Sunday, 26 August 2012

Photos from Pelee (part 2)


I had a few other target species for the trip. The first was Dainty Sulfur - they had colonized Hillman Marsh this year and could be easily found there - and the second was Common Checkered-skipper. Prior to 2010 or so Common Checkered-skipper was extremely rare in Ontario with individuals seen in only a few years. But they have become relatively common in the south recently and this year was no exception. I saw about 50 of these during the trip!

Common Checkered-Skipper

Common Checkered-Skipper

On the third day I met up with Alan again and we covered mainly the west side of the park, south of the Visitor's Center. Again, the numbers of butterflies were much lower than the previous days and we were unable to find anything really rare. Just like with birds during migration, some days a huge influx shows up, with numbers dwindling over the successive days. We spent some time at the tip looking for birds and were rewarded with a small flock of shorebirds. I was happy to see that one of them was a Buff-breasted - a species I rarely get to see up close!

Buff-breasted Sandpiper - Point Pelee

Buff-breasted Sandpipers breed in the high arctic and migrate through the Great Plains. Occasionally southern Ontario gets a few wayward individuals in the autumn - usually juvenile birds in fields or sod farms with other shorebirds that prefer these dry habitats. The above individual can be aged as a juvenile due to the very fresh wing and back feathers, neatly arranged. Adults show a fair bit of wear this time of year.

Giant Swallowtails are abundant at Pelee and some years throughout much of southwestern Ontario. It still never gets old seeing one of these beauts floating along in the treetops or along the shoreline.

Giant Swallowtail - Point Pelee

Alan and I searched all along the shoreline with Funereal Duskywing in mind. It was not to be, but we did get a good photo opportunity with the most common duskywing this time of year at Pelee - the Wild Indigo Duskywing.

Wild Indigo Duskywing - Point Pelee

As it was getting hot and uncomfortable in the park, we decided to take a lunch break at the big red bus outside the park gate. This was quickly becoming a favorite of mine - great food, big portions, quick service, and cheap prices! We unexpectedly ran into Jeremy Hatt who was on an unsuccessful quest for Buff-breasted Sandpipers (though he did get some today).

From here I headed over to Hillman Marsh to try to get some photos of the Dainty Sulfurs, since its not every year you get that opportunity. I was successful in that regard and also had very high counts of Fiery Skippers and Common Checkered-skippers!

Dainty Sulfur - Point Pelee

Fiery Skipper - Point Pelee

It was a pretty good little jaunt to Pelee - I had birds such as Dickcissel, Acadian Flycatcher and Buff-breasted Sandpiper, and most of the target butterflies I had hoped to see. The only negative is that apparently a BROWN PELICAN was seen off of the West Beach of Pelee by some fishermen on August 24 - the day that Alan and I were walking up the west side. We must have just missed it!!!

I will finish with a few more photos from the trip.

Leat Skipper - Point Pelee

Pearl Crescent - Point Pelee

Easterm Tailed-blue - Point Pelee

Hackberry Emperor - Point Pelee

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