Monday, 1 August 2011

There's no place like home.

Today I had very little on the agenda, so I slept in and went for a few hikes in the afternoon and evening. The first place I went was the Grand River. It is only about 2 kms from my parent's place in Cambridge and I place that I spent many hours at as a kid.

There were hoards of bikers and dog-walkers on the trail, but once I headed off into the bush I didn't see another soul (except a hobo who had set up camp).

I tried to photograph some insects, even though the light was kind of crappy at mid day.

Cabbage White - Grand River, Ontario

I'm not really sure what species of skipper this is and I don't have any reference books nearby. It was feeding on Joe Pye weed.

Tawny-edged Skipper - Grand River, Ontario (thanks to Kirk Zufelt for the ID)

Ebony Jewelwing - Grand River, Ontario

Little Wood-Satyr - Grand River, Ontario

The bird life was what one would expect for mid afternoon on a 30 degree day in mid-August. Not much was singing! Among the usuals (Indigo Buntings, E. Kingbirds, SOSPs, etc) there were a few highlights, such as a Belted Kingfisher, 40+ Chimney Swifts hawking insects, Osprey, and a few shorebirds. There were 3 Lesser Yellowlegs and 2 Least Sandpipers mixed in with about 30 Killdeer on a rocky island. This is the first time that I've ever seen migrating shorebirds at the river.

Also interesting to see were 2 presumably summering Common Mergansers.

Common Mergansers - Grand River, Ontario

I didn't see too many herps today but I stopped to grab a quick shot of this Northern Leopard Frog.

Northern Leopard Frog - Grand River, Ontari

This evening I checked out a few of my favorite areas to the southwest of Cambridge. I photographed this Question Mark,

Question Mark - North Dumfries, Ontario

and saw a nice variety of Grassland Birds. They included Eastern Bluebird, Savannah and Grasshopper Sparrow, Eastern Meadowlark, Merlin, Killdeer, Eastern Kingbird, and Brown Thrasher.

Grasshopper Sparrow - North Dumfries, Ontario

All in all, nothing to crazy was found but it was nice to check out some of my regular spots that I have somewhat neglected in recent years.

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