Return to Presqu’ile

On Sunday, September 11th Deb and I made the three-hour journey to Presqu’ile Provincial Park to check out the shorebird migration. It was another warm, beautiful day, and, as usual, we stopped to check out the little park at the foot of Harbour Street first. We saw a pair of Wood Ducks and three heron species in the marsh: a Great Blue Heron and a Great Egret standing out in the open, and an American Bittern just inside the cattails. Deb found him slowly moving among the reeds, which was an amazing feat considering how difficult they are to spot due to their excellent camouflage!

The insects were abundant, too. Deb found a beautiful fuzzy brown caterpillar, and I counted at least three male Blue Dashers next to the boat launch. A few White-faced Meadowhawks were in the same area as well.

Blue Dasher

A male Eastern Forktail was a nice find; it was the first of only two I would see at Presqu’ile.

Eastern Forktail

While scanning the lush vegetation I came across this spreadwing damselfly. It is a female, and thus more difficult to identify than the males. I’m guessing that it is is a Spotted Spreadwing given the time of year and given that I also caught and released two males along the Owen Point Trail later in the day.

Female Spreadwing

Before heading on to the park we checked the small, sluggish creek across the road and found only a few mallards and American Black Ducks. However, a Viceroy butterfly which landed in front of us more than made up for the lack of birds.

Viceroy

The first thing we did after entering Presqu’ile Provincial Park was to stop at the restroom near the Owen Point Trail. Here we found about half a dozen butterflies basking in the sun in the middle of the gravel parking lot; all appeared to be Monarchs and Mourning Cloaks, and we had to be very careful not to run any over!

Mourning Cloak

A Twelve-spotted Skimmer was perching in the vegetation close by. Given how hard it can be to get a decent photograph of this species, I seized the opportunity to take a couple of pictures.

Twelve-spotted Skimmer

We had just entered the park, and already it was shaping up to be another fabulous outing; the insects were plentiful, and although we’d seen few birds thus far, the ones that we did see – such as the American Bittern and Great Egret – were fantastic additions to the day’s list.

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