Category: OFNC event

Mudpuppy night for the OFNC

photos by Bill Bowman

According to Fred Schueler, Kemptville Creek, just below the dam at Oxford Mills, is the only place in Ontario where our giant aquatic Salamanders can be easily viewed during their winter activity.

According to Fred Schueler, Kemptville Creek, just below the dam at Oxford Mills, is the only place in Ontario where our giant aquatic Salamanders can be easily viewed during their winter activity.

Searching for salamanders at this site has become a regular weekly event for Fred.

Searching for salamanders at this site is a regular weekly event for Fred, and he has records dating back to 1984.

On Saturday, 18 February, OFNC members joined Fred and Aleta from 7 to 10.

On Saturday, 18 February, OFNC members joined Fred and Aleta from 7 to 10, wading in the cold water with flashlights and headlamps.

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From Bill and Barbara Bowman: "Many thanks Fred and Aleta for sharing your knowledge and enthusiasm for mudpuppies last night. Our family really enjoyed your presentation and the hands on learning experience."

From Bill and Barbara Bowman: “Many thanks Fred and Aleta for sharing your knowledge and enthusiasm for mudpuppies last night. Our family really enjoyed your presentation and the hands on learning experience.”

More about Mudpuppy Night in Oxford Mills on Fred and Aleta’s web site

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4th ANNUAL OFNC MEMBERS PHOTO NIGHT: FROM BACKYARDS AND AROUND THE WORLD

By Barry Cottam

Once again OFNC members got together to share their passion for nature and nature photography. And once again, we discovered the amazing range of interests and experiences Club members explore. We could have used even more time than the three hours scheduled for this event. Each presentation by the ten participants was interesting and informative and the photography was excellent. Organizers Hume Douglas and I never really know until the evening starts just how many presenters we’ll have and what they are presenting, but we’ve been more than happy with results every time.

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Doug Luoma – hummingbird clearwing moth

In a way, this event is like a pot luck that always works out. Some club members love to travel while others find a world closer to home, sometimes right in their own backyard. And while birding is the most popular activity, our event reminds us of the many other aspects of nature we explore. Keith Wickens started the evening off at home and far away, sharing photos of shore birds from Mud Lake and New Zealand. He has a special interest in hard-to-identify juveniles. Bev McBride took us on a whirlwind world tour, from home here in Ottawa to the French Pyrenees, the Tibetan Plateau in the Qinghai province of China, returning via Alaska and the NWT. Bev is passionate about small plants that grow in cracks in rocks, many rare and difficult to identify: she would appreciate hearing any information about the plants shown here. Eden Bromfield is also interested in rare plants and fungi too. His presentation travelled through time and space, a seasonal trip through natural landscapes, with wildlife, such as

eden-bromfield-eastern-purple-bladderwort-utricularia-purpurea
Eden Bromfield – eastern purple bladderwort

a grizzly in northern BC. We visited another north with Gordon Robertson, who explored birding spots around Edinburgh, Scotland; good thing he had a map! Jakob Mueller warmed us up in Cayo Coco, Cuba. His specialty is reptiles, but he started off with several fascinating Cuban endemic birds, including the Bee Hummingbird aka the world’s smallest bird, pictured here, a very difficult subject to photograph. He explained that birds are reptiles, too, before getting down to the lizards and snakes. Justin Peter’s video account of Demoiselle cranes took us to India, a highlight of a tour he had guided there last year. He told us the story of a field, famous for attracting these large birds in their thousands. Would they turn up or not – the tension mounted!

We criss-crossed Canada as well. In addition to mentions above, Doug Luoma captured memorable wildlife at Mud Lake in his 10-minute video. In addition to his photo grabs here, he showed rare footage of several species of nesting woodpeckers, including their various calls. Barry took us to his family home-away-from-home in rural eastern Prince Edward Island, focusing on the rich variety of arachnids there, including several species of crab, jumping and orbweaving spiders. He was surprised how many people admitted liking these critters… Owen Clarkin continued his explorations of the trees of eastern Ontario; showing the largest elms of the region and the rarer species. Lorne Peterson brought us back to his Ottawa backyard, filled with flowering plants from the FWG plant sales. These attract numerous pollinators, proof of the effectiveness of providing microhabitats for these threatened species.

As in previous blogs, participants share their favourite photos. They provide a taste of the evening’s images and stories. We look forward to more next year. Thanks, everyone!

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Mushrooms of MacSkimming

By Julia Cipriani

Mushrooms collected in the forest, photographed by the MacSkimming Centre team

Mushrooms collected in the forest, photographed by the MacSkimming Centre team

On Saturday, October 1, well over 110 people met at MacSkimming Outdoor Education Centre to participate in the MacSkimming open trails event. There were members of the general public, of OFNC, and of les Mycologues amateurs de l’Outaouais (MAO). The enthusiasm was palpable.

Participants lay out their mushrooms at MacSkimming. Photo by Andrée Juneau

Participants lay out their mushrooms at MacSkimming. Photo by Andrée Juneau

Yolande Dalpé and Brett Stevens led the foray. After exploring the woods of MacSkimming for a couple of hours, participants returned with baskets overflowing with mushrooms. It was a stunning harvest. The MAO group placed laminated images of mushrooms on the tables which facilitated grouping and the initial identification of the harvest. Yolande and Brett worked with the participants to identify mushrooms that were puzzling.

It was great to see such a large range of ages interested in fungi and engaged with the outdoors. The OFNC would like to thank the MacSkimming Centre team for welcoming us to their site.


The Harvest

compiled by Yolande Dalpé, Research Scientist (AAFC) & Director (Mycologues amateurs de l’Outaouais)

BASIDIOMYCETES

Agaricales

Agaricaceae
Amanita amerifulva
Amanita citrina
Amanita flavoconia
Amanita muscaria var guessowii
Amanita vaginata
Amanita virosa
Lycoperdon perlatum
Lycoperdon pyriforme
Lycoperdon subincarnatum
Melanophyllum haematospermum
Plicaturopsis crispa

Coprinaceae
Coprinopsis atramentaria

Cortinariaceae
Cortinarius alboviolaceus
Cortinarius armillatus
Cortinarius caperatus
Cortinarius chrysolitus
Cortinarius claricolor
Cortinarius delibutus
Cortinarius semisanguineus
Cortinarius traganus
Crepidotus applanatus
Gymnopilus luteus
Gymnopilus penetrans

Entolomataceae
Fibropilus abortivum

Hydnangiaceae
Laccaria laccata s.l.
Hebeloma mesophaeum

Hygrophoraceae
Ampulloclitocybe clavipes
Cuphophyllus borealis
Cuphophyllus pratensis
Hygrocybe chlorophana
Hygrocybe coccinea
Hygrocybe conica
Hygrocybe marginata
Hygrocybe parvula
Hygrocybe punicea
Hygrocybe squamulosa
Hygrophorus pudorinus
Hygrophorus purpurascens
Porpolomopsis calyptriformis

Lyophyllaceae
Hypsizygus tessulatus
Lyophyllum connatum
Lyophyllum decastes

Marasmiaceae
Clitocybula familia

Mycenaceae
Mycena leaiana
Panellus stypticus

Omphalotaceae
Gymnopus dryophilus
Rhodocollybia maculata

Physalacriaceae
Cyptotrama chrisopepla
Hymenopellis furfuracea

Pleurotaceae
Pleurotus pulmonarius

Pluteaceae
Pluteus cervinus

Strophariaceae
Hypholoma lateritium
Pholiota lenta
Pholiota limonella
Pholiota spumosa
Pholiota squarrosoides
Stropharia hardii

Tricholomataceae
Clitocybe coniferophila
Clitocybe phleophthalma
Lepista nuda
Pseudoarmillariella ectypoides
Tricholoma aurantium
Incertae sedis: Cotylidia pannosa

Boletales

Harrya chromapes
Leccinum atrostipitatum
Leccinum holopus
Leccinum scabrum
Leccinum snellii

Hygrophoropsidaceae
Hygrophoropsis aurantiaca

Scleroderma citrinum, photographed by the MacSkimming Centre team

Scleroderma citrinum, photographed by the MacSkimming Centre team

Sclerodermataceae
Scleroderma citrinum

Cantharellales

Cantharellaceae
Cantharellus cinnabarinus

Clavariaceae
Clavulinopsis corniculata
Clavulinopsis fusiformis
Ramaria gracilis

Dacrymycetales

Dacrymycetaceae
Calocera cornea
Coltricia cinnamomea

Gomphaceae
Ramariopsis kunzei

Hymenochaetales

Inonotus obliquus

Fomitopsidaceae
Piptoporus betulinus

Ganodermataceae
Ganoderma applanatum
Ganoderma tsugae

Gloeophyllaceae
Ischnoderma resinosa

Meruliaceae
Irpex lacteus

Polyporaceae
Daedaleopsis confragosa
Fomes fomentarius
Lentinus levis
Polyporus badius
Polyporus squammosus
Postia stiptica
Trametes ochracea
Trametes versicolor
Trichaptum biforme
Tyromyces chioneus

Russulales

Auriscalpiaceae
Lentinellus cochleatus

Hericiaceae
Hericium americanum

Russulaceae
Lactarius affinis
Lactarius cinereus
Lactarius deceptivus (Lactifluus)
Lactarius deterrimus
Lactarius glyciosmus
Lactarius helvus
Lactarius pyrogalus
Lactarius rufus
Lactarius subpurpureus
Lactarius thyinos
Lactarius torminosus
Lactarius vinaceorufescens
Russula adusta
Russula aeruginea
Russula compacta
Russula emetica
Russula fragilis
Russula mariae
Russula variata

Helvellaceae
Gyromitra infula

SORDARIOMYCETES

Hypomyces chrysospermus

MYXOMYCETES

Liceales

Lycogala epidendron

Physarales

Fuligo septica

Early fall birding along the Ottawa River

Northern Flicker, photographed by Sarma Vishnubhatla.

Northern Flicker, photographed by Sarma Vishnubhatla.

On Sunday, 11 September, Jeff Skevington led an outing to Britannia and points west along the Ottawa River. At least 28 participants spent the day visiting the best birding spots along the river, looking for migrants and, especially, shorebirds.

As Jeff reports, “We had many groups of warblers and ended up with 20 species of warblers for the day. My personal highlight was a group of warblers at Shirleys Bay that were coming to a puddle to drink. We had 6 Northern Parulas, 1 Tennessee Warbler, 1 Magnolia Warbler and 1 Black-throated Blue Warbler all attending the puddle at one time.

“We also saw 11 species of shorebirds, with the highlights being Sanderling and Short-billed Dowitcher. The species total for the day was 85.”

Sarma Vishnubhatla was kind enough to share her photos with us, and Jeff uploaded the list of species seen to eBird – if you have an eBird account, click here for the day’s checklist

Some of the participants in Sunday's birding excursion, led by Jeff Skevington (at right with scope).

Some of the participants in Sunday’s birding excursion, led by Jeff Skevington (at right with scope).

OFNC’s 16th annual butterfly count

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The butterfly count is an annual OFNC event organized this year by Jeff Skevington. Working in groups or alone, participants patrol the same location – a 24-km diameter circle centred on Manion Corners – each year from about 9 a.m. to about 4 or 5 p.m. Data are submitted to the North American Butterfly Association.

Ideal habitat for a large number of butterflies, the count site includes both alvar and swamp.

Ideal habitat for a large number of butterflies, the count site includes both alvar and swamp.

This year, the count got off to a delayed start when high winds on Saturday caused the organizers to postpone the event hoping for better conditions on Sunday, 3 July. They were rewarded with a sunny morning, with wind speeds of 7-25 kph, although it became windier later in the day. By 3 p.m., light rain was falling, ending the count early. A potluck dinner followed.

Many of our veteran area leaders were away this year, so coverage was below normal. The largest group included both experts and enthusiastic newbies: Jeff Skevington, Angela Skevington, Alexander Skevington, Rob Ellis, Li-Shien Lee, Derek Ellis, Julia Ellis, Celeste Cassidy, Elizabeth Gammell, Reni Barlow, Juliet McMurren, Gabriel McMurren, Sarma Vishnubhatla, and Lakshmi Vishnubhatla. Well know local butterfly expert Rick Cavasin covered two other areas with help from Ian Whyte.

The results were very good for the two groups that were out. Wetlands were dry as a result of the drought conditions in our area, so Sedge Skippers and related fauna were absent or not detected.

According to Jeff, “The Delaware Skipper is increasing its range and moving north. They were rare in our area a few years ago and are now regular on counts (you can see the change over time on the summary count sheet). The others are all regularly observed species.”

Thanks to Sarma Vishnubhatla for the photos of the participants above and to Reni Barlow for the gallery of butterfly photos below (be sure to click on them for a better view)!

Summary of this year’s count
Inventory of species for 1998-2017

Ducks and gulls along the river

by Roy John

Report of an Ottawa Field-Naturalists’ Club excursion on Sunday, 22 May 2016.

A dozen people went to Mud Lake to take advantage of the recent change from cold windy weather to lovely warm sunshine. This had brought in numerous, much delayed, migrants over the last few days.

Wood Duck photographed by Roy John

Wood Duck photographed by Roy John

As soon as we arrived at Mud Lake we were told that a rare Yellow-throated Vireo had been found in the woods. We plunged in and soon could hear it singing. It took a bit more effort to actually see it jumping around the tree tops, but we all eventually did. A little further in, the resident Screech Owl sat rigidly still for all to see. Dave Moore did his turkey call and pulled a Wild Turkey out of the woods.

We continued around Mud Lake, finding many new species. At the east fence we saw a Raccoon’s nose poking out the hole of a garbage skip, obviously trapped (the city were informed). So we had a beautiful morning with many good birds.

A number of species were strangely missing. Although we heard a Great Crested Flycatcher many times, we never could see it. We saw only a few Tree Swallows (a pair at a nest), but no others – very odd for Mud Lake. There were no Green Herons and only one Great Blue – yet Great Egrets were easy to find.

All in all, a warm, sunny day with 43 bird species seen (plus 4 heard).

DUCKS, GEESE, AND WATERFOWL
Canada Goose
Wood Duck (photo above)
Mallard

PHEASANTS, GROUSE, TURKEYS, ALLIES
Wild Turkey

CORMORANTS AND SHAGS
Double-crested Cormorant

HERONS, EGRETS, AND BITTERNS
Great Egret
Great Blue Heron
Black-crowned Night-Heron

GULLS, TERNS, AND SKIMMERS
Ring-billed Gull

Eastern Screech Owl photographed by Roy John

Eastern Screech Owl photographed by Roy John

OWLS
Eastern Screech-Owl (photo at right)

KINGFISHERS
Belted Kingfisher

WOODPECKERS
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker

TYRANT FLYCATCHERS
Eastern Phoebe (heard only)
Great Crested Flycatcher (heard only)

VIREOS
Yellow-throated Vireo
Warbling Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo

CROWS, JAYS, AND MAGPIES
Blue Jay
American Crow
Common Raven

SWALLOWS
Tree Swallow

CHICKADEES AND TITS
Black-capped Chickadee

NUTHATCHES
White-breasted Nuthatch

THRUSHES AND ALLIES
American Robin

Gray Catbird photographed by Roy John

Gray Catbird photographed by Roy John

MOCKINGBIRDS AND THRASHERS
Gray Catbird (photo at right)

STARLINGS
European Starling

WAXWINGS
Cedar Waxwing (photo below right)

NEW WORLD WARBLERS (11 species + 2 not seen or confirmed)
Tennessee Warbler
Common Yellowthroat (heard only)
American Redstart
Northern Parula
(Magnolia Warbler – not confirmed)
Bay-breasted Warbler
Blackburnian Warbler
Blackpoll Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Pine Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler

Cedar Waxwing photographed by Roy John

Cedar Waxwing photographed by Roy John


BUNTINGS AND NEW WORLD SPARROWS
Chipping Sparrow
Song Sparrow

CARDINALS AND ALLIES
Northern Cardinal

TROUPIALS AND ALLIES
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle

SISKINS, CROSSBILLS, AND ALLIES
Pine Siskin (very late)
American Goldfinch

Non-bird species
Racoon
Midland Painted Turtle
Water Snake
Spiny Baskettail (photo below)

Spiny Baskettail dragonfly photographed by Gillian Mastromatteo

Spiny Baskettail dragonfly photographed by Gillian Mastromatteo

Third Annual OFNC Members Photo Night

By Barry Cottam

Nine presenters turned out on a messy winter’s night, with about a dozen more folks in the audience, for our 3rd annual members photo night event. Organizers Hume Douglas and Barry Cottam had some initial concern about the low numbers, but then were kept on their toes finding time for everyone to present as much as they wished.

The room at the Neatby Building had already been set up with tables and chairs, an arrangement we decided to run with. It worked well, giving people more opportunity to meet each other and share comments on the presentations. The evening began with new member Mary Ann Perron’s presentation on her research on dragonflies, supported by the OFNC under its new science research grant program. She produced some fascinating photos of dragonflies emerging, with various degrees of success, from their exuviae, and explained the value of dragonflies as monitors of water-way health. Owen Clarkin, OFNC’s resident expert on trees, shared his enthusiasm for the capabilities of his new point and shoot camera that enabled him to take identification-confirming photos on land that would otherwise be inaccessible.

Barry Cottam continued with the entomology theme, presenting on biodiversity in small spaces. He described a happy afternoon photographing insects on and around a single stump found behind his room at Wildsumaco Bird Lodge in Napo Province, Ecuador.

Cottam - Semiotus superbus

Semiotus superbus, by Barry Cottam

Jeewa Mendis brought us back to Canada with a series of short videos of local wildlife, including a family of four friendly skunks denning in her backyard. She ended with a video teaser, shot in Sri Lanka, for her presentation on March 19 at the FWG. Eden Bromfield took us on rambles from the Ottawa River to a Yukon national park to the Gaspe; his work emphasizes the play of light on ice and flowing waters and his keen interest in local flora.

Bromfield - Ram's Head Lady's Slipper Orchid (Cypripedium arietinum)

Ram’s Head Lady Slipper Orchid, by Eden Bromfield

We returned to the north, this time to James Bay with Rick Cavasin on his search for northern species of butterflies; his trip included a walk to Nunavut. (You had to be there!) Gordon Robertson gave us an entertaining overview of the fauna of the Galapagos Islands, seen on a boat tour that included all the islands. Gord Belyea had stories about bird encounters in Florida and Texas. He has a special interest in finding banded birds then reporting his findings to the sometimes elusive scientists who banded them, an important contribution to citizen science. The evening closed with several photos presented by Lorne Peterson, who introduced us to the concept of ‘equinoxing.’ Lorne explained that he saw the spring and fall equinoxes as processes by which light is shared locally and globally, from his backyard to the world itself.

And so another members photo night was filled with the varied interests and ideas of OFNC members, expressed through their combined love of nature and photography. It was after 10 by the time the organizers had finished up, worries about low numbers forgotten, happily looking forward to 2017.

 

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Marvy MacSkimming mushrooms

by Lynn Ovenden

The Ottawa-Carleton school board’s MacSkimming Outdoor Education Centre is a wonderful place just west of Rockland, with marshy shoreline along the Ottawa River, old meadows and ponds on the nearshore slopes, and a mature, upland mixed forest with lots of hemlock and beech. Once a year, staff invite the general public to visit the property and enjoy various outdoor activities. A feature of “Open Trails Day” which was October 3 this year, was a fall mushroom workshop led by Dr. Myron Smith of Carleton University.

Carleton professor Myron Smith giving an introductory talk on fall fungi.

Carleton professor Myron Smith giving an introductory talk on fall fungi at the MacSkimming Outdoor Education Centre

The day began with cookies and hot drinks in a log cabin classroom in the deep forest of MacSkimming. About 50 people attended Myron’s opening talk about the growth forms of mushrooms, how to collect and learn about them, plus some cautions about eating them.

Red Waxcap photographed by Julia Cipriani

Red Waxcap photographed by Julia Cipriani

Then we more or less accompanied him on a very slow, two-hour walk through the forest, gathering one of this, one of that, asking questions, photographing, and generally enjoying each other and the old forest. We returned to the log cabin to eat our lunches and lay out the bounty… a few hundred mushrooms of many colours and shapes. With Myron’s help and several field guides, we examined them carefully and identified perhaps half of them to genus, if not to species level. The remainder would have required detailed keys, microscopic study and/or chemical tests to identify. We made the following species list and returned the mushrooms to the forest.

It was a marvelous day that left me grateful for life’s abundance. Our children have access to a beautiful and stimulating place for environmental studies. The enthusiasm of Myron Smith and MacSkimming staff for nature study, and mushrooms in particular, was contagious.

Tylopilus chromapes

Tylopilus chromapes

Finally, and most exciting to me, the forest yielded over 50 taxa that we could identify and who knows how many more that we could not. Myron noted that the 2015 species list is quite different from the list of mushrooms that people found on 4 October 2014 (see Mushrooms of MacSkimming). He looks forward to repeating the workshop next year to see what other mushrooms may emerge from this old forest.

Mushrooms with Gills
Amanita citrina
Amanita muscaria
Amanita flavoconia
Armillaria sp.
Clitocybe clavipes
Coprinus atramentarius
Cortinarius albovioaceus
Cortinarius armillatus
Cortinarius violaceus
Hemistropharia albocrenulata
Hygrocybe flavescens
Hygrocybe laeta
Hygrocybe virginea
Lactarius lignyotus
Lactarius vinaceorufescens
Lactarius thyinos
Lactarius piperatus
Lactarius rufus
Russula emetica
Russula albidulaCorals and Earthtongues
Clavaria sp.
Clavariadelphus sp.
Clavulinopsis fusiformis
Geoglossum difforme
Ramariopsis kunzei
Ramariopsis lentofragilis
Mushrooms with Teeth
Hericium americanum
Hericium coralloides
Hydnellum spongiosipes
Mushrooms with Pores
Boletus edulis
Leccinum holopus
Suillus sp.
Tylopilus chromapes
Daedalea quercina
Ganoderma tsugae
Ishnoderma resinosum
Phellinus sp.
Piptoporus betulinus (Birch Polypore)
Polyporus badius
Trichaptum biforme
Trametes versicolor (Turkey Tail)
Tyromyces chioneus

Puffballs and Earthballs
Lycoperdon sp.
Scleroderma citrinum
Scleroderma areolatum
Scleroderma geaster

Other Mushrooms
Bulgaria inquinans
Chlorociboria aeruginascens
Helvella lacunosa
Scutellinia scutellata (Eyelash Fungus)
Cordyceps sp.

Damselflies and Dragonflies at Petrie Island

by Lynn Ovenden
A report on an OFNC excursion led by Gillian Mastromatteo on August 2, 2015

PetrieIsland-2August2015-GM

Petrie Island has quiet marshy interior bays, sandy beaches along the Ottawa River and lots of sunny openings in the forest in between. These make it a good place to find a variety of odonates. Gillian was hoping to find Slaty Skimmers, Blue Dashers, and Swamp Spreadwings, and we did – all within view of the parking lot.

Blue Dasher photographed by Gillian Mastromatteo.

Blue Dasher photographed by Gillian Mastromatteo.

We searched further west along the shores of the river, Crappie Bay, Turtle Pond, and Muskrat Bay and found several more species, including the Eastern Amberwing which is a Petrie Island specialty. It first showed up here in 2012 and is the only known spot in our region where they can be reliably found.

The most abundant damselflies were the Eastern Forktails, which come in three different colour forms (one for the males, one for immature females, and a third for the mature females). The most abundant dragonfly of the morning was the Autumn Meadowhawk (formerly known as the Yellow-legged Meadowhawk), which has yellow legs and is the last dragonfly on the wing in our area, often flying into mid-November.  The ones we saw were all yellow or brown, either females and immature males, instead of the bright red of mature adults.  Our only female Eastern Pondhawk took an interest in our group, landing right on one of the members!

A typical damselfly and perhaps the most common species in Ottawa. This is a brightly coloured young female Eastern Forktail. Caption and photo by Chris Traynor.

A typical damselfly and perhaps the most common species in Ottawa. This is a brightly coloured young female Eastern Forktail. Caption and photo by Chris Traynor.

Throughout the morning, Gillian explained the differences between damsels and dragons, their life cycle, and some feeding behaviours. For example, while some dragonflies perch and wait, others actively hunt for food on the wing.

We watched a Common Green Darner laying eggs by dipping its ovipositor in the emergent vegetation as it flew along from spot to spot just offshore. Gillian described the wheel-formation of pairs of mating damselflies and showed us how to see the tiny species-specific claspers at the end of the male’s abdomen of two different spreadwing species. You need a hand lens for that.

I especially enjoyed the skimmers along the marshy edge of Muskrat Bay: Twelve-spotted Skimmers patrolling back and forth, the shimmering orange wings of Eastern Amberwings either resting on pond lily leaves or chasing each other, and Widow Skimmers perched vertically in the coarse grass of the bank.

Bronze Copper butterfly photographed by Gillian Mastromatteo.

Bronze Copper butterfly photographed by Gillian Mastromatteo.

In addition, we saw three exceptional butterflies: a female Monarch (the first sighting of the year for many of the group) attempting to lay eggs on Swamp Milkweed, a Bronze Copper nectaring on Broadleaf Arrowhead flowers, and a Hackberry Emperor resting on a tree branch.

Overall, we found the following 17 types of odonates. See Gillian’s beautiful photos and notes on each species.

PETRIE ISLAND ODONATES, August 2nd 2015

Northern Spreadwing
Swamp Spreadwing
Hagen’s Bluet
Skimming Bluet
Stream Bluet
Eastern Forktail
Canada Darner
Common Green Darner
Racket-tailed Emerald
Blue Dasher
Eastern Amberwing
Eastern Pondhawk
Slaty Skimmer
Twelve-spotted Skimmer
Widow Skimmer
Dot-tailed Whiteface
Autumn Meadowhawk

The Eastern Amberwing, like the Blue Dasher, is a species fairly new to the Ottawa checklist. Appearing for the first time only a few years ago it has now built up a nice little breeding colony at Petrie Island. Very tiny and often not coming too close to shore it can be easily identified at a distance by those amazing amber wings that give it its name. Caption and photo by Chris Traynor

The Eastern Amberwing, like the Blue Dasher, is a species fairly new to the Ottawa checklist. Appearing for the first time only a few years ago it has now built up a nice little breeding colony at Petrie Island. Very tiny and often not coming too close to shore it can be easily identified at a distance by those amazing amber wings that give it its name. Caption and photo by Chris Traynor

Male, Eastern Pondhawk. Petrie is usually a good spot to find these bright dragonflies but only a few showed themselves to the group. Photo by Chris Traynor.

Male, Eastern Pondhawk. Petrie is usually a good spot to find these bright dragonflies but only a few showed themselves to the group. Caption and photo by Chris Traynor.

A female Eastern Pondhawk. While most females tend to be less colourful than the males this dragonfly may be an exception. Photo by Chris Traynor.

A female Eastern Pondhawk. While most females tend to be less colourful than the males this dragonfly may be an exception. Caption and photo by Chris Traynor.

Slaty Skimmer. Photo by Gillian Mastromatteo.

Slaty Skimmer. Photo by Gillian Mastromatteo.

Autumn Meadowhawk photographed by Gillian Mastromatteo.

Autumn Meadowhawk photographed by Gillian Mastromatteo.

The Ottawa Field-Naturalists’ Club welcomes YOU to the 2015 OFNC Awards Night

By Bailey Cooke

Every year, the Ottawa Field-Naturalist’s Club hosts an awards night to take the time to say thank you to those who have made major contributions to the club over the previous year.  This year, the event will take place Saturday April 18th in the basement of St. Basil’s Church, at 940 Rex Avenue.

All members of the club are welcome to come out and support the many important members who help keep Canada’s oldest natural history club alive. Starting at 7:00 pm sharp, you can come down to socialize and munch on some refreshments to kick off what is sure to be a splendid evening. Browse the Macoun Field Club natural history exhibits, bid on items at the silent auction, and don’t forget to take the time to admire the beautiful art and photography displays that will be competing for the winning title.

At 8:15 pm, OFNC host Rob Alvo and President Fenja Brodo will say a few welcoming words, quickly followed by a brief chat about the Macoun Field Club Projects. Shortly after, the OFNC awards for 2014 will be presented.

The night will wrap up around 10:00 pm but not before the Despotic Natural History Trivia Quiz, remarks from the Ottawa Riverkeeper, as well as the announcement of the winners of the silent auction and the art/photography contest.

Come out and enjoy the night while celebrating this year’s award recipients:

Honorary Member: Ross Layberry

George McGee Service Award: Elizabeth Morton

Member of the Year: Natalie Sopinka

Mary Stuart Education Award: Tom Spears

Conservation – Member: Anouk Hoedeman

Conservation – Non-Member: Paul and Cathy Keddy

President’s Prize: Lis Allison, Bob Cermak

Spectators at the 2014 OFNC Awards Night.

Spectators at the 2014 OFNC Awards Night.