Sunday, August 5, 2018

Weekend Tours: Lagoons to Comets

I did quite a bit of touring around this weekend.  Saturday morning I started at Forest Lagoons.  There were not as many shorebirds as in previous visits and certainly nothing unusual.  Always interesting to check out though.



I decided to go further afield and head up to West Perth Wetlands at Mitchell.  This is a managed wetland and excellent for shorebirds and one of my favourite stops while in the area.

Upon arrival, I happened to meet up with local resident Dave Brown.  We checked out the shorebirds in the cells.  There were lots, but nothing on the rare side.


The Red-necked Phalarope that was seen a couple of days previous had long since left.  It was one shorebird I was hoping to catch up with, but as usual the "better" shorebirds usually do not stay any length of time.😢
There were lots of Lesser Yellowlegs (no Greaters) and at least three Stilt Sandpipers among other species.

After some time there, I departed to head back south.  On the way, I stopped by Strathroy lagoons.  It was dead!👎  Apparently there were some birds there earlier in the day, but obviously something made them take off.  I had to check anyway as it was exactly six years ago I found an American Avocet there (5 August 2012).

Today, Sunday, I took my annual mid summer visit into west Elgin County.  I started at Port Stanley lagoons.  There is a bit of edge on a couple of the ponds, but shorebirds were few. A female Bufflehead was the oddball duck there.

Cedar Waxwing

My next stop was Fingal WMA around the Ian Carmichael pond.  There were not as many butterflies this year as in the past.

Eastern Tailed-Blue

Blue Dasher

A Cicada Killer Wasp buzzed past me and set down briefly.

I walked around the prairie planting area.

By this time, it was getting steamy hot, but I moved on to my next stop at Southwold Earth Works south of Iona.  I always stop here as one time many years ago I had a bonanza of butterflies.  Today there were very few (again).

Tawny-edged Skipper

Farther to the southwest, I wanted to check out the new wetland area at Pearce Provincial Park.

There is a nice long trail through and around the wetland area.  I found lots of dragonflies of at least ten species here including Calico Pennant, Carolina Saddlebags, Wandering Glider, etc.

Common Whitetail

Widow Skimmer

Eastern Pondhawk

The Spicer Trail through the woodland is adjacent to this wetland, which I walked a bit.

Great Fangled Spangled Fritillary

Heading west, I stopped at Joe's Bush NW of New Glasgow along Silver Clay Line.  There is nothing special here, but I have walked this preserved woodlot in the past.

Way back in there is a remnant of the past.

Next on the agenda was a stop at the old quarry within the Clear Creek Nature Reserve off Cochrane Line.  Recently, I had a hunch that perhaps Comet Darners would be here, so I wanted confirm that.
Shortly upon arrival, I saw one!  I am not sure if they have been reported here before, but obviously they have been here and it was exciting to me.
I stayed for a bit and saw at least three of the large bright red odes.  It was near impossible to get a photo, but I tried anyway.

There were several other species here as well.

Calico Pennant

Last stop was at the Thamesville bridge to look for Rubyspots.  Unfortunately, one can only access the east side, which is rather difficult along the bank.  A new bridge is being constructed on the west side so some habitat is being destroyed.  There are some rare or unique trees planted in a little park beside the waterplant for a side interest.

Both American Rubyspot and Smoky Rubyspot can be found here.  Smoky is rather rare in Ontario.

By this time I was whipped due to the heat and humidity!  I headed home to crank up the air conditioner!


  1. Nice that you managed a stop in my home county. I was at the lagoons myself the day before you. The Red-necked Phalarope was a painful miss for me as well.