On Saturday, June 21, 2014, a group of OFNC naturalists led by Robert Alvo and Jakob Mueller visited Opinicon Road and the lands around the Queens University Biological Station (“QUBS”) for a day of birding and herping in the Frontenac Arch Biosphere Reserve. Although not even two hours away from Ottawa, this area is rich in fauna typically found in southern Ontario, and our goal was to see some of these species. Targets included Gray Ratsnake, Cerulean Warbler, Golden-winged Warbler, Yellow-throated Vireo, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Red-shouldered Hawk, Black-billed Cuckoo and Yellow-billed Cuckoo. The drive down to Opinicon Road was uneventful, and our first stop of the day was a beaver pond just south of Chaffey’s Locks.
After leaving the Bill Mason Center I drove directly to the Morris Island Conservation Area. Chris and Bob had seen at least a dozen Halloween Pennants here earlier in the week, and I was eager to find them and to explore the conservation area further. This time I bypassed the trail through the woods and headed along the straight, wide trail to the large bay I had noticed on my last visit. Once it reaches the water, the trail forms a long raised causeway to the woods on the other side. Formerly used as a rail line, the causeway is s a wide open, flat gravel trail 1.5 km long which transects the conservation area. It was here that Bob and Chris found the Halloween Pennants; as soon as I reached the water I slowed down to examine the vegetation.