Showing posts from 2019

Least bittern

Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, Aug 19, 2019.

With the high water this year bitterns and rails are harder to find out in the marsh. We had a good day with shorebirds, sandhill crane, green heron and assorted gulls and terns.
Ixobrychus exilis Perhaps surprisingly, tiny Least Bitterns use areas with deeper water than the much larger, longer-legged American Bittern. Least Bitterns can do this because their long, agile toes and curved claws allow them to grasp reeds and hunt small prey while suspended from these precarious over-water perches. source- Cornell lab of ornithology.

That's a fancy caterpillar.

Camouflaged looper

Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, Aug 19, 2019. Took a while to figure out what we were looking at.
Wavy-lined emerald moth or camouflaged looper are well known for their camouflaging technique where they attach bits of the plant petals/tissue along their backs using silk. Depending on what plant they are feeding on, they may adorn all types of different coloured plants in hopes of avoiding detection. When the petals begin to wilt and discolour, they will discard their outdated camouflage and replace with a new ‘coat’.
(Synchlora aerata).

The Empire Sandy

Tall Ships, Kingsville, Ontario, Canada, Aug 17, 2019.

This is the Empire Sandy, one of the tall ships on the great lakes this summer.
We just missed it coming in under sail.
For a hefty fee you could take a short cruise on one of the 6 ships in the harbour.

Ruby meadowhawk dragonfly

Rondeau Provincial Park, Aug 11, 2019. Lots of dragonflies around but so far I have been finding a limited number of species.

The emergence.

An adult cicada killer wasp emerging from a burrow. Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, Aug 16, 2019.
Sphecius speciosus, often simply referred to as the cicada killer or the cicada hawk, is a large digger wasp species. Cicada killers are large, solitary wasps in the family Crabronidae.
Dragonfly flight.
Common Green Darner, Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, Aug 13, 2019.

Anax junius
The green darner or common green darner, after its resemblance to a darning needle, is a species of dragonfly in the family Aeshnidae. One of the most common and abundant species throughout North America, it also ranges south to Panama

Don't you just hate it when a feather gets stuck in your bill?

Cooper's Hawk, Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, August 13, 2019.
Anne spotted this hawk having supper in a tree in the woods next door.
Accipiter cooperii A Cooper's Hawk captures a bird with its feet and kills it by repeated squeezing. Falcons tend to kill their prey by biting it, but Cooper’s Hawks hold their catch away from the body until it dies. They’ve even been known to drown their prey, holding a bird underwater until it stopped moving. source - Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Common Five-lined Skink

August 13, 2019, Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada.
Plestiodon fasciatus
The Common Five-lined Skink is the only lizard native to Ontario. Juveniles and some adults have five stripes that run down the back. Juveniles have bright blue tails, but the colour fades with age. Females typically lay a clutch of 9-10 eggs under cover, such as logs or rocks. The young mature in just under two years and typically live less than five years.

Synchronized flying.

June 5, 2018, Witless Bay Newfoundland, Canada.
Fratercula arctica A lighthouse keeper on Iceland’s Westman Islands has been banding puffin chicks for more than 60 years. The islands are home to the largest puffin colony in the world, and the keeper, Oskar Sigurdsson, earned a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for his prolific banding: more than 90,000 birds in that time, including more than 55,000 puffins.
Half of North America’s Atlantic Puffins breed in one location: Witless Bay, Newfoundland, Canada. source - Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Knotted Wrack,

Hopewell Rocks, N.B., Canada, June 14, 2018,

From our east coast trip last year.

I think I'll have it made into a jigsaw puzzle.
Want one?

Ascophyllum nodosum

I see you

While riding my bike I spotted two deer, a doe and buck right beside the road. They didn't mind me stopping and getting lots of images while they continued to browse.
In other images you can see there faces and ears are covered in mosquitos. It's a hard life out in the bush.
Odocoileus virginianus

Least Sandpiper

Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, Aug 9, 2019.
Shorebird migration is underway, we are seeing a few species on the south beach in small numbers.
Calidris minutilla The Least Sandpiper is the smallest shorebird in the world, weighing in at about 1 ounce and measuring 5-6 inches long. Males are slightly smaller than females. source - Cornell lab of ornithology.

Ruby Meadowhawk

Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, Aug 8, 2019.
In the front yard, not much variety in dragonflies but they make up for it in numbers. Sympetrum rubicundulum

Eastern cicada killer wasp

Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, Aug 7, 2019 Refound the nests of the cicada wasp. The photo with a cicada is from last year, the other is from today.

Specius speciosus
Adult wasp emergence generally occurs by the first week in July and may continue throughout the summer months. Adults live approximately 60–75 days and feed on nectar and other plant exudates. The males typically die soon after mating. The female wasps prefer to dig new nesting holes in full sun, where well-drained soils exist and vegetation is sparse. They may burrow near sidewalks or patio edges in home lawns.
Each female digs an individual burrow 6–10 inches deep and one-half inch wide. The soil is dislodged by her mouth, and loose particles are kicked back using her hind legs. The excess soil thrown out of the burrow forms a U-shaped mound at the entrance.

Feeding junior.

Starlings, Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, July 31, 2019
One of the many species that come to the yard. Sturnus vulgaris
All the European Starlings in North America descended from 100 birds set loose in New York's Central Park in the early 1890s. The birds were intentionally released by a group who wanted America to have all the birds that Shakespeare ever mentioned.

Common Whitetailed dragonfly

Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, Aug 3, 2019.
Spotted while on one of my daily bike rides around the park.
Plathemis lydia


White-tailed deer, Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, August 2, 2019.
"Bambi" is still staying in the general vicinity of our yard. There is a small herd across the road and down about 1/4 mile.
Odocoileus viriginianus White-tailed deer prefer a mixture of open areas and forest, which provide coverage. They are commonly seen in woodlands, meadows and abandoned farms and near streams. During the summer months, deer will be found in forested areas where there is abundant food. However, in the winter, when there is less food and the snow is deep, deer will concentrate in “deer yards” where there is food and shelter from winter storms.

Yellow warbler

Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada.
Setophaga petechia Life can be dangerous for a small bird. Yellow Warblers have occasionally been found caught in the strands of an orb weaver spider’s web.

Northern Cardinal

Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, July 23, 2019.
The pose made me think of a parrot, he's colourful enough.
Cardinalis cardinalis The oldest recorded Northern Cardinal was a female, and was 15 years, 9 months old when she was found in Pennsylvania.

Camouflage specialist.

Seaside Grasshopper, Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, July 30, 2019.
I found this grasshopper on the way to the beach and it was only because it moved.

Trimerotropis maritima, known generally as the seaside grasshopper or seaside locust, is a species of band-winged grasshopper in the family Acrididae. It is found in Central America and North America

Chicken of the woods.

Laetiporus sulphureus, Rondeau Provincial Park, July 30, 2019.
One of the many fungus in the park.
Supposedly it tastes like chicken.

Eastern Prickly Pear Cactus

Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, July 23, 2019.
This rare plant occurs in our yard. It was here when we moved in 17 years ago and seems to be holding its own. It is scattered through the dunes in the southern portion of the park.
Opuntia humifusa The Eastern Prickly Pear Cactus is a perennial succulent cactus with jointed, rounded, but flattened, green stems, the segments of which are called “pads”. It may be horizontal or upright, growing up to 0.5 metres in height.
Typical of most cacti, the pads are armed with barbed bristles and spines. Yellow, waxy flowers about two to three centimetres in diameter, with centres, bloom along the edges of the pads. The juicy, edible fruits are green, ripening to reddish-brown.


Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, July 28, 2019.
Not one we usually see in the summer, we are in a migration area.
Just sitting on the shore, no apparent injury. Aythya valisineria
The species name of the Canvasback, valisineria, comes from Vallisneria americana, or wild celery, whose winter buds and stems are the duck’s preferred food during the nonbreeding period. source - Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

The fawn

White tailed deer, Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, July 26, 2019.
This fawn has been staying in a corner our yard. There is no adult in sight but it seems to be doing well. It is cautious of us but stays close by when we come out. It had just hopped the fence into the neighbour's yard.
Odocoileus viriginianus The white-tailed deer is a smaller ungulate species found in Ontario. They have a reddish brown to grayish brown body, with white belly, throat, chin and bum (under the tail). White-tailed deer have large ears and bucks (reproductive males) have large antlers that they grow every year starting late spring. source -

Cedar waxwing

Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, July 26, 2019.
Each year about now cedar waxwings start coming to the little water feature in the yard. A memory popped up on facebook of today's post for last year, it was waxwings in the pond.
Bombycilla cedrorum
Because they eat so much fruit, Cedar Waxwings occasionally become intoxicated or even die when they run across overripe berries that have started to ferment and produce alcohol. source -

Short-billed dowitcher

Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, July 24, 2019.
Just a few species of shore birds on the south beach. Limnodromus griseus
Sometimes bird names just seem wrong: it only takes one look at a Short-billed Dowitcher to notice it’s not a short-billed shorebird! The name is meant to distinguish it from the Long-billed Dowitcher, but it’s only a subtle difference. Female dowitchers have longer bills than males, so if you see one with an absurdly long-looking bill, it’s probably a female Long-billed. But in general, it’s much more useful to listen to dowitchers than to look at their bills to tell them apart.
source -

Double cliche.

A cat in a hat in a box.
Oz knocked my hat down and it landed in this favourite box. Cats in boxes are easy. Cat in a hat not so much, but a cat in a hat in a box, priceless.

Northern waterthrush

Northern waterthrush, Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, July 23, 2019.
Had a waterthrush show up in the yard. It spent about 20 minutes feeding and bathing before flying off. It returned later and Anne was able to see it. Parkesia noveboracensis As their habitats change during the course of the nonbreeding season, becoming drier or wetter, Northern Waterthrushes move around to seek optimal wet habitats that provide adequate food. For some, this means moving to a wetter part of the swamp, but others that winter in tropical mountain forests move downslope as the dry season commences. source -

World class biter.

Stable fly, or not, Rondeau Provincial Park, July 18, 2019.
Don't know the exact species but man, can they bite.

Where have all the flowers gone?

Now we have the answer.

An eastern cottontail browses contentedly on the wildflowers in the yard.

Too ride the wind.

Sailboarding at Rondeau Provincial Park, ontario, Canada, July 19, 2019

A giant snake?

Rondeau Bay, Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, July 18, 2019. While out on the boat I glanced at a patch of lily pads and thought I saw a giant snake. Did a big double take.
It was part of the lilies, from what I can find it is the root system.

Ruby-throated hummingbird.

Ruby-throated hummingbirds, Rondeau provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, July 12, 2019.
Put out a oriole feeder and had 7 hummingbirds on it in minutes. Then hung up the hummingbird feeder and had 5 more. We have had as many as 30 in the yard at one time, but that's mid August.
Archilochus colubris Ruby-throated Hummingbirds prefer to feed on red or orange flowers (though it's not necessary to color the sugar water you put in a hummingbird feeder). Like many birds, hummingbirds have good color vision and can see into the ultraviolet spectrum, which humans can’t see.


Purple martin feeding frenzy, near Blenheim, Ontario, Canada, July 14, 2019.
Most young have left the colony houses but some remain. There were 7 on the porch before I got this image.
Progne subis The Purple Martin not only gets all its food in flight, it gets all its water that way too. It skims the surface of a pond and scoops up the water with its lower bill. source -