On July 18th I headed over to the Cedar Grove Nature Trail in Marlborough Forest, as a summer visit was long overdue. After a disappointing visit in June, when a lot of odes and butterflies seemed to be late due to the prolonged cold weather, I was hoping to find some of the early species still flying. To be honest, I had no idea whether insect emergence was still late or back on track, or whether I would even see some of the specialties I was hoping for – such as Calico Pennant, Brush-tipped Emerald, Aurora Damsel, Silvery Checkerspot, fritillaries and more. Regardless, I was looking forward to a change of scenery, and would be happy with whatever I saw.
There weren’t many birds of note, although I was surprised to hear both a Blue-headed Vireo and a Black-throated Green Warbler still singing. It was after 1:00 p.m. by the time I arrived, so not only was it late in the season, but also late in the day. A pair of female or immature Hooded Mergansers near the bridge was a surprise; this was the first time I had seen this species on the pond.