20160601 Trip to Burwash, Odonata, fish frenzy, and a few nice pictures

We left early in the morning, hoping to see some Elk at the abandoned (1974) Burwash Prison Farm.

Neilly Lake in the morning sunlight …


Although the morning air was chilly, there were bugs out and about like this fellow.   You might have to click on the image to enlarge the image to see it.


And various species of Odonata were munching on black flies that they snagged in the air.

These species seemed to be quite common:


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I first thought that this is a Spring Azure, but it is not.   What is it?  I had some difficulty getting this one photograph of it.


Nice bit of sunshine on the lichens.


There were lots of cultivars in the old townsite, including this lily of the valley:


The Canadian Tiger Swallowtails were feasting on the abundant lilacs…


This turtle took time out from its busy schedule to get some rays …


Female American Redstart was hiding in a poplar/willow thicket…


This clouded sulphur was hiding in the grass …


On the way back we detoured to the pond on Hwy 522 (between Grundy Lake PP and Pakesley CPR Crossing) where I (again) inspected the water lilies.

This water lily seemed to be shaking but I couldn’t see why.


Until I looked more carefully.


I made a movie of the phenomenon and saw a school of about a dozen minnows in a feeding fenzy.  (Accumulation of a hatch of insects under that lily pad?)

The yellow lilies are starting to bloom …


… attracting contemplaters of their beauty …


… and photographers who like Claude Monet …


Racket-tailed Emerald?


Much easier to find and photograph … starflower:


Golf ball with parachutes …


Now we know the source of the odd ends of our local blueberries …  (see the stages of development of the fruit after pollination?)


When we got home we heard, then saw, this catbird singing up a storm . . .

Listen to its song here:  https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Gray_Catbird/id


While we were driving very slowly, idling, along the back roads we were struck with the huge number of dragonflies plucking small insects out of the air and then stopping to masticate while perched on a branch or stalk, usually about a metre or so over the ground.  This appears to be typical behaviour.

I corresponded with an excellent bird photographer recently, Jules Gobeil of Quebec City.  His site is a bit tricky but the photos are extraordinary: