Sunday, June 18, 2017

Joany's Woods to Pinery and Even more Dickcissels

It was another ambitious day as I headed northward.  I wanted to check out Joany's Woods, just into Middlesex County near Sylvan.

It is a neat place to look for birds and insects (including mosquitoes).  The sun actually came for my walk (yes, the weather forecast was totally wrong!) and no rain today even though it was supposed to be 80% showers.
It was a bit quiet for birds today and I was rather early for insects.  However, Joany's Woods is a good place for Blue-winged Warblers.  I had at least 7 on my walk.

Bashful Blue-winged

There were a number of dragonflies including this clubtail which may be a Midland.

Widow Skimmers were most common.

Pinery Provincial Park is not far away, so I decided to go there.  I did look for insects on my walks.  Along Riverside trail, I found some emeralds along the river.  They never sat still, so I have no idea what they were.  One needs to net these creatures to examine them!

I walked a number of trails.  Red-spotted Purple butterflies were most numerous.  At Pinery, we see the transition types.  You can see regular Red-spotted Purple, almost full White Admiral or variations in between.  I was lucky enough to find a White Admiral on Riverside trail.  It was the first one I have seen in Pinery.

Earlier, I saw the common, more southern counterpart (most of it anyways).

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Silvery Checkerspots are now out and I saw a number of them in Pinery.  They look like over-sized crescents, and the black dots have white centres.

This park is one of the most reliable spots to find Dusted Skipper, very rare for Ontario.  They are now getting past their prime, but I found a number of them in a known spot.

Note the white above eye giving them a "bandit" look.

Prairie Warblers have returned to Pinery to breed (I assume) in recent years, but I did not come across one today in the traditional locations.  Perhaps they have gone quiet while nesting is underway.

On the way home, Sickdissels Dickcissels were waiting to be found.  This year is perhaps the biggest invasion of them, ever.  Back in 2000 I recall a big influx, but I think this supercedes that!  Sedge Wrens are sometimes associated with this type of year, so perhaps some of those are around in our area.
I checked out a known site along Ravenswood Road for Dickcissels.  A few were there.

Closer to home, I found some new sites on Stanley Line, Baby (pronounced "bawbee") Road north of Wilkesport, and the old Sombra dump on Indian Creek Road.
Males were singing away, perhaps calling for females.

Baby Dickcissel
I had a good hunch that some were at the old Sombra dump, as it has been abandoned for a long time. Indeed a couple were singing their hearts out.

Dump Dickcissel

It is prime time to look for butterflies.  I checked for hairstreaks, but no sign of them yet.  I had them on the 18th last year, so perhaps tomorrow or so!

Long Dash

Peck's Skipper

Four-spotted Skimmer


  1. The Red-spotted Purple complex is at it's best at the Pinery; you never know what variant you will encounter. By the way, today I found a newly emerged Banded Hairstreak and several Acadian Haistreaks at Brunet Park near Windsor. Perhaps with some luck,we will happen upon a Northern Oak Hairstreak this season.

    Jeff Larson