Sunday, 19 June 2016

Weekend Post.

This weekend was hot but sunny and I was outdoors most of the time.  I was quite busy on Saturday (farmers have to take advantage of those sunny days), but I made time to take a walk in the evening and I had arranged to take Sunday afternoon off and head down to the Pinery.

The biggest highlight for me on Saturday was finding this guy.

Usually I will see an adult or eggs before a larvae, but this was my first monarch sighting of the year.

I was looking forward to Sunday afternoon and a trip to Pinery Provincial Park, a place I had not visited before.  We entered the park around 1:45 and right away, there was activity.   Numerous red-eyed vireos were singing as I slowly drove along with the window down.  The vireos would end up being the most numerous species of the day.

First stop was the riverside trail.  I had heard a lot about this trail and was looking forward to checking it out myself.

 Butterflies were extremely active and many red spotted purple and tiger swallowtail were taking advantage of the sunny day.

Upon reaching the Ausable channel, I caught sight of a red-headed woodpecker fly over and disappear into the trees on the other side.  I had heard that the Pinery was a promising place to find one and I'm glad I saw it even if it was brief.

I kept hearing rustling in the leaves and would quickly look down only to find a chipmunk out and about.

 From there it was on to the nearby hickory and bittersweet trails.

I rounded a corner and was surprised to see a pileated woodpecker not far off at the base of a tree.
 I was unfamiliar with bladdernut shrub before today.  The pods growing on the tree were unlike anything I was used to.

Lots of poison ivy showing up as well.
More red-eyed vireos were singing along with a few eastern-wood pewees and a scarlet tanager.  Here and there I could also hear the bouncing ball trill of field sparrows.

Nothing unusual on the remaining trails visited, but still some interesting sightings.

This great blue heron had just caught a meal along the cedar trail.

This red squirrel was stretched out under the feeder at the visitor centre.  It was a hot day.
This common whitetail posed nicely along the carolinian trail.
An ovenbird was quite vocal in the trees at the end of the walk.

It was a good weekend.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Walking in the Woods

If I happen to finish with work in good time in the evening or happen to have a bit of free time somewhere, I can often be found somewhere outdoors.  Our farm has a nice variety of woodlots and tree filled trails which I usually like to check out.

 I am learning to spend more time looking down, not spending all my time looking up at the birds.  Often heard more than seen, gray treefrogs are relatively common.

I always look forward to the return of the the dragonflies and damselflies.  Ebony jewelwing is starting to show up in decent numbers.

A not so welcome species to come across is giant hogweed.  Fortunately I have not seen any around home, but some friends of ours living fifteen minutes away are not so lucky with fresh growth starting to show itself.  The juices of the plant can cause some nasty burns if it comes in contact with human skin.  Needless to say, I chose to steer clear of it when I came across it.

Most of the warblers seem to have moved through the area and headed on to nesting grounds further north.  A few species will stay around the area for the summer.  The yellow warbler is one of the most common around here.

A small creek running through the property is enough to attract eastern kingbirds. 

Numerous flycatchers are around, most of which are best identified by voice.  I was interested to see this olive-sided flycatcher sitting in plain view, not something that I see very often.

Most birders are familiar with the brown headed cowbird and their habit of laying eggs in other bird nests.  Their range has increased greatly, from its original area, due in part to the clearing and fragmentation of forests.

And although not a forest bird, I couldn't resist including a couple shots of our resident bobolinks.  Their bubbly song is a much welcome sound.

It's not often I have a chance to get two bobolinks in one shot.