The Bruce Pit is always a great place to visit in the summer, so I decided to spend a couple of hours there one morning in early June to check out the marsh birds and odes. It was a beautiful, warm summer day, and one of my goals was to search the pond for Eastern Red Damsels. This is the only place in Ottawa where this small damselfly seems to be found, though I have not seen one for several years now. According to the Ottawa Odes checklist
, they emerge in mid-June and fly until late July. I was a bit early – it was only June 8th – but decided to try for them anyway.
I began my visit with a walk around the pond while I waited for it to warm up. I saw one Great Egret flying over the pit and a Great Blue Heron stalking fish at the edge of the pond. A pair of Pied-billed Grebes were vocalizing in the reeds at the edge of the pond, and I heard a pair of Marsh Wrens singing as well.
Continue reading →
Now that June has arrived migration is dwindling to a close and the breeding season has begun in earnest. I spent some time at Hurdman Park at lunch on both Monday and Friday, eager to see what new birds have arrived and whether any migrants were still moving through. On Monday, June 2nd I found the first Yellow Warblers, American Redstarts, Gray Catbirds and Red-eyed Vireos singing on territory. At least five Warbling Vireos, a Least Flycatcher and Eastern Kingbird were also present, and I heard an Eastern Wood-pewee singing in the woods close to Highway 417….the first one I’ve ever heard at Hurdman. It was likely a migrant, as pewees prefer wooded areas that are not adjacent to human habitation, and the woods at Hurdman are a small forest oasis in the middle of a bustling city. Not surprisingly, I didn’t hear the pewee on my visit on Friday or any other subsequent visit.
Continue reading →