Aug 172016
 

Tonight, August 15, we had a spectacular aerial show with Common Nighthawks, Tree Swallows and gulls. The nighthawks were swarming over our Curve Lake house. I would estimate 50 but it was difficult to count because of the irregularity of their flight. There were also about twenty gulls and 100 tree swallows at the same time. About the same number of nighthawks (45) as August 25th, 2012. In 2012, they all were flying on an easterly course over Kutang Island on Buckhorn Lake which made it easy to count them. I managed to snap a photo of tonight’s show to give you an idea of what one part of the sky looked like at any given time. Not a great photo for seeing details of the birds but it is more for the pattern of flights. The show lasted for about an hour.

The same flock (of 50 nighthawks) were flying and feeding above the straight-stretch between the Quarter Mile Gas Station and the Waste Transfer station in Curve Lake on August 20. They might be doing so every night, I’m not sure because sometimes I forget to look up. It is good to see though. I wonder if Curve Lake is an evening gathering place for the local birds.

David Beaucage Johnson, Curve Lake

Note:  It is most likely that the nighthawks were migrating southward, despite the somewhat early date. A swarm like David describes with swallows and gulls often forms when birds are feeding on mating flights of ants. D.M.

Common Nighhawks over Buckhorn L. Aug. 15, 2016 - David Beaucage Johnson

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

Common Nighthawk (note white bars on underside of wings)

Common Nighthawk (note white bars on underside of wings)

Sep 242014
 

I read with interest from your website that you and Gord Young witnessed the ant swarms on Sunday Sep 21. During the evening of that same day, we observed a swarm of very small ants on a flower pot in the garden at our waterfront home on lower Chemong Lake.. The nest was under the rock which supported the pot. I managed to get some photos and I will post them on my website  later this week. For now I have included a couple of the photos to seek  help in ant ID. By measuring something on the ground and comparing that to the ants in the photos, I estimate the length of the yellow workers to be between 3-4mm. My guess is that these are Citronella Ants and maybe the smaller variety – Lasius claviger. Any thoughts?

Don McLeod – Lower Chemong Lake

Ant swarm Sept. 21 Chemong Lake (Don McLeod)

Ant swarm Sept. 21 Chemong Lake (Don McLeod)

Ant swarm close-up - Sept. 21, 2014 - Chemong Lake (Don McLeod)

Ant swarm close-up – Sept. 21, 2014 – Chemong Lake (Don McLeod)