Friday, July 22, 2016

Wheatley Sedge Skippers and Grassland birds

One of my butterfly watching goals this summer was to see a Dion Skipper - a sedge skipper that looks like a Dukes Skipper but with only one, not two "rays" on its lower hindwing. Alan Wormington suggested that I visit some good sedge habitat - and informed me of this small area on the north end of Wheatley Provincial Park. I arrived at the prescribed location, an unassuming country road in Wheatley, the road dipped downward as the land had a little valley where a small river was passing under the road. I pulled over and found this scene above, beautiful in itself. Chickory and Red Clover along with Common Milkweed were found along the roadside. Belted Kingfishers, Great Blue Herons, Willow Flycatcher and Accipiter raptors were noted.  Its hard to tell, but at the back of the Sedge floodplain, a small waterway meanders by. To the left of this photo, a large swath of Phragmites is choking out the vegetation and the view. One has to wonder if this sedge floodplain will be consumed by Phragmites in the next few years?

After walking around for a few minutes, I did note skippers flying above the sedges but too distant for photos. I took some photos of the sedge habitat with my cell phone with "HDR" (High Dynamic Resolution) enabled --- with some cool results.

Sure enough, I found some sedge skippers around a nice roadside patch of Common Milkweed. I don't think I found a Dion Skipper (Or Mulberry Winged) - but Dukes Skippers were pretty common. I took some photos of the Dukes Skipper tapping into some Common Milkweed.

Being in Wheatley, I stopped by the Campers Cove area - a birder is obliged to visit here when passing through Wheatley.

At campers cover area, I almost immediately heard a Grasshopper Sparrow, (perhaps two) singing.  Some other expected birds present were Dickcissels, Bobolinks, Indigo Buntings, Song Sparrow, Northern Flicker, not to mention other common birds.  Some nice grassland / old field habitat here includes lots of Dark eyed Susans, Showy Tick Trefoil along with other weeds such as Milkweeds and Goldenrods which havent yet flowered. 

Good Birding and Naturalizing!

PS: Some local media has been talking about the increased traffic that the new "Mini Mall" plaza will bring to Ojibway Park. Talk of Closing the main bisecting road (Matchette Road), roadkill, natual corridors and Fragmentation are being thrown around, which is nice to see.  The artist for the paper Mike Graston made this cartoon recently which I couldn't help but share. An opinion piece was written in support of Ojibway and in closing Matchette --- which I will give a link to and  paste below.

Image Source:

The Windsor Star Editorial can be found here:  or (Evernote Backup)


  1. Thanks for sharing that link to the Windsor star column......excellent information in it, although as is typical, the comments that follow range from informative to sad to ridiculous. I was back at OPPNR earlier in the week, looking for an endangered couple of plants. I still am disappointed in the way that the road system has forever altered the general area, not to mention seeing some of the construction going on at that unnecessary big box site.

  2. I have not seen Dion in some time. Dukes' seem to be more available!



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