Great Egret

Great Egret

Friday, 16 October 2015

October plenty

We were away over the Thanksgiving period....more on that in a future I will pass along some of the highlights of early October.

October is one of my favourite times of year. The parks are less busy with the crowds of summer and there are still lots of things to enjoy.

There is a nice variety of fungus on the forest floor, including this Clitocybula abundans which is fruiting off of some wood just under the soil and leaf litter.

I was pleased with the diversity of butterflies utilizing the sunnier parts of the trail. Aside from these Common Buckeye and Eastern Tailed-Blue, there were Red Admirals, both sulphurs, Monarch and Mourning Cloak. The buckeyes have been noticeably more abundant in the last few weeks.
Common Buckeye
Eastern Tailed-Blue
Other invertebrates along the trails include this Marbled Orb Weaver, a large colourful spider that is typically abundant in the fall.

 Oblong-winged Katydid are also more abundant now. Usually they are green, as in this next image.
But sometimes they can be either bright pink, or pale yellow, as in these next two. The pink one I took many years ago, on slide film. A pink one was seen by several people late this summer, in the vegetation right next to the Rondeau Visitor Centre. The yellow one I photographed on Pelee Island a few years ago on a digital P&S. Both have been used in the book Songs Of Insects, an excellent book illustrating the numerous crickets, katydids, cicadas, etc of eastern North America. It includes a CD with the various insect songs and is available at the Friends of Rondeau bookstore.

 Along the eastern side of the park, and especially in the campground, there are quite a few Eastern Red Cedars. Some years they have virtually no fruit, but this year looks to be a good fruiting year, at least for some individual trees. This is a boon for various birds looking for nourishment this time of year.
American Robin

Hermit Thrush
Cedar Waxwings and a few lingering warbler species will definitely make use of this abundance as well, and if the berries last long enough, will be great at attracting birds for the Christmas Bird Count (only two months away!!).

I've seen more Northern Parulas this fall than I did in the spring.
Northern Parula
Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers are showing up more and more.

Northern Flickers are more abundant now than they were in the summer.

Somewhat surprisingly, this American Woodcock was strutting along the paved trail, but didn't let me get too close before heading off to the brushy side. One seldom sees them out in the open on bright  sunny days.

Turkey Vultures are passing through in large numbers, wobbling through the sky as they go. Already more than 30,000 have been documented at one of the hawkwatch sites along the Detroit River, but last year almost 70,000 were recorded, so there are lots more to come.

October is definitely a month of plenty to be thankful for!


  1. I have only seen one pink katydid (on a butterfly count) at Rondeau. Never knew there was a yellow one!

    1. Yep....but the yellow ones are far less conspicuous, so less frequently observed, I presume.