Its turning out to be a good year for new bird species for me at the pits. Yesterday afternoon, (while Greg worried fish) I was finding a Red-bellied Woodpecker, making it five list additions for me this year. I was also searching for dragonflies, specifically Eastern Amberwing, Swamp Darner, Crimson-ringed Whiteface, Brush-tipped Emerald, Racket-tailed Emerald and Vesper Bluet, all species that I have yet to see there, some of which would also be new for me.
The Wood Duck family continues to prosper, they rarely venture far from the north-east corner of the main pits and can probably fly now. Five Green Herons are enjoying the abundance of small fish and frogs although only a couple of Great Blues seem to have caught on to this, perhaps there is lots of food everywhere for them. The American Bittern continues to live around the Dog Track pool, its moved upstream a bit because the irritable Beavers (not a sexually transmitted disease) have built a new dam and are busy raising the water in a new area. The spring that feeds the Dog Track pool had several Shadow Darners patrolling which were new for the year.
Back to the birds and you can almost feel the urge to move starting to build, grackles are in large raiding parties, Cedar Waxwings and Indigo Buntings are everywhere and sparrows are starting to wander in groups. It may only be August on Monday but we have clearly turned the corner. My Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers at home now number four and are on the same Birch trees all day long, also my local Merlins are out of the nest and flying around so the balmy, if boring hot summer afternoons are starting to get more interesting.
Finally back to Beavers. We have a family nearby but the lower water levels in their ditch have forced them out onto a local lake. The lake is used extensively by swimmers and those smoking, tatooed creatures with no volume control that may be young humans (the Jury is still out on possible sub-species). This does not seem to deter the Beavers and I watched one happily working away at a recently collected branch, I was there checking for Vesper Bluets. A local guy and his young daughter passed by so I pointed the Beaver out, they’d only ever seen one in a Zoo!
I didn’t manage a shot of the Red-bellied Woodpecker but have continued to practice with the new Nikon P6000, I’m getting there.
The Viceroy, a Monarch mimic, this image looks a bit one dimensional.
One of the Green Herons hiding in a tree and grunting at me.
Orange Sulphur I think, I’ll work on it, this is the last of the digiscoped shots.
The local beaver, it was quite late in the day.
Calico Pennant at the pits
A couple of not so great shots of Shadow Darner. Like all darners they don’t land so much, and when they do its usually late and the are roosting.