20150627 Some sights around Britt

Here are some increasingly common sights around Britt:

Mama Mallard hovering over her brood as they dab for muddy stuff.


Crow supervising the beach area:


Some more fun with the Clearwing Hummingbird Moths at my favorite milkweed patch.  No Monarchs yet.

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Did you notice the extended and then coiled proboscis in the above two images?  Neat, eh?

A nice patch of low blackberry for the squirrels and birdies


Dogbane (or Indian Hemp), with the same poisonous latex sap as its cousin, the milkweed.


This butterfly rested on the dogbane briefly before heading off for another blossom.


We’ve notices that the Meadow Rue has a myriad variety of blossom stages.

I think that there are two different species here:

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I think that the meadow rue is worthy of further study.

So it this wasp imitator.  I know very few diptera, another order of insect worth studying.


In today’s travels I saw NO HONEYBEES.  Some bumble bees and lots of Diptera but no Apis .   The European Union has taken some action but the Canadian Government has not, claiming that “the Science isn’t there”.  It seems that science might be important after all.

20150626 Burwash, trying the new Red Dot Sight and finding a rare bird.

I stopped for an hour or so at the Burwash Industrial Farm on my way home from Henry’s in Sudbury where I picked up my Olympus Red Dot Sight.  Last year Doug and I made camera RDSs from those used on handguns by modifying the mount.  Recently Olympus announced their RDS which would fit into any camera hotshoe.

The Olympus gadget is nicely designed:

Low profile; red dot axis is close to camera lens axis reducing parallax error; red dot intensity can be varied; Elevation and Azimuth adjustment are simple; unit shuts off when sight is collapsed.  And, most importantly, the unit can be locked in the hotshoe, preventing any movement and readjustment of azimuth and elevation.

My intent was to zero the unit in at Burwash, which took about 3 minutes.  I left it mounted on the camera and when going by Neilly Lake saw a Great Blue Heron flying.  I took the camera out of its bag; turned it on; clicked to “C2”; raised the RDS and took this first photograph with the Oly RDS:


(“C2” is one of the Custom Settings that I can access quickly by rotating the PASM… dial.  I have it preset to: S(hutter) Priority, Shutter 1/1000 sec, Autofocus medium square, Auto bracket (-2/3,0,+2/3 EV), Auto ISO (ISO 800 limit), 400mm EFL, giving a f/4 and an ISO of 400)

Later I came across this very curious bird pecking in the gravel alongside the lake.  I photographed it conventionally since it was patient and not moving quickly. Halfway in size between a dove and a grouse.


Then a hatch of these fellows.


Then hundreds and hundreds of these little skippers.


Not only were they feeding on the Vetch above, they also sipped nectar from Oxeye Daisies.


On the way back this strange birdie reappeared, quite calmly, like a ruffed grouse.  Click on it for detail.


I looked it up when I got home …  At first I thought it might be a Gray (Hungarian) Partridge… but then I realized that it was a CHUKAR PARTRIDGE, a rare find.   I suspect that it was introduced to the prison as an experiment, many years ago, when it was probably legal to do so.  I any event who would tell?

I went to the 2014 Ontario Hunting Regulations and found this:

Game Birds
You may hunt and possess the following game birds: wild
turkey, pheasant, ruffed grouse, sharp-tailed grouse, spruce
grouse, ptarmigan and gray (Hungarian) partridge. You
require a special licence to hunt wild turkey in addition to
a small game licence (see pages 31-33). Check the tables on
page 80 for bag and possession limits. Chukar is not included
in the tables but may be hunted in some circumstances. Call
your local MNR office for more information.
In addition, Ontario residents and non-residents may hunt
American crow, brown-headed cowbird, red-winged black-
bird, common grackle, starling and house sparrow.

I think that it would be illegal to hunt on the Burwash  property so this is a good place for this species to reproduce.

Along the way I came across this piece in the November 22, 1937, Edition of the Ottawa Citizen.  Reminds me of the manhunt taking place nowadays in upstate New York.

Good for Google to tag all of that information.