The brisk winds ranging mostly from the northeast to southeast these last few days made it enticing to get to the east beach of Rondeau, hoping that some of those rare waterbirds show up, such as jaegers or Sabine's Gull. So I spent a bit of time hanging out at the Dog Beach Access at Rondeau scanning the lake. With all of the wind and wave action, even the gulls weren't spending much time on the water. There were at least 3000 gulls within view, mostly Ring-bills and Bonaparte's with a handful of Herring and Great Black-backed mixed in. A few Common Terns and Caspian Terns were there as well.
|A small portion of the mass of gulls|
It is quite possible that there was a rarity or two tucked away in the mass of gulls, but they were so jam-packed together and the light was a bit harsh, I just couldn't pick out anything rare in the group.
Late summer wildflowers are always a good place to find some action. New England Asters don't get a lot of respect by us humans, since they are so abundant, even weedy at times. But they are a bonanza for many insects. Pollinators love them!
|New England Aster|
|Paper Wasp (Polites sp)|
And this looks like a Red-banded Leafhopper convention....or is it an example of the three-on-three rules the NHL is going to use in games that go into overtime beginning in 2015?
These developing pods of Purple Milkweed below are prime spots for a gathering of the Large Milkweed Bug clan. There are various ages represented here, and on the lower left of the left side pod, one can see a few of the remaining exoskeletons of bugs that have recently shed. On cool mornings, one can see tightly grouped critters all trying to take advantage of the morning sun.
Berries are always important sources of food for migrating birds, especially thrushes, thrashers, catbirds and warblers. These brightly coloured berries of the Winterberry (Ilex verticillata) stand out against the dark greenery...no doubt they will soon be consumed. It is an uncommon plant at Rondeau.
|Eastern Gray Treefrog|
A day or two before, I was in a large natural area in north Lambton. One of the highlights of the trip was to discover a new location for a rare gentian: Stiff Gentian (Gentiana quinquefolia). It is S2, meaning there are between 6-20 locations known for it in Ontario. However even some of those populations have disappeared, so it is an increasingly rare species, although not legislatively protected yet. I have only seen this in the past on the prairies of Walpole Island First Nation.
On the return from northern Lambton, I stopped at a section of the Sydenham River passing through northern Chatham-Kent. Although the sun was low, there were still a few odes moving about, including this beautiful American Rubyspot.
And so summer is about over, but a new season begins.
|Chenal Ecarte sunset|