The Red-headed young has now left the nest.
A Prothonotary Warbler is also feeding its just hatched young. Both male (shown here) and female are busily going back and forth regularly.
The spring wildflowers are long gone, well they are not showy, but are putting forth fruit. The interior of the forests are deep green and enjoyable to explore and photograph on a cloudy day.
|South Point Trail|
Along woodland edges and other open areas, there is a steady stream of newly opened flowers to be viewed. While travelling along Bennett Ave last autumn, I noted the bright red berries of Winterberry (Ilex verticillata), so I checked it out a few days ago, and....bingo....it was just nicely out in flower. This is the first time I have seen it in flower at Rondeau. The camera came out to record the occasion, naturally.
Along this trail there were quite a few odonates in the sunny open area. Damselflies were abundant. I got a few photos of the dragonfly White-faced Meadowhawk, both male and female.
|White-faced Meadowhawk female|
|White-faced Meadowhawk male|
Out along the southeast beach of Rondeau, the Eastern Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia humifusa) is in flower.
The presence of this species at Rondeau is a conundrum. It doesn't occur in the park naturally, but some well meaning individual who had a particular love of this species planted several clumps along the southeast beach in the mid 1990s. The habitat works well for this species, and it is spreading steadily. There are now at least 20 clumps of varying sizes. The conundrum is that it is a legally endangered species under the provincial Endangered Species Act. And in Ontario it only occurs naturally at Point Pelee National Park and at Fish Point Provincial Nature Reserve (on Pelee Island). The small population at the latter location is not doing well at all. So now there is a planted population in a nature reserve zone of Rondeau.
What to do? Do park managers sacrifice the integrity of a nature reserve zone of one of the most significant provincial parks in the province to allow a legally endangered species from elsewhere persist? Or do they attempt to retain the natural integrity of the park and nature reserve zone by removing it? The questions are easy to come up with; the right answers are not.
Moving along....I hiked part of the Marsh Trail. There is lots of Common Milkweed scattered along it, and I thought I might have seen a few butterflies. They were really few. Some Red Admirals and a couple of Viceroys were about all there was to see on this trip, although the windy conditions might have been a factor.
In a low wet meadow adjacent to the trail was a beautiful display of Swamp Candles (Lysimachia terrestris).
The view from the observation tower is always fun to see, except for the steadily increasing number of wind turbines across the bay. I reported in an earlier post about counting 178 wind turbines from the lower level of the tower. On this most recent visit, from the upper level, I can advise that I counted a total of 203 towers!
If you look towards the south beach, you get this next view, complete with the absence of wind turbines.
I stopped at the Blenheim Sewage Lagoons one evening recently as well. The shorebirds are starting to build in numbers and diversity. There were probably as many as 100 shorebirds in all, including a group of small 'peeps' that never landed where I could see them. But there were a dozen or more Least Sandpipers, 9 Lesser Yellowlegs, 2 Short-billed Dowitchers and the usual Killdeer and Spotted Sandpiper.
Duck diversity wasn't high, but this male Canvasback (on the right), shown alongside a male Blue-winged Teal starting its moult, was still around.
Perched in the fence along the east side of the lagoons was this young Baltimore Oriole. It made composing the photo using the 'rule of thirds' a lot easier :-).
And finally, at the end of the day recently, I raced off to the north end of Bear Line, where one can get a great view of Walpole Island across the Chenal Ecarte, and is a perfect vantage point from which to capture a sunset.