John, Jim and I left Whitby at 8:30 a.m. this morning for Nonquon Lagoons at the north end of Port Perry, a first for me, despite having access permits from the Lagoon Lords for the past two years (that's John and Jim below, not the Lagoon Lords):
On the birding front, we did quite well given the time of year, seeing Spotted and Pectoral Sandpipers, Lesser Yellowlegs, both Caspian and Black Terns, Mallards, Blue-winged Teal, Gadwall, Pied-billed Grebe, Hooded and Common Mergansers, Wood Ducks, Northern Pintails, Ruddy Duck (this one I missed, but both John and Jim saw one), Red-winged Blackbirds, Song Sparrows, a pair of Trumpeter Swans, a Great Blue Heron in flight, Canada Geese, and numerous mixed Swallows congregating in trees and shrubs during their time-out's from their frantic feeding frenzies over the water:
A pastoral scene between the "ponds":
On the Flutterby front, we were greeted at the gate by an American Lady. I was originally miffed at last week's specimen at Carden as I only saw its paisley-patterned underside...
...until today, here's the upperside of an American Lady (I still prefer the underside, though):
For comparison, here's my first ever Painted Lady, quite similar to the American, but it has four eye-spots versus two, not too shabby either in the looks deparmtent:
The Monarch here is laying eggs:
For comparison, here's a Viceroy Butterfly, a bit smaller than the Monarch, with a black line crossing the veins on the hindwing.
Well, of course I knew that before today. Harumph.
My new favourite "thing" today is the gorgeous Ruby Meadowhawk, they were everywhere:
I now present to you the MDOTD (=Mystery Dragonfly of The Day), identification is pending:
A Familiar (not to me!) Bluet, per John. If he suffers with Bluet identification, then I don't have a prayer....
As we left the lagoons, a pair of Common Green Darners were (shield your eyes!) getting cozy. Initially when it, singular, caught my eye I thought it was one massive prehistoric remnant, then I realized there were, in fact, two of them. The male's abdomen is blue, whereas the female's is reddish-purple, although it doesn't quite look like that here:
After the mandatory Timmie's lunch stop, we arrived at the Uxbridge Countryside Preserve, another new area that's eluded me for the past week, but it was worth the wait, even if it was mid-day, mid-summer, muggy and mosquito-ridden, it's an area that I suspect will be quite rich depending upon the time of year (and number of dog-walkers and joggers...):
We followed a much-welcomed shady trail that for the most part parelleled the parking lot, and heard a Black-throated Green Warbler, an Ovenbird, Red-eyed Vireos, and Black-capped Chickadees in the forested sections:
The trail opened onto a meadow where we heard and located a beautiful singing Indigo Bunting. There are also marshes and ponds here:
Ebony Jewelwings decorated the banks of streams, the female is recognized by the white spot on her wings:
A Common Whitetail rested on a rock next to a pond, check out his bright white abdomen (my new word for the day is "site-loyal", thanks John! It's extremely beneficial to know if something is this or not, so you know whether to chase it with the camera or just wait for it to return to its site!):
A male Hairy Woodpecker seemed oblivious to our presence fairly low down on a tree:
We wrapped it up for the day as the weather was going south on us. My final bird (yikes, I have to specify that now, I suppose...) species count for the day was 41 (John and Jim's count was probably higher due to my lame shorebird identification skills), with my YTD tally now at 217. I was pleased to have finally visited two new spots, and for sure will be exploring them further, eventually, especially given their close proximity to home and the cottage!