Jul 262019
 

20th Annual Petroglyphs Butterfly Count: The compiling of the July 21st butterfly count is finally finished  and final results have been submitted to the North America Butterfly Association. A total of 55 species were recorded, slightly above the average for the last few years. The Indian Skipper found in the Park area was a new species for this count.  The slow arrival of spring was a factor. The number of Monarchs (472) was very encouraging. Although the number of Dun Skippers (1,459) was well below the 4900+ seen last year, according to count compiler Jerry Ball, it will still be a continental high. The ten most common species were: Dun Skippers (1,459), Monarchs (472), Northern Crescent (304), European Skipper (286), Broad-winged Skipper (165), Eyed-brown (86), Mulberry Wing Skipper (61), White Admiral (51), Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (23), and Acadian Hairstreak (23).  Martin Parker 

Full count results (1)

Full count results (2)

 

White Admiral – Robin Blake

European Skipper – Drew Monkman

 

 

Tiger Swallowtail – Robin Blake

Dun Skipper – Drew Monkman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eastern Dobsonfly: We have never see a bug this big in our lives !! It was enormous. It was stuck to the patio screen. I gently swept it off the patio screen and it landed on the patio. The wing cover was a sliver and blended well with the patio bricks. Any clue what this “ginormous” creature is? Gord Young, Armour Road, Peterborough

Note: Your visitor was a male Eastern Dobsonfly. They average about 12 cm (5 inches) long! In the larval stage, they’re called hellgrammites and are/used to be (?) a popular bait. The larvae live in water, so I suspect this adult would have emerged from the Otonabee River. The males can’t bite, but the females, who have only tiny pincers, apparently can.

Male Dobsonfly – July 26, 2019 – Armour Road, PTBO – Gord Young

 

 

Female Eastern Dobsonfly (Rick Kemp)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sora (Porzana carolina) (1)
– Reported Jul 23, 2019 11:30 by Dave Milsom
– Lakefield–Sewage Lagoons, Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
Checklist:

Sora (rail) – Wikimeda

Clay-colored Sparrow – Wikimedia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clay-colored Sparrow (Spizella pallida) (1)
– Reported Jul 22, 2019 12:35 by Kathryn Sheridan
– Lakefield Water Tower, Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
Checklist:
– Comments: “Continuing”

Red-headed Woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus) (2)
– Reported Jul 22, 2019 15:04 by Dan Chronowic
– Peterborough–Trent University Wildlife Sanctuary Nature Area, Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
Checklist:
– Comments: “Continuing. Adults. In wetland off blue trail. Seen together at top of snag.”

Red-headed Woodpecker – Greg Piatsetzki

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20th Petroglyphs Butterfly Count: This year’s butterfly count, held on July 21st, produced 55 species. The average is 51 species. The big news, however, was the 472 Monarchs we found (vs. 249 in 2018 & just 65 in 2017). With no special searching, we also found 11 Monarch larvae. Many thanks to Martin Parker & Jerry Ball for organizing the event.  Drew Monkman

Monarchs on Joe-Pye Weed – August 2018 – Peter Armstrong

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sightings from the Indian River, north of Warsaw: 

Today, July 25, I found a new caterpillar, a Hitched Arches Moth Caterpillar (Melanchra adjuncta) all curled up on a leaf of a flowering Common Bleeding Heart.

And while I was pruning a lilac bush I came across a tiny mystery creature about a centimeter long.  Unfortunately it fell to the ground while I was trying to photograph it, but it was easier to get a picture on the rough grass.  It is somewhat similar to a pseudoscorpion in both size and the presence of a pair of pincers but it also has two “tails” that  pseudoscorpions do not have.  Despite lengthy searches on the web, I cannot identify a name.  It is a lovely shade of dark blue.
On Monday, July 22, we found three tiny Monarch caterpillars on a lone Common Milkweed that had self-seeded among a jumble of vetch, umbellifers and Bird’s-foot Trefoil near the river. And yesterday, there was another one on a Milkweed in the graveled turning circle. Here’s hoping for a ‘bumper crop’.

We also spotted a Golden-rod Crab Spider, probably a female, on the flower head of a Queen Ann’s Lace. I’ve never been a spider enthusiast, but this one was so pretty. And I’ve discovered it has one remarkable characteristic. It can change colour from yellow to white and vice versa depending on the flower it’s on, though it may take from one day to twenty to make the change. Goldenrod flowers and milkweed are common hosts.

On June 30, an Eight-spotted Forester Moth (Alypia octomaculata) alighted on one of our windows facing the river. Clean windows mean bird strikes so the image isn’t as crisp as it might be. The moth feeds on Virginia Creeper and the grape vine and is often mistaken for a butterfly because it visits flowers during the day.

About this time our neighbours were having some roof work done and an Eastern Phoebe nest was removed from a window ledge that was thought to be empty as the young had already fledged. Sadly the nest contained a second clutch of eggs. With all the handling it was decided not to put it back. The construction of the nest is a wonder to behold.

We now have three protected Painted Turtle nests. At least 2 of these nests definitely have eggs as a skunk has been trying to dig round the chicken wire. And there was a fourth nest that had been dug out with eggs shells and 4 tiny dead Painted Turtles, all rather desiccated, lying near the hole. The next day the turtles were gone, presumably eaten by the skunk. This must have been a nest from last year.

We also have one protected Snapping Turtle nest. Hopefully her nest has eggs this time but she’s fooled us before, digging an obvious second nest to distract attention from a well-covered first nest that does contain her eggs.

Lastly we spotted a mall American Toad amongst leaf litter in a wooded area. We don’t see this toad very often.   Stephenie and Peter Armstrong, Warsaw

Eight-spotted Forester Moth – Stephenie Armstrong

Dead baby Painted Turtles in nest – June 2019 – Stephenie Armstrong

Nest of Eastern Phoebe – Stephenie Armstrong

Goldenrod Crab spider on Queen Anne’s Lace – Stephenie Armstrong

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hitched Arches Moth Caterpillar – Stephenie Armstrong

Recently emerged Monarch caterpillar – July 2019 – Peter Armstrong

 

Mystery insect – July 2019 – Stephenie Armstrong

Leucistic Common Grackle: I took these photos of a leucistic Common Grackle feeding its fledgling in my backyard today, July 12. It hung around the feeder most of the day. I live on County Road 36. Sharon Watson, Lindsay.

Leucistic grackle feeding fledgling – Lindsay, ON – July 12, 2019 – Sharon Watson

Leucistic Common Grackle 2 – Lindsay, ON – July 12, 2019 – Sharon Watson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recent photos from Mike Faught: I took the photos of the Great Blue Heron nest in the Trent Wildlife Sanctuary. The Merlins are using the tree just off our balcony on Reid Street in Peterborough to exchange prey that they’ve caught. We see them doing this five or six times a day! Mike Faught

Merlins exchanging food – July 2019 – Peterborough – Mike Faught

Merlin with prey – July 2019 – Peterborough – Mike Faught

Great Blue Herons on nest – Trent Wildlife Sanctuary – June 2019 – Mike Faught

Osprey carrying sucker – June 2019 – Mike Faught

Osprey feeding young – June 2019 – Mike Faught

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Albino Raccoon:  Here are a couple of photos of an albino Raccoon that a Peterborough resident shared with me. It turned up in his neighbourhood near Little Lake in early July.

Albino Raccoon – July 2019 – Little Lake, Peterborough

Albino Raccoon near Little Lake – July 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Western Meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta) (1)
– Reported Jul 03, 2019 09:30 by Chris Ellingwood
– Highway 36, Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
Checklist:
– Comments: “calling from private access lane-distinct western song, very loud and melodious whistle and warble call. Bird similar in physical appearance to eastern meadowlark in same field. Call notable.
Back off of Highway 36 on private property. May be hearable from road near Flynn’s Turn.”

May 052017
 

Although it has been several weeks since hearing of any still around, Ed & Karen Heuvel reported to me a Great Gray Owl they had seen during the early evening on their property along the Ouse River between Cottesloe and Norwood on April 18,

2017. Ed says; “Huntng from a low snag, it seemed quite tame. After a while, it sailed across the road and came to land on another snag. In the dimming light, it’s white mustache marks were quite distinct.”

Stoney Lake and area

Broad-winged Hawks seemed to show some early arrival dates this year, with the first I know of seen on Stoney Lake on April 12th. They, Red-shouldered Hawks, Merlins, and Ospreys are quite abundant now in the area as they engage in their nesting activities for another year.

The first Whip-poor-will I heard this spring was one singing on the evening of April 24th near South Bay on Stoney Lake.

On April 29th, an Eastern Phoebe was sitting on a full clutch of five eggs in her nest atop a horizontal deck support beam at a friend’s cottage off of Northey’s Bay Road.

Stoney, Belmont, and Cordova Lake area

Northern Barred Owls are very vocal right now, day and night, and we are at the time of year when most of them will have young in the nest, (averaging about a week old). Typically, in this area, many lay their eggs about the 25th of March. Usually quiet throughout the incubation period, the males, especially, begin frequent hooting again towards the end of April. I wonder if that has anything to do with early social imprinting of their youngsters?

Tim Dyson

Barred Owl – March 23, 2017 – Sandy Lake – Susan

Whip-poor-will (Karl Egressy)

Great Gray Owl – Tim Dyson

Broad-winged Hawk – Wikimedia

Red-shouldered Hawk – Karl Egressy

Eastern Phoebe at nest – David Frank

Eastern Phoebe nest – June 7, 2004 – Tim Dyson

Apr 022017
 

April 2 – I heard a Wilson’s Snipe quietly calling in the marshy area on the Parkway trail, east of Chemong, directly underneath the WalMart parking lot. Also, 3 Northern Leopard Frogs hopping along the new not-yet-opened road that skirts east of the airport as well as 3 Killdeer in the adjacent fields.   Marilyn Freeman

Wilson’s Snipe – Greg Piasetzki

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 2 – Cottonwood Drive this morning, we heard a couple of Eastern Phoebes calling. It must be spring! Rob Moos

Eastern Phoebe (David Frank)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 30 – Two Great Blue Herons flying over the Cavan Bog and another north of Whitby.  John Fautley

March 30 – I saw my first Great Blue Heron today. It was flying north over the Otonabee River near Lakefield. Annamarie Beckel

Great Blue Heron – Wikimedia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About 64 third year Trent ecology students surveyed the Otonabee River from Lakefield to south of Lock 19, on March 24th.  From 9:00 am to 10:30 am, they did 8 stations north of Trent and from 1 pm to 3 pm, 8 stations south of Trent. Susan Chow

Here are the results: Bufflehead 95, Canada Geese 141, Common Goldeneye 6, Common Merganser 8, Gadwall 1, Greater Scaup 1, Hooded Merganser 86, Lesser Scaup 7, Long-tailed Duck 5, Mallard 369, Wood Duck 3

Long-tailed-Duck – Mar.22 2014 – Little Lake – – DJ McPhail

 

Male Gadwall (photo from Wikimedia)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On March 17 and 18, there were 50 to 60 Bohemian Waxwings flying back and forth between the conifers along the Otonabee River and two Siberian crab apple trees. The birds were just north of the Ninth Line.

Susan Chow

Bohemian Waxwing – Cow Island – Jan. 24, 2015 – via Sylvia Cashmore

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 082016
 

We returned to our home on Dodworth Island on Stony Lake on Monday and immediately filled the four feeders. The activity is the most ever….We have 10 usual species but two things stand out. There are no Common Redpolls, but we have over 50 Pine Siskins. At least one Osprey is back..no loons here yet. The ice went out on April 1.  Rob Welsh

NOTE:  Pine Siskins are showing up in large numbers all over Peterborough and the Kawarthas right now. Flocks of 60+ have come to our feeder in recent days, along with close to a dozen Purple Finches. Drew Monkman

I was about to send out an APB. However, this evening around 5 pm. our pair of Common Loons finally arrived (Buckhorn Lake near Six Foot Bay) . Unfortunately, our “lone loon”, who usually arrives before them (as early as April 1) hasn’t appeared yet. Fingers crossed he’s ok.  Toni Sinclair, Buckhorn Lake

On April 6, I had 12-15 Purple Finches at our feeder for most of the day. No, they were not House Finches! Mostly females but at least 4 showy males.   Jim Cashmore, Wallis Drive, Peterborough

I heard the first Spring Peeper chorus for me this year, on March 31 @ 9th Line and County Road 32 (east bank along Otonabee towards Lakefield). Susan Chow

I saw my first Mourning Cloak butterfly on March 27,  just south of Keene.  Michael Gillespie

On the Indian River outside Warsaw, we heard an Eastern Phoebe calling March 28 at about 8:30 am – our harbinger of Spring!  Jane Bremner, Warsaw

Jerry Ball and I covered some of the side roads off Hwy 507 in the northern part of Trent Lakes Municipality and found Compton Tortoiseshell butterflies on three different roads. Martin Parker

We’ve had a weasel around all winter (a Long-tailed, we think), but never managed to get a photo until Easter Sunday, March 23… its white winter coat has started changing. Gwen Forsyth, Lakefield

I saw a pair of Sandhill Cranes on March 23. They were flying northeast over Centre Line of Smith at the 7th Line.  Jim Watt, Peterborough

I was outside March 23 cleaning the snow off the deck and about 20 feet above my head flew this magnificent adult Bald Eagle. He went upwards and landed on top of the pine tree on our point. Waited there for about ten minutes.  Derry Fairweather, Upper Buckhorn Lake

Today, March 22, my wife saw a pair of Gray Squirrels mating in our yard. It seems far too late, since Gray Squirrels give birth to their first litter this month. I haven’t been able to find a reference to mating in March anywhere online. Drew Monkman

Bald Eagle - March 23, 2016 Derry Fairweather

Bald Eagle – March 23, 2016 Derry Fairweather

Compton Tortoiseshell - Wikimedia

Compton Tortoiseshell – Wikimedia

Long-tailed Weasel - March 23 - Gwen Forsyth

Long-tailed Weasel – March 23 – Gwen Forsyth

Mourning Cloak - Maple Cr. - Apr. 2014 - Drew Monkman

Mourning Cloak – Maple Cr. – Apr. 2014 – Drew Monkman

 

Pine Siskin (by Karl Egressy)

Pine Siskin (by Karl Egressy)

Eastern Phoebe at nest - David Frank

Eastern Phoebe at nest – David Frank