush-Clover (they are all in the pea family). Its smaller than the previous two plants, and is like a narrow stem shooting upwards with 3-part leaves and little flower clusters along the stem. Its not a stunning plant by any means, 999/1000 people would walk by it and not even notice it. I was  interested in seeing this plant as its on the rarity list on the Ojibway Website and I want to appreciate Ojibway Park by viewing its botanical, lep, herp, avian and habitat diversity.

Round-Headed Bush Clover (Lespedeza capitata) at Ojibway Park in Windsor

Slender Bush Clover  (Lespedeza virginica) at Ojibway Park

Its difficult to photograph plants. One would think its way easier to photograph a plant than a bird - but somehow I think I struggle more to photograph plants than birds. Its hard to capture the "essence" of this plant and it seems that its flowering period is very short - blink and you miss the flowering stage till next year...

Good Birding, Lepping, Botanizing, Herping, Gardening and anything else related to nature!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...