Tag Archive | tiger beetles

Hurdman: the End of May in Photos

Hobomok Skipper

The weather has been really warm and sunny lately; almost every time I go out it seems new insect species have emerged. I’ve seen lots of butterflies, a few dragonflies, several moths (most of which remain unidentified), Six-spotted Tiger Beetles, and even a few caterpillars. The bird life, however, remains unchanged. I imagine most of the vireos and warblers are nesting now, and while I hear them every time I visit, I seldom see them. The “royal” swans are on the river again; so far I’ve only seen the Black Swans at Hurdman, but don’t have any photos yet.

Mammals, too, have become inconspicuous. I haven’t seen any this past week except for the usual squirrels in the tree tops.

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Butterflies and Migrants at Hurdman

Silvery Blue

I returned to work after enjoying an extra-long weekend in Nova Scotia, and I couldn’t wait to visit Hurdman at lunch on Friday to see what had changed in the days since I had last visited. Another large wave of Red Admiral butterflies had migrated north while I was out of the province, and this wave contained a larger proportion of Question Marks, American Ladies and Painted Ladies. I was looking forward to seeing whether any new butterfly species had arrived and/or emerged, and whether any of the usual breeding flycatchers, warblers and vireos had returned to Hurdman while I was away. I was also hoping to find some more migrating warbler species, as the Hurdman woods have been very productive for warblers these past two springs.

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Back to the Bill Mason Center

Garter Snake

On Saturday morning I headed out west to Dunrobin again, stopping in at Sarsaparilla Trail first, as usual. I tallied 18 species on my walk, more than I’ve seen there on a single visit so far this year; highlights include Ring-necked Ducks, a pair of Bufflehead, three female Hooded Mergansers, Golden-crowned Kinglets, one Common Grackle, four Purple Finches, four Tree Swallows, and one Eastern Phoebe. Both the Tree Swallows and the phoebe were new for Sarsparilla this year, and both were flycatching over the large pond. I first noticed the phoebe when it landed in the dead tree closest to the observation dock, although it quickly flew off to a more distant snag. Surprisingly, I didn’t see or hear a single sparrow at Sarsaparilla. The juncos seemed to have disappeared and the Swamp Sparrows and White-throated Sparrows haven’t arrived yet.

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Butterflies of Bill Mason

I had less luck at Shirley’s Bay on Monday. I only observed 18 species, and both shorebird and warbler numbers were down. The three Red-necked Phalaropes were gone, but this time I saw a couple of Killdeer, a couple of Spotted Sandpipers, and a single Sanderling. In the woods I encountered one singing Eastern Wood-Pewee, two Red-eyed Vireos, two Black-and-white Warblers, and one of each of Northern Parula, Magnolia Warbler, Palm Warbler and Black-throated Green Warbler. A little disappointed with the variety, I headed to the Bill Mason Center next where I hoped to find some interesting insects.

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Roger’s Pond, Part II – Wildflowers and a Butterfly

After checking Roger’s Pond, I decided to leave the clearing and take the right-hand trail (if facing north, toward Roger Stevens Drive) which looks as though it circles the pond. I have never followed the entire trail around the pond before and was hoping to find the little log shelter I’d seen pictures of in other peoples’ galleries.

The trail immediately plunged into the woods, although in several places only a thin screen of trees separated the forest trail from the pond clearing. At no time did I see the water, but in these open spots I found a singing Chestnut-sided Warbler in all his breeding-plumage beauty and a singing Rose-breasted Grosbeak.

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A Visit to Roger’s Pond – Part I

The first day of the Victoria Day long weekend was warm and sunny and gorgeous; it felt more like a day in mid-summer than late spring. I took my insect net out for the first time this season and headed over to the Cedar Grove Nature Trail in Marlborough Forest to see what I could find. Although I knew many of the butterflies and dragonflies unique to Marlborough Forest would not have emerged yet, I still had hopes of finding some interesting reptiles and amphibians. I was also curious as to whether I would find any interesting birds there, as I had never been there before during migration.

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