The last few weeks since the previous post have been characterised by lousy weekends with some heavy rain spells and generally poor conditions for birding or anything else. When the opportunity has presented itself I’ve managed a couple of visits to the pits and a few walks around Bordelais Bog (the bog) but there have been very few bird photography chances, as can be seen by the photo below.
We did manage a trip to Parc Tremblant last Sunday. The flies were hellish and the birds not really showing but that was not surprising as the main reason for the visit was to look for dragonflies and we only arrived around 10.30. One of our most productive birding paths had signs warning about Black Bears, I’ve seen fresh prints down there before. The choice of potentially seeing Boreal Chickadee and Spruce Grouse with the side option of having your arms ripped off by an angry Bear or, working through the many dragonflies around the picnic area was an easy one and I’m typing here with both hands to prove it.
So birds and the bog area first. The local Grey Catbirds have noisy fledged young, a pair of Eastern Phoebe’s are nesting and two male Pine Warblers duet at the boundary of their territory. Add the summer resident Nashville and Myrtle Warblers and Yellowthroats and White-throated Sparrows and its not a bad place for a couple of hours stroll. The bog areas are looking better than ever for dragonflies and each visit seems to give me a new species.
If you only come here for the bird pictures its time to leave, nothing but bugs hereafter.
The first spreadwing of the year turned out to be an Amber-winged, a new species for me.
Boreal Bluet. Not too many damsels out yet but there will be soon. In summer they are often just blue clouds erupting from the vegetation, naturally this makes it harder to sort through them which probably explains some odd gaps in the list of damsels I’ve seen here.
Hagen’s Bluet, yes I know you North American readers who call all small shorebirds ‘peeps’ and invented the term ‘confusing fall warblers’ will struggle to see the differences between this and the previous photo but they are there, you just have to know where to look. Eventually I will complete the ID pages which will help.
This was a new species for me, Sedge Sprite. They are very common but I have been ignoring them as just being a teneral (recently emerged) version of one of the common ‘blues’. When I saw this one I realised my mistake, I’ll be looking closer at everything from now on.
Tule Bluet, yes it looks the same as those before doh! The next shot shows the markings better.
At last an easy one. This is a male Fragile Forktail although, to be honest, they are all a bit fragile if you sit on them.
And now over to you (some chance eh!) I’m struggling with this one. It occurs around the bog area but does not seem to be common. The markings are quite distinctive in what appears to be a mature insect. The problem here is the lack of ready (printed) reference, if its not in one of the few decent books available its a web search and even then the chances are slim. Some features fit Familiar Bluet but others are just wrong.
And now for something more obvious, Hudsonian Whiteface (male) a darter sized dragonfly.
Even as immatures they are quite distinctive.
Yes it is just a four-spotted Skimmer (chaser in Europe) but look at the one in the earlier post to see how different they can look.
Frosted Whiteface. Very common.
Lancet Clubtail. It is hard to tell these things apart sometimes but I think the digital age will revolotionise the ID of odonata and, eventually, definitive field markings will be illustrated. Here are a few helpful shots of one of the commoner species.
The clubtail bit.
And now a few butterflies starting with the European (Small) Skipper. Introduced into N. America in Ontario, now very common.
Juvenal’s Duskywing, all good stuff so far eh.
Long Dash, closely related to the short walk and casual amble.
White Admiral to finish on an easy one. Tremblant stuff next.