Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Interesting Week-Goose Galore, Butterfly Bonanza, Crane Crossing

Sunset at Mitchell's Bay (Monday)

The news early this week is certainly the influx of Greater White-fronted Geese. Some mega flocks were reported in Essex County beginning on Sunday. As well, large flocks were reported in Michigan and Illinois.
Essex County had well over 200 birds with all the reports!

We did not detect any in Chatham-Kent until Monday.  Reuven Martin spotted about 70 at McGeachy Pond (Erieau).  On a hunch, I checked out Mitchell's Bay Monday evening and found at least 20. These were mixed in with a large group of Canada Geese at the south edge of the village.
No doubt more were likely in or around St. Clair NWA.

There were other reports throughout southern Ontario as well.

(photo from last spring)

Today, Steve Charbonneau found 4 on Rondeau Bay.  More were reported in Essex County also.

One wonders what directed all these white-fronted geese to the Great Lakes.  Perhaps it was just in the timing that migrating geese encountered the strong SW winds.  I will leave the reasons up to others to speculate!

This species continues to increase each year.  I recall back in the 1990's when it was a big deal to hear about one!

The unseasonably warm weather on Monday brought out lots of butterflies including a few skippers.  The flower gardens at Brander Park, Port Lambton are good to check in early fall.  Unfortunately I did not have the camera on hand, but I did find a rather fresh looking Tawny-edged Skipper.  It is late for the species, but to find one in excellent condition at this date is a good find.

It is getting late, but not unheard-of for Silver-spotted Skippers, but at least 4 were present.

About ten Fiery Skippers were flitting about as well.

In other news, the Sandhill Cranes are doing their usual routine crossing over Walpole Island from Michigan and heading to the fields west of Wallaceburg each morning.  This morning I counted ~38, and I suspect numbers will increase as time goes on.  Last year there were over 70 each day.

The weather will be a bit cooler later this week while the trees are turning colour quickly.

Peers Wetland

1 comment:

  1. Maybe we'll get another GWFG in Middlesex this year! I'm sure that it won't be long before the speckle-bellies are a regular species on the CBC.