Friday, March 24, 2017

Friday Report March 24

After a cold week, we finally got some more spring-like weather this afternoon.  However, around 7 p.m. this evening the wind switched to the NE dropping the temperature, and the clouds rolled in signalling the arrival of the weekend.  It must be that time of year!

After work today, I went for a walk at Reid CA.  It was nice going through the woods without a coat on for a change.  I saw a few Eastern Comma butterflies, first for the season here.



Reid CA is a real treasure in my opinion with the variety of trees and of course butterflies in the warm season.  I was looking for Blue Ash (for example) and found some smaller trees still alive, but of course the larger ones had finally succumbed to that dreadful insect.  I only walked one section though.



My last stop was Peers Wetland where I saw the first few Tree Swallows of the year.  The warm front today brought in quite a few birds including Song Sparrows.  Chipping Sparrows and Eastern Phoebes were finally reported today.

This morning was crisp but I took a walk at Stewart Wetland as the sun rose.



Several different ducks were around, and lots of gulls.  There are still a crazy number of gulls along the St. Clair River and Walpole Island area.



Yesterday evening I checked out Mitchell's Bay where there are thousands of ducks.  I did not have a scope,  but just enjoyed a walk along the shoreline.



Monday, March 20, 2017

Ghost Post from 2012

Note:  The following is a post from August 2012.  I was going through some old posts this evening and came across this one.  One of the better butterfly days at Point Pelee!

With time on my hands, I spent Wednesday and half of Thursday at Point Pelee and found a butterfly bonanza.  Pelee lived up to its fame with a fabulous showing on Wednesday, and fewer butterflies on Thursday.
I was out on West Beach by 09:00 Wednesday and the butterflies were immediately evident.  I found several Sachems (certainly the target species of this trip!).  During my stay I noticed several were in pairs, mating was likely an occurrence.

Sack-ems!

Most of the Sachems were at the north end of the beach, south of West Beach parking lot.  I walked all the way to the Tip and back, alternating between beach and trail.  I notice many Gray Hairstreaks south of the solar panel on first pass.

After a break, I did the same route, and by this time it was warmer and sunnier.  I kept tally the whole time, trying not to count twice, but with the sheer numbers, it was a challenge.  Around and south of the solar panel things got interesting.  Gray Hairstreak galore!  It was quite a chore to count them.  I conservatively came up with 32 along in that area!  Most I have ever seen on one walk!  Total for the park that day ended up at 41 which is a new daily high.
Horace's Duskywing

Other highlights included Horace's Duskywing and Common Sootywing.  I think that is the first sootywing I have seen in the park!  Not common there anyway.
Common Sootywing (not a snout!)

By this time it was after lunch and some nourishment was needed.  I checked out that new place just outside the park gate.  An interesting luncheon indeed.
After lunch, I checked out Black Willow (south) and Northwest Beach (south).

Next stop was Wheatley Provincial Park.  I decided to camp there for the night anyway.  It was actually quite pleasant as I chose my usual site at the north end of Highlands.  No people around in the immediate area and the weather was nice.  I like that area because it is quiet and there is an old lagoon site just behind that I always walk.
There I found five more Sachems among other things.

I then went over to Hillman Marsh.  More butterflies and I got Dainty Sulphur (8) for the day. Lots of checkered skippers needless to say.  Also added a Peck's, something that almost never shows up within Pelee Park for some reason.  I had the last one about 3 year's ago or so, and previous to that there was one in 1996 I believe.
Peck's Skipper

The evening was nice at Wheatley with lots of Red-breasted Nuthatches around.  Many moving now.  Screech Owls heard during the night.
Hillman Dainty

Next morning I did the same route at Pelee, but noticed fewer butterflies.  The wind had stiffened and switched to the SW.  At the Tip parking lot I met Alan Wormington.  We started at the Tip where we met up with Jeremy Hatt.  He was leading some friends around, but could not join us.  Too bad he missed yesterday! LOL.
Alan and I walked up West Beach Trail discussing other possibilities of butterflies along the way.  There are many potentials this year such as Whirlabout, Clouded Skipper, Long-tailed Skipper....
Another Sack-em!

This morning I walked De Laurier first thing and noted quite a few migrant warblers.  An early White-throated Sparrow was chipping in the underbrush, but I did not see it.  Things are getting too thick there with grape vine, etc.!

Following is a list for this trip:

August 15:
WEST BEACH TRAIL/BEACH south of West Beach P. L.:
Common Sooty-Wing (1)
Horaces's Duskywing (1 immaculate female)
Common Checkered-Skipper (25)
Fiery Skipper (13)
Sachem (16)
Common Gray-Hairstreak (37) --32 of those were in the area south of the
Solar Panel!! (conservative number!)
White-lined Sphinx Moth near Black Willow

BLACK WILLOW south beach:
Common Checkered-Skipper (5)
Common Gray Hairstreak (2)
+White-lined Sphinx Moth

NORTHWEST BEACH south of P. L.:
Common Checkered-Skipper (4)
Common Gray-Hairstreak (2)

HILLMAN SHOREBIRD CELL:
Common Checkered-Skipper (55)
Fiery Skipper (4)
Peck's Skipper (1)
Sachem (2)
Dainty Sulphur (8)
Common Gray-Hairstreak (2)

WHEATLEY P. P. -old lagoon site at north side
Common Checkered-Skipper (1)
Fiery Skipper (2)
Sachem (5)

August 16:
WEST BEACH TRAIL/BEACH south of West Beach P. L. (including south of solar
panel):
Common Checkered-Skipper (13)
Fiery Skipper (7)
Sachem (8)
Common Gray-Hairstreak (19)

NORTHWEST BEACH south:
Common Checkered-Skipper (2)
Fiery Skipper (2)
Sachem (1)

V.C. PARKING LOT:
Fiery Skipper (3)
Common Gray-Hairstreak (1)