It is hot again here and my visits to the pits (St-Lazare sand pits, see the tab at the top for details) have been primarily for dragonflying but, there are birds. July is normally perceived as a rubbish month birdwise bit I’m seeing stuff that is scarce there, even adding a couple to the year list today making 144 so far. The dragonflying has been spectacular, details are on the dragonfly blog, link on the side if you scroll down.
Yesterday I had two Great Egrets. The regular took great exception to the interloper, there was a chase and some grunting before ground was conceded and they joined the seven Great Blue Herons in mopping up the bite sized fish. Today I found an immature Black-crowned Night Heron, my fifth ever at the site in nine years plus change. It was where I was aiming for, the site of the latest dragonfly addition to the pits but soon flew off. After a while it went dark and the local Red-shouldered hawk swere going ape droppings. I looked up into the underbelly of the pits’ fifth Bald Eagle of the year, a young one too.
Today’s dragonflying went well but the heat was pretty intense, I even wore sun block which says it all! On the way back to the car I cut through a little used path to find the site’s first of the year Wilson’s Snipe probing away, nice. Not ten yards away a Green Heron decided it could not be seen thanks to the dense vegetation, then it ran into the open and just froze, makes a change from a flap and croak which is what you normally get when you get too close.
Butterflies have not been ignored this year, especially when things like Common Buckeyes drop by. There are at least four around the site and there also seems to be more Black Swallowtails and Viceroys than normal. Monarchs are around but have not really begun to kick south yet, another month or so and the landscape will change, hawks and Monarchs will be up, shorebirds will be everywhere and hopefully a few of the warblers I missed in spring will arrive.
Yesterday we, Chris Cloutier and I, came across a large Praying Mantis shedding. I’d never seen one at the pits before, it was a day of firsts.