Saturday, August 10, 2019

Bioblitz at Karner Blue Sanctuary Port Franks

Today, August 10, a number of naturalists and volunteers performed a bioblitz at the Karner Blue Sanctuary in north Lambton.  This 15 ha oak-pine area is an interesting piece of property where the Karner Blue Butterfly once thrived.
I arrived at 06:00 to start looking for birds.  A few of us spent the next few hours looking and listening for resident birds.

Eastern Wood Peewee

We did not find anything spectacular (and virtually no migrants yet).  A pair of Scarlet Tanagers was a nice find at one point.
And, a family of noisy Tufted Titmouse was amusing to watch.
I tallied 34 species of birds on my eBird list, but some were flyovers.  The best flyover was a Red-shouldered Hawk.

Soon, others arrived to look for any living thing.  A bioblitz is a survey performed by naturalists to look for anything and everything in a givern area on a given day.  We had plant experts like Will Van Hemessen and Larry Lamb and Jeff Skevington for flies and insects.

One good find was this Virginia Flower Fly.

I recorded about 15 species of butterflies.  There were lots of Wild Indigo Duskywings.

Columbine was present as well.

Hairstreaks included Hickory, Banded and Coral.

Some skippers included Tawny-edged, Silver-spotted, Dun and Northern Broken-Dash.

We also saw about nine species of dragonflies.  Lance-tipped Darners were numerous.

Probably the most interesting dragonfly was a Royal River Cruiser that I spotted at one point.  These things obviously tend to wander and this was no exception, as there is no water source very close!

Eastern Forktail was the only damselfly I saw. It can vary in colour.

Some plants included the resident Cylindrical Blazing Star and Rough Blazing Star.

It was a tad early for Leonard's Skipper, which will nector on the Liatris shown above.

At one point someone found a Northern Walkingstick.  I had not seen one in a long time!

Green Milkweed was near the road, but not in very good shape.

Ebony Spleenwort was a nice find.

We were done by about 1 p.m. and then met for lunch down the road at Grog's, famous for their pizzas!

It was a fun day with near perfect weather and good comaradary.

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