Sep 222017

Ross’s Goose (Anser rossii) (1)
– Reported Sep 20, 2017 12:00 by Matthew Garvin
– PTBO – Edgewater road and Railway, Peterborough, Ontario
– Map:,-78.31236&ll=44.299988,-78.31236
– Checklist:
– Media: 6 Photos
– Comments: “Diminutive white goose similar in size to adjacent RBGU with flock of CANG North of the Railway bridge. Immature markings similar to sibley guide with dark ‘halo’. Flat base of the beak and little to no ‘grin’ patch. Head and beak aren’t as ‘dove-like’ as I’d like but I think I’m comfortable calling this a ROGO for now. Let the debate begin!”

Juvenile Ross’s Goose – Wikimedia

Ross’s Goose (Anser rossii) (1)
– Reported Sep 20, 2017 13:48 by Chris Risley
– Peterborough–Millennium Park, Peterborough, Ontario
– Map:,-78.31688&ll=44.3028834,-78.31688
– Checklist:
– Comments: “small white goose in with Canada Goose; juvenile; photo shows no “grin” patch; dark line through eye”

Ross’s Goose (Anser rossii) (1)
– Reported Sep 20, 2017 13:05 by Scott Gibson
– Peterborough–Millennium Park, Peterborough, Ontario
– Map:,-78.31688&ll=44.3028834,-78.31688
– Checklist:
– Comments: “small white goose, smaller than adjacent CANG, small rounded head, no ‘grin’ patch, dusky crown suggesting juvenile. Great lunch hour bird!”

Ross’s Goose (Anser rossii) (1)
– Reported Sep 20, 2017 15:05 by Ben Taylor
– engleburn ave, Peterborough, Ontario
– Map:,-78.3139104&ll=44.30142,-78.3139104
– Checklist:
– Comments: “Alerted by Chris Risley that colleagues had spotted a white goose on the River north of the Holiday Inn pedestrian bridge. I was able to locate it from our back yard ,hanging out with the Canada Geese just south of the Hunter Street bridge. I biked around to get a closer look and it seemed to be a match for the white juvenile Ross’s Goose pictured in Sibley’s but will amend as required once there is confirmation.”

Ross’s Goose – Otonabee R. – Dec. 4, 2014 – Drew Monkman

Sep 172017

A beautiful September morning greeted the ten early risers who took part in the Peterborough Field Naturalist’s Sunday A.M. nature walk today. We spent most of our time in the Promise Rock area of the Rotary-Greenway Trail, just north of Trent University at Lock 22. Songbird diversity and numbers were very good. We were able to use pishing to coax in three species of vireos and ten species of warblers. A female American Redstart was particularly cooperative as it flitted about in the open, only three metres away. Our second stop was the Lakefield Sewage Lagoons where we got good looks through the scopes at four species of ducks and more than a dozen cormorants. Many of the ducks were juvenile Wood Ducks and Hooded Mergansers.

Below is a list of all of the birds seen (38 species) as well as some of the goldenrods and asters that caught our attention. Several of the goldenrods had galls – the ball-shaped galls from Goldenrod Gall Flies and the tightly-packed leafy galls from a midge.

Birds (38 species): Double-crested Cormorant, Canada Goose, Mallard, Wood Duck, Lesser Scaup, Hooded Merganser, Turkey Vulture, Ring-billed Gull, Rock Pigeon, Mourning Dove, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Eastern Phoebe, Red-eyed Vireo, Philadelphia Vireo, Blue-headed Vireo, Blue Jay, American Crow, Black-capped Chickadee, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Marsh Wren, American Robin, Cedar Waxwing, European Starling, Magnolia Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, Northern Parula, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Bay-breasted Warbler, Black-and-White Warbler, American Redstart, Common Yellowthroat, Wilson’s Warbler, Tennessee Warbler, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Song Sparrow, Common Grackle

Flowers: Canada Goldenrod, Grass-leaved Goldenrod, New England Aster, Heath Aster, Calico Aster, Panicled Aster, Heart-leaved Aster

Other highlights: Huge seed crop on cedars, spruces, Sugar Maples; leopard frogs in grass at sewage lagoon; lots of fall colour, courtesy of White Ash, Staghorn Sumac, Poison Ivy and Virginia Creeper

PFN Sunday AM Nature Walk – Promise Rock area – (Drew Monkman)


Female American Redstart (Wikimedia)


Black-throated Green Warbler (Dan Pancamo)


Red-eyed Vireo – Karl Egressy


Canada goldenrod (left) and New England aster (Drew Monkman)






Sep 042017

At around 10 a.m. on Sunday, September 3, residents in the Tobin Court and Evans Dr area in the north end of the city, reported the sudden death of 12 Mallard ducks. Earlier a group of 14 ducks was observed walking up Tobin from a local pond just south of that location, munching on grass. They did not display any distress at the time. Moments later 12 of these ducks lay dead on residents’ lawns and driveways.The police were called as well as the MNR, Humane Society and the City of Peterborough. Public works attended the scene to remove the bodies. In the meantime 2 ducks which had been immobilized and stunned by the unknown contaminant were transferred to Shades of Hope Wildlife Rescue in Pefferlaw. Residents in the area are concerned about what could possibly have caused a quick death to so many ducks. According to one of the residents, the Peterborough Police will notify the MNR to investigate the sudden deaths.

Barb Evett (705-741-5396)

Mallard deaths – Ptbo – Sept. 3, 2017 – Barb Evett

Aug 292017

On August 23, I saw about 25 Barn Swallows on hydro wires on the 4th Line of Douro-Dummer near Cottesloe. So few these days. On August 25, I was riding my bike in the same location and saw 5 or so Barn Swallows in the same location. As I rode further and turned on County Road 38 to Warsaw, I saw a further flock of about 20 to 25 birds. Great to see them on the hydro lines eating bugs. As my cycling progressed towards Warsaw, I was coming down the hill and saw a further grouping of about 10 swallows swooping beside me and in front of me on the bike. This was totally amazing and the first real contact I have had with Barn Swallows for a while. A real treat to see. Great to see they still exist!

Randy Romano

N.B.  The Barn Swallow is now listed as a species at risk in Ontario and has legal protection from human activities such as destroying nests. D.M.

Barn Swallow – Karl Egressy

Aug 292017

Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) (1)
– Reported Aug 25, 2017 15:05 by Ben Taylor
– Peterborough–Meadowvale Park, Peterborough, Ontario
– Comments: “Squat heron with black back and a light coloured plume feather standing on a log in plain sight.”

On August 28, I came across this juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron in Meadowvale Park, just north of Thomas A. Stewart Secondary School on Armour Road.  Carl Welbourn 

Black-crowned Night Heron – juvenile – August 28, 2017 – Carl Welbourn

Aug 292017

Now’s the time to be looking for migrating Common Nighthawks. The best time to see flocks is late afternoon and evening. They feed as they fly and are often seen over water. In my experience, they often turn up after a rain event.

Here are some recent sightings from Tim Dyson who lives in the Warsaw area. As of August 16, he has seen a total of 549 of these birds. Most were seen over the Indian River near/at Back Dam Park on Rock Road.

1.On the evening of August 16, I saw 41 Common Nighthawks over the Indian River just north of Warsaw. I watched for 30 minutes, just after the sun had set. They were moving along southward in groups averaging about five per group.

2. August 18th between 6:24pm and 6:27 pm, no less than 98 Common Nighthawks passed overhead where I am just n/w of Warsaw. Through a curtain of moderate rainfall, they were heading roughly s/w at average nighthawk height (100+ meters from the ground). Not really darting here and there much as is typical of them, but seemingly more intent on the direction they headed and the altitude they were keeping. Appearing as three loosely-connected bunches, it was difficult to count them at times, therefore I am glad they weren’t in whirling masses as is sometimes the case. They stretched to the eastern and western horizon, and despite my frantic searching, I could not bring the total to an even hundred birds or more. Although I have lived in a fair number of locations in the county over the past 25 years from Belmont Lake, Rice Lake, Buckhorn, and Nephton and places in between, interestingly, the Warsaw area has always yielded the highest numbers for migrating nighthawks in my experience, both now, and in the early-to-mid 1990s).

3. August 19th I got home to Warsaw just before dark in time to notice only 2 nighthawks flying past from east to west. I waited around another ten minutes or so, but saw no more.

4. On the morning of August 20th, (the date I’ve always considered to be average for observing large numbers of the species), 14 nighthawks just appeared to the north, gathered, (and very much like migrating Broad-winged Hawks will about four weeks from now), they “kettled” in a thermal and rode it straight up and out of my sight. This happened at 10:30am, it is sunny, humid, and 24 degrees outside. I find this far more bizarre than seeing more than one hundred nighthawks during an evening observation. That’s pretty normal. But a small kettle of them before noon… that’s just plain odd for me!

5. On the evening of August 20, despite hoping for a bumper crop of nighthawks to pass overhead on what is often “the peak date”, I only saw six of them from my favorite viewing spot and they were all observed at 6:45pm.

6. On August 21, I set up to watch for nighthawks just after 6:00pm, and none appeared in the sky until 6:50pm when 17 came into view just above the treetops heading roughly southward. Just as suddenly as they had appeared, I found myself staring at an empty sky once again. Yes, there were lulls in the passage of them, but before I went inside at 8:35pm. I had seen 65 for the night. Interesting this evening was the number of swallows, (however, I did not count them). Although most were quite high up,
some that were close enough to me to see well, seemed to be Bank Swallows. After a brief period of no visible nighthawks, they began to fly past again in small numbers and I found myself having to differentiate between them and the swallows as their flight style is somewhat similar, and their altitudes were variable. At about 7:25pm, one of the larger birds appeared to drop on a near 90 degree angle and slam right into one of the swallows! (Raptor experienced or not, my first thought was “That nighthawk is some kind of idiot!”) But as the two connected, there was a little puff of feathers and they never parted. “Of course! Duh!” I thought, as the Merlin that had just snatched a swallow veered to come almost directly overhead carrying it’s late-evening dinner. (see photo) As the landscape darkened by 8:30pm, two large bats began doing their rounds
over the former horse paddock, as a deer walked out for some evening grazing. He had a full crown of fuzzy antlers, and was unconcerned as he fed with his back to me only 20 meters away. A Gallium Sphinx visited some of the various flowers in the gardens around the house. I think I’ll sit out tomorrow night, too.

7. On August 22, between 7:30 and 8:30pm, Drew, my friend Angela, and I counted 33 nighthawks over Back Dam Park on Rock Road. They were flying south in groups of 2-7, with a few single birds. A few foraged as they flew, but most were making a beeline south. The wind was from the west and there had been heavy showers over much of the afternoon and into the early evening. The sky had cleared by the time we started watching for nighthawks. We also saw a Great Egret.

8. On August 23, Angela and I put the kayaks in at Back Dam Park at about 7:20pm. Paddled north almost to the power line, and turned around at 7:50pm and headed back. Five minutes later, the first nighthawk of the evening flew along the western
shore of the river and was actively feeding. About ten minutes later, there was the first good pulse totaling seven birds. Over the next twenty minutes others in small groups and singles appeared from the north and north-east. After a short lull, three more
came along to wrap up the night’s total at 22 birds. Other things of interest were three River Otters (very curious, coming back out of vegetation to squeak and squeal at us), and a lovely waxing crescent moon.

9. Despite sitting out at home for nearly two hours on the 26th of August, no more than 9 nighthawks were seen – three as singles and three groups of two each.

10. Travelling from home (3kms north and west of Warsaw) for an evening paddle on the Indian River, Angela and I counted 22 nighthawks from the moving vehicle as they zipped their way southward at 6:35pm. Paddling up the river from the Back Dam on Rock Road we saw nighthawks in waves streaming from north to south and of course there were the usual lulls. After one hour, our total for the night had risen to 54 nighthawks, when at 7:35 the sky to the north was suddenly full of them!! Our total rapidly grew to 96 nighthawks as 42 more made up the count for this bunch. Before the evening count was over when we returned to our launch place at 8:25pm, we had seen 147 nighthawks for this 27th of August 2017.
That brings my season total (since August 16th) to 549.


Common Nighthawk – Wikimedia

Nighhawks over Buckhorn Lake – Aug. 15, 2016 – David Beaucage Johnson

Nighthawk on left, and Merlin carrying swallow on right – Warsaw – Aug. 21, 2017 – Tim Dyson

Aug 292017

Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) (1)
– Reported Aug 27, 2017 14:28 by E. Straka
– Otonabee Gravel Pit Conservation Area, Peterborough, Ontario
Olive-sided Flycatcher (Contopus cooperi) (1)
– Reported Aug 27, 2017 14:28 by E. Straka
– Otonabee Gravel Pit Conservation Area, Peterborough, Ontario

Peregrine – Karl Egressy

Olive-sided Flycatcher – Wikimedia

Aug 272017

After a slow start this summer, the number of Giant Swallowtail sightings/reports appears to be increasing.

“We have a resident Giant Swallowtail in our garden in Keene. It particularly likes the pink Phlox.” Susan Vance

Giant Swallowtail – Keene – August 26, 2017 – Susan Vance











“On August 26, we paddled the Indian River for a few hours, and went north from Douro Park on the 2nd line s/e of Douro. Of interest, were three Giant Swallowtails, a fair number of water birds (herons, gulls, and Hooded Mergansers), and beneath the bridge on the road, two Darling Underwings (Catocala cara) roosted on the underside of the bridge concrete.”  Tim Dyson

Giant Swallowtail on Phlox – August 18, 2014 – Drew Monkman

Giant Swallowtail on Phlox – Tim Dyson

Aug 242017

Beavermead Park in Peterborough is one the city’s premier birding destinations, especially now as fall migration is underway. Bill Crins had 24 species in the park during an hour of birding on August 23 (see checklist below). These included two Red Crossbills, a bird seldom seen in Peterborough.

Red Crossbill (Loxia curvirostra) (2)
– Reported Aug 23, 2017 07:37 by Bill Crins
– Peterborough–Beavermead Park, Peterborough, Ontario

Red Crossbill – male – Wikimedia

Red Crossbill – female -Wikimedia

Aug 222017

I’ve been paddling down to watch the 2 young Bald Eagles since June. Up until yesterday I always found them high in white pines within sight of their nest. August 17th was the first day they ventured farther, to a heron nest about a mile from the eagle nest. (Herons left it weeks ago.) We sometimes spot the adult Bald Eagle, sometimes near the young, often not. I’ve been reporting to eBird faithfully.

Janet Duval, Buckhorn Lake

Note: Click here for an eBird bar chart of bird abundance (all species/month-by-month) in Peterborough County for the past 10 years. D.M.

Juvenile Bald Eagle on Buckhorn Lake – Drew Monkman

Aug 222017

Monarch sightings in the Kawarthas have been far more numerous this summer than in the recent past. For example, Tim Dyson has had 353 sightings in the Warsaw/Stoney Lake area as of today. Like many people, I have at least one in the garden almost every time I look out. They seem to prefer the Buddleia (Butterfly Bush), Mexican Sunflower and pink Phlox.

The population that will be migrating to Mexico by early September is projected to be the highest since 2012, according to This is based on several factors: higher numbers of overwintering Monarchs in Mexico last winter, relatively good migrating conditions throughout their flight north this past spring, and summer temperatures and rainfall conducive to survival. There should be a strong migration along Lake Ontario and Lake Erie and a good prospect that the overwintering population in Mexico will increase from the 2.91 hectares of last year to 4 hectares or better this coming winter.

I highly recommend attending the Monarch tagging demonstration at Presqu’ile Provincial Park on Labour Day Weekend (September 2 & 3). Children have the opportunity to hold and release tagged Monarchs. Click here for details.


Tagged Monarch – Drew Monkman

Don Davis tagging Monarchs at Presqu’ile Provincial Park

Tagged Monarch ready to be released

Enlarged model of a Monarch tag

Aug 222017

Wendy Bowen of Buckhorn reports a bracket fungus growing on a fallen log beside her garage (August 20, 2017). I was finally able to identify it as a Cinnibar Polypore. Apparently, it is widespread in Ontario but not common. I’d never seen it before.  One website describes it as “Tough, fan-shaped bracket fungus; bright red-orange above and below. Grows on dead deciduous branches, twigs, and wood, mainly oak. Year-round. Cap semicircular, flat; bright cinnabar-red to orange-red; texture finely hairy. Pores angular, irregular; bright cinnabar-red to orange-red, same color as the cap. Stalk not present. Spore print white. Spores magnified are cylindrical, curved, smooth. This species is easy to spot, as both the top and underside are the same color — bright cinnabar-red to orange-red.”

Cinnibar Polypore – Wendy Bowen’s house – Buckhorn – Aug. 20,2017 – D. Monkman

Aug 162017

I spotted a Great Egret in a pond on Fisher Drive in Peterborough on August 14. The pond is sort of tucked in behind the last factory on Fisher as you approach Brealey Drive.  Also the Red-headed Woodpecker still makes regular stops at our feeder throughout the day.

Marina Kosichek, Fraserville

Great Egret – Karl Egressy

Aug 152017

Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) (1)
– Reported Aug 14, 2017 14:14 by Dan Chronowic
– Lansdowne St. and The Parkway – Peterborough, Peterborough, Ontario
– Comments: “Hunting Rock Pigeons above the Spaghetti Factory. Caught a Rock Pigeon and landed on the top of the truck garage adjacent to the Spaghetti Factory.”

Peregrine eating Rock Pigeon – Loree Stephens 2 – Jan. 13, 2015 – PRHC

Aug 122017

This Great Golden Digger Wasp (Sphex ichneumoneus) was trying to set-up nests on my front walkway. It had 5 holes dug already. I was able to get a video of it. This is one pretty creature and aptly named too!

Rick Stankiewicz, Keene

Note: The Great Golden Digger Wasp is a benign, gentle wasp currently being studied by scientists for its behavioral responses.  (from

Golden Digger Wasp – August 11, 2017 – Rick Stankiewicz

Golden Digger Wasp 2 – August 11, 2017 – Rick Stankiewicz

Aug 092017

On August 5, 2017 at about noon, there was a Great Egret flying north up the Indian River just north of “The Back Dam” just upstream from Warsaw. As I paddled towards where it had suddenly spiraled downward behind some trees, I finally noticed it perched on someone’s dock. Shortly thereafter, it flew steeply upward and over the trees towards the east. Paddling from Warsaw all the way up to where the river comes out of the ground at Warsaw Caves the next day, did not produce a second sighting of this bird for me.


Great Egret – Warsaw – Tim Dyson – August 5th 2017





Great Egret (Ardea alba) (1)
– Reported Aug 08, 2017 08:30 by Glen Spurrell
– Millbrook, Ontario, CA, Peterborough, Ontario
– Media: 2 Photos
– Comments: “seen by several people on millpond; it was seen roosting a tree, flying, wading and hunting”

Aug 082017

On July 29, my grandson and I discovered a jelly-blob looking “creature” in Buckhorn Lake. It’s about the size of a small loaf bread (or a haggis !) and seems to have some seaweed attached to it (or even through it).

Toni Sinclair, Buckhorn Lake

Note: This is probably a colony of Bryozoa (Pectinatella magnifica), a native freshwater invertebrate related to coral. The colonies can be as big as a watermelon by late summer. They are usually affixed to a stick or some other submerged object. Bryozoa are filter feeders that sieve food particles out of the water using a retractable, microscopic crown of tentacles lined with cilia. They are fairly common in the Kawartha Lakes. D.M.

Bryozoa colony – Stoney Lake – 2013 – Rob Welsh


Aug 072017

Red-headed Woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus) (5)
– Reported Jul 31, 2017 10:00 by Rick Lauzon
– Bellmere Winds G.C., Peterborough, Ontario
– Comments: “very easy to see both adults and juveniles all around the golf course, looking from the parking lot, and up and down the road beside the course on the hydro poles. There are certainly more than 5 birds on this property. I reported these birds at the end of June as well, but the report was apparently never confirmed by the ebird reviewer.”

Red-headed Woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus) (3)
– Reported Aug 01, 2017 10:32 by Drew Monkman
– Northey Bay, Peterborough, Ontario
– Comments: “Two adults and one juvenile seen by Dennis Johnson on his property. ”

Red-headed Woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus) On July 26, Marina Kosicheck of 1635 Cedar Valley Road, Fraserville, ON, reported a Red-headed Woodpecker that had been frequenting her black sunflower seed feeder since July 19. It was still present on August 8.

Gray Jay (Perisoreus canadensis) (1)
– Reported Aug 07, 2017 12:06 by Donald A. Sutherland
– Petroglyphs Provincial Park, Peterborough, Ontario
– Comments: “on trail from parking lot to visitor centre”

Sora (Porzana carolina) (2)
– Reported Aug 05, 2017 07:38 by Peterborough County Birds Database
– Lakefield–Sewage Lagoons, Peterborough, Ontario

Gray Jays – Nov. 17, 2016 – County Road 507 north of Buckhorn – Marie Windover

Sora (rail) – Wikimeda

Juvenile Red-headed Woodpecker – Northey Bay Road – Dennis Johnson – Aug. 6, 2017

Juvenile and adult Red-headed Woodpecker – Northey Bay Road – Dennis Johnson – Aug. 6, 2017



Jul 242017

Today, July 22, at the Nonquon lagoons in Port Perry, there was an interesting mix of life and death struggles. Lots of sights of successful breeding as Mallards, Wood Ducks, Hooded Mergansers and Trumpeter Swans showed off their new families. Very few shorebirds but the habitat is still not good for them ? Water is too high.

However two Soras were in full song and a Virginia Rail showed off her two offspring. 5 Common Gallinules and an American Coot were new arrivals as they haven’t been here all summer. The show stopper was the feeding frenzy by the Cedar Waxwings. Fifteen+ birds were feeding at eye to ground level chasing and catching a huge new hatch of bluet damselflies. For the dragonfly/damselfly afficionados out there this is the time be here .. crazy numbers of these insects. Also a large hatch of Monarchs must have occurred as they were everywhere.

Sora (rail) – Wikimeda

Lots of herps – Midland Painted Turtles, Northern Leopard Frogs, Green Frogs and my second (dead) Red-bellied Snake at this site this year. Lots of other butterflies and myriad other insects to amuse. A groundhog and a muskrat represented the mammal clan. Adjacent fields had several Lesser Yellowlegs, Killdeer and Spotted Sandpipers – so they are here .. you just gotta look further afield.

Geoff Carpentier
Avocet Nature Services

(via Ontbirds – Bird Alert – Click here for information on how to subscribe to alerts)

DIRECTIONS: The lagoons are located one road north of the transfer site on Concession Rd. 8 [don’t get confused as, despite the fact that these roads are both numbered “8”, they are two different roads – one is a regional paved road, the other a dirt concession road.]. Access to the lagoons is from the east end of Conc. 8 only as the bridge is out west of the lagoons. Please remember to close the gate behind if you go as it is not self-closing.

How to Obtain a Nonquon Sewage Lagoon Permit

Permits must be purchased in advance of entering the lagoons. Permits can be obtained from 605 Rossland Rd., Whitby, or at the Scugog Waste Transfer Station, 1623 Reach Street, Port Perry. An electronic version of the Nonquon Sewage Lagoon Birder Permit is available in PDF format at Nonquon Sewage Lagoon Birder Permits are available for $10 per permit. Cheques will only be accepted at Regional Headquarters. Payment by cash only at the Scugog Waste Transfer Station. Completed Applications should be forwarded to: Finance Department – Insurance & Risk Management, 605 Rossland Road E., Whitby, ON L1N 6A3


Jul 242017

On Saturday, July 22, I saw a Great Crested Flycatcher, a bird we have never seen before. The sighting was brief, with no time for a photo, but the tricoloured front view of light grey, soft lemon yellow and orange was unmistakable.

Another first this year is a family of Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks. The female has been feeding her two young at the sunflower feeder.  There are also at least three males coming to the feeder. In previous years, these birds have just stayed around for a few days.

Stephenie Armstrong, Sawmill Road, Warsaw

Great Crested Flycatcher – Dick Daniels

Grosbeak family at feeder – July 22, 2017 – Warsaw – Stephenie Armstrong


Jul 232017

Update re: John Deyell’s sighting (July 14, 2017) of Trumpeter Swans nesting in Sandy Creek Bay near Woodland Camp Site. Apparently, this same pair had 2 cygnets last year, unbeknownst to most people (saw photos from October last year taken by camp owner). This year they have 1 cygnet. I’ve attached a picture. Woodland’s owner, Cathy, told me a representative came into the camp from the Trumpeter Swan Society and advised that this pair of swans have been named Smokey and the Bandit. One adult swan is tagged J07 and the other has no tag.

Barb Evett

Trumpeter Swans with cygnet – 2017 – Woodland Campsite on Buckhorn Lake – Barb Evett


Jul 222017

Least Bittern (Ixobrychus exilis) (1)
– Reported Jul 20, 2017 14:50 by Ian Sturdee
– 5997–5999 Highway 7, Havelock-Belmont-Methuen CA-ON (44.4328,-77.8960), Peterborough, Ontario
– Checklist:
– Comments: “Flew over road while I was driving. Identified by shape, size and overall colouring including streaked underparts. Had a good look under the scenario. ”

NOTE: Jeff Teller found a dead Least Bittern on the roadside on June 27, 2017. It was 100 – 200 feet east of the gate to the Cavan Monaghan Transfer Station on Syer Line, which is the line that runs west off County Road 28 at Fraserville. He took a photo of the bird.

dead Least Bittern – Jeff Teller – June 27, 2017 – Syer Line at Transfer Station


Jul 212017

This spring (2017) I had a unique opportunity to photograph a Snapping Turtle that was unaware of my presence and as a result I was able for the first time to capture one with its neck fully extended and travelling at “top speed” (for a turtle). For years in the past I have taken lots of pictures (especially laying eggs), but every time I approach them they will lay down and pull their neck into their shell. I often noticed them at a distance stopping to “periscope” in long grass before they travelled along. Close-up shots had always eluded me, until now.

Rick Stankiewicz, Keene

Snapping Turtle – Rick Stankiewicz

Snapping Turtle 2 – Rick Stankiewicz

Jul 172017

I had a great day in the field on July 7. I was in the Lily Lake area and found a Green Heron NEST with three fuzzy herons, as well as eggshells. Later, I found what I think is a Porcupine den.

I also collected a few sedges and a rush from various locations in the Kawarthas. The species have yet to be identified.

Erin McGauley

Green Heron nest – Lily Lake area – June 2017 – Erin McGauley

Green Heron (Don McLeod)

Porcupine den in tree – Lily Lake – Erin McGauley



Unidentified sedge – July 7, 2017 – Erin McGauley

Unidentified sedge – July 7, 2017 – Erin McGauley

Unidentified sedge- July 7, 2017 – Erin McGauley

Unidentified sedge – July 7, 2017 – Erin McGauley

Unidentified rush – July 7, 2017 – Erin McGauley

Jul 142017

This is a series of photos from Rick Stankiewicz of a Common Green Darner emerging from the nymphal case. Enjoy!

Common Green Darner nymph which has just climbed up out of the water – Rick Stankiewicz

Adult emerging from nymphal case – Rick Stankiewicz

All the way out now!  – Rick Stankiewicz

Think I’ll stretch a bit! – Rick Stankiewicz

Now, let’s let these wings dry! (Note: This was a different individual, hence the different background) – Rick Stankiewicz


Jul 142017

In the spring of 1940 the countryside around Invermay, Saskatchewan, had an historic Forest Tent Caterpillar infestation.  I was 11 years old and have very clear memories of that time.  By the end of May the leaves in all the trees, almost all white poplar (aspen), and all bushes had been eaten.  It looked like fall.  Two memories stand out.  On the way to town with my dad, we saw telephone poles black with caterpillars.  I remember there were so many on the train tracks that the huge steam engine had to use sand normally used in the winter, when the tracks were icy because the drive wheels were slipping on the caterpillars.

One of my chores was to ride horseback to find the milk cows to bring them in the night milking.  It was raining and when I got home my mother put me in the washtub to wash the caterpillars out of my hair, and all my clothes were put into the washing hamper.

In June the trees and bushes all budded and put out new leaves, and we had spring all over again.  I don’t know what happened in 1941 because we sold the farm and moved to Ontario.

Keith McKerracher

Forest Tent Caterpillar defoliation of aspens – Government of Manitoba

Forest Tent Caterpillar (separated “snowmen” down the back) – Wikimedia