mm

While people in Sarnia were taking cover from a deluge, Young Nats were enjoying the balmy weather and NO rain at the Moore Habitat Management Area.

Mike Kent went over the safety rules first and talked to us about ticks, how to protect ourselves and how to remove them if we found one. He also went over the importance of tick checks during and after our walk.

Mike also told us about the free Ontario Nature phone App The Ontario Reptile and Amphibian Atlas App available on both Google Play and iTunes. It also lets you report sightings, like the Blue-Spotted Salamander we saw!

 

We also saw a HUGE wolf spider

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ebony jewelwing damselfly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the Young Nats even let Mike put one on her nose before it flew away!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another lucky boy got to learn how to safely hold one.

We also saw centipedes, millipedes, potato bugs, lightning bugs, clubtail dragonfly and even a small crayfish.

 

What a fun day…can’t wait to see what we are doing next!

Hint…. July 8th– What’s all the Buzz About?

Please join us on Thursday evenings in July and August to view local gardens featuring native plants. Each tour will commence at 7:00pm. Learn from the garden experts about creating gardens with native plants to attract wildlife and benefit our environment.

July 20th – Naturalized Downtown

This is actually a tour of four downtown gardens. To begin, meet at the park at the corner of Christina and Davis.

Our starting point is the Sarnia Urban Wildlife Garden.  This was one of Shawn McKnight’s first native gardens and is in the process of transformation from predominantly flowering tallgrass prairie species to lower growing drought tolerant species with a lot more grass. Our speaker will discuss the tough site conditions.  All the downtown gardens have tough site conditions, but this one probably the toughest. It could be our native gardening in tough places workshop! Problems included: wind, salt, poor or shallow soil, blowing garbage, foot traffic, weed seed…

Next is the Scotia Bank garden which has also underwent same transformation as above, but in this case the transformation is complete and we are very pleased with how this garden is performing. It’s a business, so Return the Landscape has had to find the right balance of wild and tidy.

The garden at First Sarnia Place is a series of large square concrete planters behind the apartment building. It represents a more corporate style of planting using only native plants.

The residential garden at the corner of Vidal and Cromwell has had both the front and side gardens naturalized. This location has an awesome rain garden just feet away from the sidewalk and people frequently do a “double take” when they walk by.

JUNIOR CONSERVATIONISTS EVENT (AGED 12+)

Canatara Park is a local hotspot not only for beach-goers, but also species at risk, resident owls, migrant songbirds, impressive trees, and a mixture of habitats. The area we call Canatara Park today has gone through many changes over the years, mostly due to human development. Today, values have shifted realizing the importance of green space and nature. Protecting nature directly involves protecting natural habitat and restoring other spaces.

Join Felicia from Nature’s Way Nurseries to help restore Canatara Park to a better habitat for more plants and animals!

What to bring:

  • lunch, snacks, water (LOTS OF WATER)
  • sunblock and insect repellent
  • hat
  • closed toed footwear (rubber boots help for protection against ticks)
  • pen/pencil & notepad (optional)
  • work/garden gloves

Where to meet:

Canatara Park – park at the Animal Farm entrance. Meet at open Pavilion/Barn picnic tables near entrance of Animal Farm.

July 18th, 2017

Many of Ontario’s reptiles and amphibians are species at risk. There’s still a lot we don’t know about them. Come join the St. Clair Conservation Authority as they monitor reptiles as a part of a long-term study to observe any potential changes in amphibian populations. Learn about local species, their threats, and how you can help.

If you came to the last reptile monitoring outing, we will be going into more detail on how to identify, survey, and monitor for local species.

Where to Meet

940 Holt Line, Wilkesport, ON N0P 2R0

What to bring

  •  lunch, snacks, water (LOTS OF WATER)
  • sunblock and insect repellent (wash hands thoroughly after application for the sake of our amphibians
  • hat
  • RUBBER BOOTS, HIP WAITERS, ETC. for protection against ticks
  • reptile/amphibian field guide
  • Ontario Nature – Ontario Reptile and Amphibian Atlas (ORRA) App (free – optional)
  • pen/pencil & notepad
mm

As the date of the 2107 Pelee Island camping trip approached, all the poor weather forecasts suddenly changed to show pleasant conditions for the entire duration of the trip!  A wonderful group of 20 LWI campers began arriving on Thursday for a great weekend of birding.  Lake Erie was smooth for the 1.5 hour long ferry ride aboard the SS Jiiman from Leamington.

SS Jimaan

Ferry Loading

Many of the campers had been to the island in previous years and some were visiting the island for the first time.

As a group, we moved around the island to observe the migrating birds, with an occasional detour to the bakery for vital nourishment (see earlier post photo).  High water and waves kept us away from Lighthouse Point (on the northeast corner of the island) for the first two days, but by Saturday the winds had shifted and we made it to the point to see some interesting birds.  Some of the best birding of the weekend came on the beach at Fish Point early on Friday evening, with numerous warblers hungrily eating up insects that were being warmed by the sun right along the edge of the beach.   A great looking Lake Erie sunset on the same beach capped off a perfect day.

Cape May Warbler

Common Yellowthroat

Indigo Bunting

Migrating shorebirds were also located in some farm fields where large pools of water had accumulated.  The group was thrilled to get quite close to a large flock of Black-bellied Plovers, with Ruddy Turnstones and Dunlins mixed in.

Black-bellied Plovers

Baby Brown Snake

Lighthouse Point

Palm Warbler

Black-throated Blue Warbler

Such were the abundance of birds on the island that we even observed warblers from the comfort of the campsite, including Yellow-rumped, Black & white and Northern Parulas.  Other notable birds observed included Summer Tanager, Night Hawk, Red-throated Loon, Indigo Bunting, Red-headed Woodpecker, and we even heard a “Whip-poor-will”!

Black & White Warbler

Spotted Sandpiper

Red-headed Woodpecker

The time seemed to go by quickly with each day’s activities beginning at 7:00 AM, and when it was time to pack up and catch the next departing ferry it seemed like the excursion had been too short.  Well, there is always next year!

Young Naturalists

July 8th—What’s All the Buzz About? Bees with Kim Gledhill Marthaville Habitat Management Area 1pm-3pm

Learn about the honey bee society and the importance of dance with Kim Gledhill. She will be bringing her bee keeping equipment and a specially designed display hive with live bees inside.  To learn about honey bee language, we will play the bee dance game where you can be the queen bee in the hive. Honey and crackers are on the menu too.

Where to Meet

4749 Marthaville Rd, Petrolia, ON N0N 1R0

 

What to bring:

  • suntan lotion
  • hat
  • water
  • pen/pencil + notepad

Many of Ontario’s reptiles and amphibians are species at risk.  There’s still a lot we don’t know about them. Come join the St. Clair Conservation Authority as they monitor reptiles as a part of a long-term study to observe any potential changes in amphibian populations. Learn about local species, their threats, and how you can help.

Pack a lunch, snacks and water for the day.

Where to Meet

940 Holt Line, Wilkesport, ON N0P 2R0

What to bring

TBD

Junior Conservationists

June 24th—North American Butterfly Association (NABA) Count 

Pinery Provincial Park

TBD *Registration Required*

Open to Lambton Wildlife Inc Young Naturalist Club members only. To become a member and see the schedule of exciting events visit: www.lambtonwildlife.com/ Registration Required. Limited numbers permitted. Email or Contact Mike Kent

Put your butterfly identification skills to the test while we try to count as many individuals and types of butterflies as we can in one day.

Where to Meet

TBD

What to bring –

  • insect net
  • binoculars
  • sunblock
  • hat
  • water
  • butterfly guide
  • map
  • camera
  • pen/pencil & notepad
  • insect repellent (wash hands after application for the sake of our friendly insects)
mm

LWI had two Sunday outings in May to look at wildflowers in Mandaumin Woods. Nick Alexander was our leader. He has a background in horticulture, works with Return the Landscape, and has a fascinating amount of information to share about the plants at Mandaumin Woods. On our first visit we were treated to quite a display of trillium. Two week later, on Mother’s Day, some of the trillium had started to turn pink as the blossoms aged. There was the occasional red trillium mixed in as well. May 13th was a beautiful day for a walk in the woods and it was remarkable to see the difference in the surroundings after just two weeks. On both instances, rubber boots were a must as the woodlot has significant amounts of water and the trail was muddy.

Each time I go on a plant walk, I am determined to take notes, but never do. Next time!

On May 13th the wild geranium were in bloom. In the wild, each plant supported only a few blooms and each plant was quite low growing. This is a contrast to the same plant grown in a garden setting. Garden plants are much taller and bushier with an abundance of blooms. Wild geranium is an indicator species of a Carolinian forest. Mandaumin Woods has an abundant supply of this plant as well as other Carolinian species. We have sugar maple, shagbark hickory, American beech, ironwood and muscle trees quite close to the trail. The hickory saplings are very distinctive as the leaves make a large flowerlike bud before they emerge. The woodland does not have a lot of non-native species and we have been attempting to get rid of the buckthorn that was near the road.

We saw spicebush, nannyberry, wild ginger, jack in the pulpit, trout lily, mayflower with early fruit, and anemone which were finished blooming by the second visit. There was quite a discussion about common names as some plants are known by as many as four or five different common names for the same plant. There is something to be said for learning the Latin names to avoid confusion.

For example my wildflower book says this is a large flowered bellwort but I think Nick said this was some kind of lily and a desirable garden plant. It looks rather wilted and but the drooping nature is just how it looks.

We passed around a small stem from a spicebush which was very aromatic.  One of our fellow trekkers informed me that it was the host plant of the spicebush swallowtail butterfly and that their native plant garden has had caterpillars of the swallowtail on their spicebushes.  We will be touring that native garden this summer as one of our native garden tours. The tour on August 10th has the incorrect address included in the brochure. The correct address should be 6719 Old Mill Road.

On the latter part of the walk we saw a red headed woodpecker and this grey tree frog among the trout lily leaves. Trout lily is a spring ephemeral which will disappear later in the summer.  The frog can change colour from grey to green depending on its surroundings.

This was an enjoyable outing. Next year we will be looking at wildflowers at Reid’s Conservation Area.

 

View Bank and Northern Rough-winged swallows in their nesting colony as they hunt insects to feed their young.

Ron and Linda Core are hosting Lambton Wildlife to view a colony of swallows that nest in the banks of a gravel pit at the rear of the family farm.  Bank swallows excavate tunnels in the bank to nest  and the Northern Rough-winged swallows have been known to re-use cavities developed by the Bank swallows.  There will also be an opportunity to hike in the family’s woodland trail to view trees that Ron has planted and view plants and trees of the area.

The walk leader is Larry Cornelis.  Larry is naturalist local to Lambton-Kent, where he has lived all of his life.  He is a very knowledgeable resource of the flora and fauna of the area.  He is an avid bird watcher and will tell you that he doesn’t get enough time to pursue the hobby.  He is a board member of Sydenham Field Naturalists and Lambton Wildlife Incorporate. Larry is a busy guy and always happy to be outside working with nature.

The event begins at 10:00 AM June 10 on the farm of Ron and Linda Core.  The address is 4082 Confederation Line, which is east of Mandaumin and about 2.5Km west of Oil Heritage Road.

The Swallow viewing is considered to be an easy event with only a short walk to the viewing site.  The woodland trail portion is a longer walk, about a kilometre, but still considered easy.  At this time, we are unsure if we can drive back to the swallow viewing or if we will walk.  The walk, should we need to walk, is less than 1Km.

The walk is open to everyone without charge.  Binoculars are recommended.  Footwear appropriate for the weather.  Photo opportunities exist throughout the tour.  There are no facilities available on the farm.

Contact Anne Goulden at anniegou@gmail.com for any questions.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Meet: 10:00 am, 4082 Confederation Line