There were some exceptionally heavy storms in this part of Quebec yesterday so we changed our usual “Wednesday Wander” in the Arboretum to a walk of equivalent distance along the riverside in Cap-St-Jacques – for the exercise and to see what was around.
A couple of years ago I added a Guide to West Island Birding Sites to my small collection of free guidebooks. I think it is useful and lots of people have downloaded copies and told me it is useful , but there are a number of things in it that could do with revision – perhaps a task for the winter. Anyway, as this walk is one of the recommended routes, I took along some GPS equipment and have redone the map for future edition – if they are completed. See the side bar.
If any reader would like to check out the WI Birding Guide you can find it online at http://sparroworks.ca/wildlifing/product/birding-on-the-west-island/ It is, as I mentioned, FREE.
It was bright but very windy. Nine species of birds, none particularly unusual though – consequently more time was spent “collecting” wild plant images for the Digital Botanist (she has her own publishing schedule) and being buzzed by Swallowtail butterflies that simply refused to settle and be photographed. I did, however, manage to add a couple of specimens of the Northern Crescent butterfly (Phyciodes cocyta) to my list for the park. This attractive, organge butterfly supposedly has just one brood from June-July, and “perhaps two broods in southern Canada.” I think the presence of these specimens in late August indicate that two broods are more than probable in this region. Eggs are laid on various Asters, and there are certainly quite a range of those along this trail.
On returning home, we found this big fellow on a rose bush – a Cicada or dog-day harvest fly. This is the first we have seen this summer and presages evenings of constant, loud “sawing” from the shrubbery. Not a beautiful insect, but certainly a magnificent one. This fellow is about three inches long.