Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Shetland Stuff

 Today I stopped by the Shetland Conservation Area boat launch before it got too warm.  It is a small spot, but a wonderful place to see lots of stuff, including odonates.  Quite a few things in the "rare" category can be found here, including fish, turtles, plants and insects.

As soon as I got to the river's edge, I noticed a Longnose Gar swimming around.  It stayed during my entire visit, just patrolling the edge.  These long and slim creatures are pretty neat!

tail section

Other things in the fish department, including this alien called a Rudd.  I suspected it was non-native, but did not know what it was until I looked it up at home.

I always find Blackstripe Topminnows here as well.  Considered a threatened species.

There were not a heck of a lot of odes flying here today, but the usuals were found including Blue-fronted Dancer, Powdered Dancer, Violet Dancer, Blue-tipped Dancer, and Stream Bluet.  I did not see a Rainbow Bluet this visit.

Violet Dancer

Blue-tipped Dancer

Powdered Dancer

Stream Bluets

It is a tad early for the rarities including Blue-ringed Dancer and Dusky Dancer.

However, an very early Flag-tailed Spinyleg dropped in just before I left!

This one was seen yesterday, apparently a record-early for Ontario.  I usually start seeing them later in June, and needless to say this was my earliest.  A critically imperiled species.

The only other 'big' dragonflies were a couple of Midland Clubtails. (plus a Common Green Darner and a couple of Common Whitetails).

This horsefly dropped in at one point.  I am not sure which species though, but it comes up as a western species which is not supposed to be here.

Off to the side, some Michigan Lily is about to bloom.

Yesterday I stopped by the pond at Brander Park, Port Lambton.  Last year I discovered the uncommon Westfall's Slender Bluet here.  I may have seen some on this visit, but they were not close and the sun was at the wrong angle for photos

An Orange Bluet was here as well, but this one was blue!

The only spreadwing was this Elegant.

On Monday I needed to go to Corunna, so went for a walk at Dow Wetlands early on.  The Sedge Wren(s) is still present, likely nesting at this point.

I have made a couple of quick checks at Reid CA, but have not seen much, especially with regards to hairstreaks.  It will be interesting to see what transpires this year after last year's dismal showing.  This heat wave is not helping matters!

On Monday I did see a "new" bee there called Wilke's Mining Bee.  However, it is another European import!

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