Opinion Column

BIRDWATCH: Annual Lake Dore butterfly count coming up Saturday, July 30

Ken Hooles

By Ken Hooles, Daily Observer

Submitted photo by John Meadows
Avid birdwatcher John Meadows recently captured this photo of a Kingfisher along the Ottawa River.

Submitted photo by John Meadows Avid birdwatcher John Meadows recently captured this photo of a Kingfisher along the Ottawa River.

The next Pembroke Area Field Naturalists’ event is the club’s 20th annual Lake Dore Odonate Count (Dragonfly Count) to be held on Saturday, July 30, at 9 a.m. In the event of inclement weather on the Saturday, the event will occur the next day on Sunday, July 31 at 9 a.m. You can participate for a half day (9 a.m. to 12 p.m.) or the full day (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

This is the event where participants search for dragonflies and damselflies within a 7.5 mile radius of Biederman Park, Lake Dore. In the past, this count has proven to be an excellent opportunity to appreciate these interesting insects. Previous counts have been quite rewarding in terms of the numbers and types of species available. It is interesting that over the years, several new species have been found that were not known to be in this county.

If you are interested in attending this event, please meet Christian Renault, trip organizer, at the parking lot at Wilberforce Township Park. Go south on Highway 41 and pass the intersection of Highway 41 and Lake Dore Road. Then, cross the bridge, turn right, and go a short distance to the park. The club will provide picture guides as well as experienced people to assist the participants in identifying the various types of damselflies and dragonflies. It is also necessary to bring a large insect net (for catch and release purposes), close focus binoculars, sunscreen, a lunch, water, and optional rubber boots. There is no fee to participate in this event. For more information, you can contact Christian at 613-735-8395. It is always a good idea to check the club’s website the day before in the event of inclement weather.

On the local scene, several of our birds are already beginning to prepare for the fall. In the field and swamps, the blackbirds, some sparrows, Robins, and soon, swallows, will have already started staging in large numbers. By mid-August some of our summer birds will begin their journey south. These include Yellow Warblers, Bobolinks, Upland Sandpipers, and a little later, Whip-poor-will. Yet, there are still birds just starting their breeding such as the Cedar Waxwings and American Goldfinch, while others are in the mid-stages of raising a second brood.

As well at this time, the shorebirds have started their fall migration and this will continue into late November. Keep an eye out for these birds on any mudflats or beaches in the area. I know several shorebirds have been sighted at Shirley’s Bay in Ottawa and the Casselman Lagoons.

Finally, during our heat spells, please ensure that your bird baths are kept filled with water. The birds need water to both drink and bathe. Thanks!

Back around July 5, John Meadows of Westmeath observed a beautiful Belted Kingfisher flying along the Ottawa River. These birds are doing quite well in our area this year. Nice photo, John!

On July 11, Ted Poirier was pleasantly surprised to find a family of Black-capped Chickadees under the leaves of a plant in an old cement planter. He would probably not have noticed the nest had it not been for his dog barking at the planter. It never surprises me where birds build nests.

Finally, on July 12, Rob Cunningham, my grandson, Willem, and I travelled to the Napanee area in search of Loggerhead Shrikes. As luck would have it, we were able to locate a family of them on the Napanee Alvar. It is nice to see this rare bird species still surviving here in Ontario.

Please call me with your bird sightings at 613-735-4430, or email me at hooles@bell.net. For more information on nature and other upcoming club events, just Google the Pembroke Area Field Naturalists’ website or “like” the Pembroke Area Field Naturalist on Facebook.



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