While birding the southern part of the county today I encountered nine Giant Swallowtails at four locations: 3rd Line east of Bensfort Bridge (2-worn); Hiawatha Line south of Herkimer Pt Rd (1-fairly fresh); just east of Villiers on Peterborough Rd 2 (1-fairly fresh); and east of Birdsalls on River Rd (5-fresh). At the latter locality I found 6 larvae (1 late-instar; 5 early-instar) on Prickly-ash (Zanthoxylum americanum). I took photos of the larvae and have placed photos of both instars in the ‘D on Sutherland’ folder (Click ‘Photos’ at left). Also of interest was a very fresh Harvester (Feniseca tarquinius) along River Rd.
At the Briar Hill Bird Sanctuary I finally saw the Short-billed Dowitcher this morning. When I arrived just before 11 AM there were only two LESAs and the usual contingent of KILL visible. At around 11:30, just after the arrival of 34 Canada Geese, I picked up the bird on the far (north) shore of the pond. Not sure where it came from but I watched it through my 30-60X spotting scope for around 30 minut es as it fed continuously. I digiscoped a distant photo for the record. It then flew to the south side of the pond just east of the ‘inlet’ and was lost from view. Along River Road east of Birdsalls I had a Yellow-throated Vireo singing a weak rendition of its song, a Scarlet Tanager, two Great Crested Flycatchers, several Eastern Wood Pewees, a Red-bellied Woodpecker, and a Yellow-billed Cuckoo, which was calling and which responded positively to call broadcasts, flying back and forth overhead in the canopy.
Location: various (see email)
Observer: Don Sutherland