Tuesday 19 July 2016

Bugs from a Boat

If someone asked me what my three most favourite things to do were, I'd say birding, photography, and lep/ode watching. In fourth would have to be canoeing. Last Sunday, I headed to Lake Whittaker Conservation Area, and did all four of the above things.

This is my vessel. The Loon went through heavy restoration last summer. Here's the before picture;

And here is the after;

3-inch thick padded seats....canoeing at it's best!

Since then, we have added more detail to the loon image.

Anyway...I saw a few butterflies, such as Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Dun Skipper, and Clouded Sulphur, but didn't get any photographs!

I didn't take any photo's from the canoe, but I sure saw a lot! Probably the highlight was a Twelve-spotted Skimmer. Familiar and Orange Bluets were present throughout. There was also what I think to be a Swamp Spreadwing.

The most common Dragonfly on the lake was by far Eastern Amberwing. There must a have been at least a hundred!

 Second only to that was Eastern Pondhawk.

Third most numerous was no doubt Blue Dasher. Their green eyes are very pretty.

While it wasn't around in as large of numbers as the top three, Widow Skimmer is hard not to notice.

While I was focusing on the Dragonflies in a bunch of lily pads, I heard the tell tale Keee-arrr! of a Red-tailed Hawk.

Soon after, I also heard the twittering of an Eastern Kingbird. Anyone who birds in a place where kingbirds and hawks occur together knows what comes next...

It is safe to say that Eastern Kingbirds and Red-tailed Hawks DO NOT like each other.

In case you are wondering where the "king" in "kingbird" comes from, it refers to the crest on top of the bird's head that is rarely seen.

Thankfully, both got away without the loss of too much blood.

The prettiest ode seen all day was probably this Halloween Pennant.

It was very cooperative.

I am fairly confident that this is a Marsh Bluet. Those Bluets are a tough group!

Have you ever spent 25 minutes trying to get a photo of a moving dragonfly, while using manual focus? I highly recommend it if you want to get so frustrated that you just want to through your camera into the drink :)

I'm fairly certain this is a Prince Baskettail. Any thoughts?

Although the Halloween Pennant may have been the prettiest species, this Variable Dancer was a close competitor.

I was happy to get some Eastern Kingbird photographs that didn't involve mobbing a buteo.

Can you find the Song Sparrow?

To finish off the day, just as I was getting in the car, I saw one of my most sought after ode species...Ebony Jewelwing!

Female (Note the White Stigma)

All-in-all, a good day to be out on the water and see some dragonflies and damselflies!

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