Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Return to West Perth Wetlands

This extremely hot weather lately makes it hard to get out and bird as much as I would like.  On top of that, it's summer and birding hasn't turned up much unusual lately since spring migration is long past and fall migration has barely started.  However I still enjoy getting out when I can and today I visited the West Perth Wetlands later on in the day when the heat had eased off a little bit.  It was also a great opportunity to try out my latest purchase, a spotting scope and tripod. 

You can see that I got caught in a brief shower.
It allowed me much closer views which were not possible with my binoculars.

There were many birds about today.
Lesser Yellowlegs
Eastern Kingbird
Wood ducks
Canada Goose
Goldfinch in thistle.

Overall, a good time in West Perth.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

An Afternoon of Birds and Butterflies

I was glad to have a free afternoon and good weather on the same day and decided to walk a route around the farm.  Birds were my primary focus, but many species of butterflies and dragonflies also quickly caught my interest.  For the most part, it was the insects that were the most co-operative for photos.

With monarchs being relatively scarce this year I was surprised to find this individual hanging around a patch of milkweed.  I plan to return to this spot and check for eggs.

Common whitetail dragonflies were the dominant dragonfly of the afternoon.

Continuing on down the lane, I passed several wet patches that proved to be excellent buffets for the butterflies.

It was at one of these wet holes that I spotted my only mourning cloak of the day.

The tall grass also held numerous insects.
Skipper butterfly.  I don't know this family well enough to say what kind of skipper.
The mosquitoes were not so bad today, but the deer flies were out in full force and they all seemed to want a taste of me.  Finally leaving the deer flies behind, I had a chance to taste some of the many black raspberries currently in season.

I saw and heard a wide variety of bird species today, but only got one half decent photo, a young wood duck.

Friday, 3 July 2015

Milkweed Visitors

I took some time this morning to observe the insect visitors around one of our patches of milkweed plants.  Most of the milkweed that I checked today was starting to flower.  Milkweed can really be an attractive native plant to have around, both in looks and butterfly friendliness.  Now that it has been removed from the noxious weed list here in Ontario, hopefully more gardeners and nature lovers can see the potential of this native species.

Likely when you think of milkweed, the monarch is the first insect that you would associate with it.  However many other bugs take advantage of the plant as well.

Ctenucha moth
Red Admiral
Comma Butterfly
Northern Pearly Eye
Red Milkweed Beetle
Other insect life that I saw but did not photograph included mourning cloak, cabbage butterflies and common whitetail, our most regularly seen dragonfly around here.

The monarchs themselves have been rather scarce so far this year.  I have seen only one adult, but  have seen several eggs.  Each year I raise some monarchs, usually starting them from whatever eggs I can find.  The  two I have are doing well.