Friday, 23 June 2017

June 23 2017

NATURE MONCTON INFORMATION LINE, June 23, 2017 (Friday)



Please advise editor at nelson@nb.sympatico.ca if any errors are noted in wording or photo labeling.

For more information on Nature Moncton, check into the website at
www.naturemoncton.com

Edited by: Nelson Poirier nelson@nb.sympatico.ca
Transcript by: Louise Nichols nicholsl@eastlink.ca
Info Line # 506-384-6397 (384-NEWS)
To respond by e-mail, please address your message to the information line editor nelson@nb.sympatico.ca.

** The weather forecast has again challenged the Nature Moncton field trip to Cocagne Island.  It will go ahead on this coming Sunday, June 25th, with all plans remaining the same except the date.  The write-up is attached.
Cocagne Island Aventure
Ocean Islands -- there are surely lots of them around the coasts of New Brunswick!  If you are a naturalist or nature photographer, you probably have seen several which made you think: Hum, I wonder what it is like on there… and what might I see if I could get on. One such intriguing place is Cocagne Island, which sits near the village of the same name. It sure is beautiful from afar but one wonders what might be found on it nature wise. If you want to find out or are just interested in an early summer island adventure here is your chance!
On June 17 Nature Moncton is organizing a day trip to Cocagne Island. The island has quite a bit of history having been used by the Mi’gmaq people for a very long time and later having been settled by the Acadians, some of whose descendants actually lived there till about 50 years ago. On the natural history side it should offer nice bird sightseeing and botanical discoveries. Cocagne Island is not very big at 2 square kilometers and relatively easy to get to, just about 10 minutes by boat from the Comiervville wharf. So if you are up for a great day of exploration, come and join our guide Roger Leblanc for this island day of discovery. As an added bonus Fernand Robichaud, a local oyster producer who will bring us on the island, will at the same time give us a hands on presentation of his aquaculture work.
Date & time:  June 25 from 8:30 am to 3 pm
Meeting place: Comierville wharf  (5 minutes north of Cocagne on route 535)
Cost: $8
Rain date: The trip will go on June 17th if winds and weather are good; otherwise Sunday June 18th will be our rain date.
Dress details: Dress for the weather and bring adequate footwear.
Registration:  Please register with Louise Nichols at nicholsl@eastlink.ca or 939-5054. We would like to have an accurate number of participants.

NB Pack a lunch -- and if you have a life jacket or life jackets you don’t mind sharing, please bring them as Fernand has a limited number at his disposal.



** Louise Nichols points out that a great area to visit at the moment is the dirt road behind the Town of Sackville garage, aside the lagoon there.  There are three different sparrow species there:  SONG SPARROWS [Bruant chanteur], SAVANNAH SPARROWS [Bruant des prés] and NELSON'S SPARROWS [Bruant de Nelson].  The population of Nelson’s Sparrows seems very good there this year, and it’s easy to hear them in song – and a great spot to compare Savannah and Nelson’s Sparrows songs together.  There’s a good showing of BOBOLINKS [Goglu des prés] there, and a NORTHERN HARRIER [Busard Saint-Martin] flew over appearing to be molting some wing feathers.  Louise notes that all three photos of the Nelson’s sparrows are different to suggest just how many there must be at that site.

** Georges Brun saw a COMMON NIGHTHAWK [Engoulevent d'Amérique] hawking insects in the area of the Moncton City Hospital on Thursday evening.  He was alerted to it by its call, something he has not heard for some years.  He wondered if it may be nesting atop the hospital.

** Louise Richard reports on the six TREE SWALLOW [Hirondelle bicolore] nest boxes Maurice had replaced on the north side of Jones Lake along Hillcrest Drive two years ago.  Three are swallow-occupied and young being fed at the moment.  One was damaged to leave a large entrance hole that EUROPEAN STARLINGS [Étourneau sansonnet] took over.  Two don’t show activity that they can detect; they are near bushes and Louise was wondering if that may not be a deterrent.

** Beth MacMillan reports her family of BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES [Mésange à tête noire] in her urban yard have fledged.  On Wednesday, one of the young struck a neighbour’s window, but the homeowners put the bird in a covered box and later brought it back to the nest box and it promptly flew off, seemingly recovered.  The last one to go made its first landing in Beth’s lap, then off.

** Brian Stone visited the Twin Oaks trail and bog in Moncton on Thursday to find an amazing variety of Mother Nature’s community active.  Brian’s photos show why this intercity trail and bog is a site to use as a nature destination.  He was able to photograph the butterflies NORTHERN CRESCENT [Croissant nordique], DREAMY DUSKYWING [Hespérie givrée], HOBOMOK SKIPPER [Hespérie hobomok], SILVERY BLUE [Bleu argenté],HARRIS’S CHECKERSPOT, and COMMON RINGLET [Satyre fauve].  Blooming plants noted were BIRDSFOOT TREFOIL, SHEEP LAUREL and BUNCH BERRY.  Two day-flying moths were seen:  the VIRGINIA CTENUCHA and FALSE CROCUS GEOMETER, as well as the SIX-SPOTTED TIGER BEETLE, nicely showing its emerald green body and 6 white spots.  Dragonflies DOT-TAILED WHITEFACE [Leucorrhine mouchetée] and FOUR-SPOTTED SKIMMER [La quadrimaculée] were photographed.  Brian found a few of the orchids CALOPOGON (aka Grass Pink) in fresh bloom, and WHITE-FRINGED ORCHID was just starting to open up, with some PINK LADY SLIPPERS still blooming.  Lots of Mother Nature’s community at that site on our doorsteps.

** This week’s Sky-at-a-Glance is added to this edition, courtesy of Curt Nason.
This Week’s Sky at a Glance, June 24 – July 1

With Canada’s 150th birthday just around the corner, I will highlight once again my idea of our National Constellation. Although Lyra the Lyre (Harp) is not circumpolar in New Brunswick, it is circumpolar in NB West (aka Edmonton). For us it is below the northern horizon for about five hours daily, so it is in either the morning sky or evening sky every day. It is a rather modest constellation but it stands out thanks to its lucida Vega, the fifth brightest star in the sky and third brightest as seen from Canada. You will need a moderately-sized telescope, a steady sky and perhaps a coffee to see my point.

Near Vega is a fifth magnitude (too dim to see from urban or overly lit suburban areas) star called Epsilon Lyrae. Binoculars will easily show this as two stars, and a good quality telescope under steady skies (minimal star twinkling) can just distinguish each of those as a pair. Naturally, Epsilon Lyrae has been dubbed the Double-Double. The body of the harp is marked by a parallelogram of stars. Approximately midway between the two stars forming the short side of the parallelogram farther from Vega are the gaseous remnants of a dead star, a planetary nebula called M57 or the Ring Nebula. Ultraviolet radiation from the dead but very hot white dwarf star makes the expelled gases glow. In a small telescope this might look like a fat star, but a larger scope will show it as a smoke ring or doughnut. And if you need another clue, half the parallelogram forms a 7, the number worn by Tim Horton in a Leafs sweater.

This Week in the Solar System

Saturday’s sunrise in Moncton is at 5:28 am and sunset will occur at 9:14 pm, giving 15 hours, 46 minutes of daylight (5:36 am and 9:15 pm in Saint John). Next Saturday the Sun will rise at 5:32 am and set at 9:13 pm, giving 15 hours, 41 minutes of daylight (5:40 am and 9:15 pm in Saint John). The nights are getting longer!

The Moon is new just before midnight on June 23, less than a day after perigee, so expect higher than usual tides this weekend. It is at first quarter and near Jupiter next Friday, well placed for observing during the holiday fireworks. On Wednesday, as darkness sets in, Jupiter’s stormy Red Spot may be visible through a telescope at high magnification. Also that evening, a small telescope could reveal its moon Europa emerging from the planet’s shadow at 10:35, and 13 minutes later Ganymede reappearing from behind the planet. Saturn’s rings are on display in a scope all evening, and in steady binoculars it will look somewhat elongated. Venus rises two and a half hours before the Sun and dominates the morning sky with its brilliance.

The next meeting of the Saint John Astronomy Club will be on Saturday, July 8 at 7 pm in the Rockwood Park Interpretation Centre. All are welcome.

Questions? Contact Curt Nason at nasonc@nbnet.nb.ca.
  

Nelson Poirier,
Nature Moncton
BIRDSFOOT TREFOIL FLOWER. JUNE 22, 2017. BRIAN STONE

BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE FLEDGLING.JUNE 22, 2017.BETH MacMILLAN

BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE NEST BOX.JUNE 22, 2017.BETH MacMILLAN

BOBOLINK. LOUISE NICHOLS. JUNE 22, 2017

BUNCHBERRY PLANT. JUNE 22, 2017. BRIAN STONE

CALOPOGAN ( GRASS PINK ) ORCHID. JUNE 22, 2017. BRIAN STONE

COMMON RINGLET BUTTERFLY. JUNE 22, 2017. BRIAN STONE

DOT-TAILED WHITEFACE DRAGONFLY. JUNE 22, 2017. BRIAN STONE

DREAMY DUSKYWING BUTTERFLY. JUNE 22, 2017. BRIAN STONE

FALSE CROCUS GEOMETER MOTH. JUNE 22, 2017. BRIAN STONE

FOUR-SPOTTED SKIMMER DRAGONFLY. JUNE 22, 2017. BRIAN STONE

GARTER SNAKE . JUNE 22, 2017. BRIAN STONE

GREEN FROG. JUNE 22, 2017. BRIAN STONE

HARRIS'S CHECKERSPOT BUTTERFLY 01. JUNE 22, 2017. BRIAN STONE

HOBOMOK SKIPPER BUTTERFLY. JUNE 22, 2017. BRIAN STONE

HUMMINGBIRD CLEARWING MOTH. JUNE 22, 2017.ALDO DORIO

Lyra Hortons

NELSON'S SPARROW . LOUISE NICHOLS. JUNE 22, 2017

NELSON'S SPARROW. LOUISE NICHOLS. JUNE 22, 2017

NELSON'S SPARROW . LOUISE NICHOLS. JUNE 22, 2017

NORTHERN CRESCENT BUTTERFLY. JUNE 22, 2017. BRIAN STONE

NORTHERN CRESCENT BUTTERFLY . JUNE 22, 2017. BRIAN STONE

NORTHERN HARRIER. LOUISE NICHOLS. JUNE 22, 2017

SAVANNAH SPARROW. LOUISE NICHOLS. JUNE 22, 2017

SAVANNAH SPARROW . LOUISE NICHOLS. JUNE 22, 2017

SHEEP LAUREL. JUNE 22, 2017. BRIAN STONE

SILVERY BLUE BUTTERFLY. JUNE 22, 2017. BRIAN STONE

SIX-SPOTTED TIGER BEETLE. JUNE 22, 2017. BRIAN STONE

TWIN OAKS BOG. JUNE 22, 2017. BRIAN STONE

TWIN OAKS TRAIL. JUNE 22, 2017. BRIAN STONE

VIRGINIA CTENUCHA MOTH. JUNE 22, 2017. BRIAN STONE

WHITE-FRINGED ORCHID. JUNE 22, 2017. BRIAN STONE



Thursday, 22 June 2017

June 22 2017

 
 
 
 

NATURE MONCTON INFORMATION LINE, June 22, 2017 ( Thursday )
 
To respond by e-mail, please address your message to the information line editor, nelson@nb.sympatico.ca . Please advise if any errors are noted in wording or photo labeling.

 For more information on Nature Moncton, check the website at
www.naturemoncton.com .

 
Edited by: Nelson Poirier nelson@nb.sympatico.ca
Transcript by: Brian Stone bjpstone@gmail.com
Info Line # 506-384-6397 (384-NEWS)

 
** David Christie comments that the flock of RED CROSSBILLS [Bec-croisé des sapins] he was hearing in the area of his Mary's Point home on Monday and Tuesday were not heard on Wednesday, seeming to have moved on. David did have a scenario with a WEASEL [belette] darting up the side of his house after a RED SQUIRREL [Ecureuil roux) on Wednesday. The squirrel jumped down with the weasel in pursuit. David got the impression that the weasel was large, so was wondering if it may have been a Long-tailed Weasel.
** The Nature Moncton field trip to Cocagne Island that was scheduled for last weekend but got postponed is rescheduled for this coming Saturday, June 24.  Sunday, June 25, will be the backup weather date. Weather forecasts look like Mother Nature will let one of these days happen. The final decision will be made on Friday. Several questions have come up. Cormier Village wharf is on Route 535. Take the Cocagne exit off Route 11 and proceed to the junction of Route 134 and 535. The Cormier Village wharf is the first wharf encountered while following the coastal route 535 from Cocagne. You can see Cocagne Island off to the right, and the road down to the wharf is named "Chemin du Quai".

If lost Roger LeBlanc's cell phone number is 852- 0863. The island is three kilometers long and you can walk the beach or explore inland, but it is not a hard hike. Waterproof boots are indicated. You may want to bring rubber boots to get out of the boat and on to the island and hiking boots for when on the island. There are no bathroom facilities, except the great outdoors. No one has lived on Cocagne Island for fifty years. Contact Louise Nichols by email at  
nicholsl@eastlink.ca  to check on vacancies as some did come up due to the postponement.
** On our Riverview bog sleuth last Sunday I came across an unfamiliar plant that seemed to have a berry cluster. A check with Sean Blaney at the Atlantic Canada Conservation Data Center confirmed it as POD GRASS, so the "berries" are actually seed pods. I am attaching Sean's words that describe this possibly often overlooked plant well.
 Quoting from Sean
You have found Pod Grass - Scheuchzeria palustris var. americana, a neat monocot species in its own family (Schuechzeriaceae). It has previously been classified in the family Juncaginaceae with the arrow-grasses (Triglochin).

This species is quite common in larger peatlands and is sometimes a significant dominant in wetter depressions within a bog or acidic fen. It certainly isn’t noticed by most people though, since you have to get your feet wet to find it and it’s not the showiest thing.”
 
Nelson Poirier,
Nature Moncton
POD GRASS.JUNE 18, 2017.NELSON POIRIER.




Wednesday, 21 June 2017

June 21 2017


NATURE MONCTON INFORMATION LINE, June 21, 2017 (Wednesday)
 

Please advise editor at nelson@nb.sympatico.ca if any errors are noted in wording or photo labeling.
For more information on Nature Moncton, check into the website at www.naturemoncton.com
Edited by: Nelson Poirier nelson@nb.sympatico.ca
Transcript by: Catherine Johnson johnson2@xplornet.com
Info Line # 506-384-6397 (384-NEWS)
To respond by e-mail, please address your message to the information line editor 
nelson@nb.sympatico.ca.

**Beth McMillan reports that she had a pair of BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES set up housekeeping on her deck and they have been feeding youngsters.  She heard the frantic calls of the parents on Monday to find that one chick only had fledged and was on the ground with the concerned parents trying to protect it and feed the rest of the family in the box as well.  

**Jean-Paul and Stella Leblanc noted a red fox in the field behind their Bouctouche home with its pelage on the upper part of the body seeming quite rough and wondering if this was a young-of-the-year not yet attained its adult coat or an adult not yet shed its winter coat.  
**Ray Gauvin had two young-of-the-year raccoons cross the street in front of his Parlee beach home on Tuesday. They waddled across the street feeding on grubs under a neighbours shrub. They came right up to him for a photo appearing to show no fear of humans. 
**Often BALTIMORE ORIOLES tend to be less attracted to orange/ grapefruit sections as the spring season ends, however Audrey Goguen reports she had a bright male Baltimore oriole return to orange sections attached to a pole in her Northview St. yard in Moncton on Tuesday.  
**The HUMMINGBIRD CLEARWING MOTH is abundant at the moment day flying.  Aldo Dorio got one in flight recently.  It can be tricky to distinguish the hummingbird clearwing from the less common SNOWBERRY CLEARWING moth however, Jim Edsall points out that the distinguishing band in the fore wing is faintly visible in Aldo's photo.  A photo of the hummingbird clearwing moth cooled to show the line better is attached. 
**While sleuthing the past few days Brian Stone photographed several moths around my moth light and elsewhere including the POLYPHEMUS MOTH, ROSY MAPLE MOTH, one of the EMERALD MOTHS, BIG POPLAR SPHINX, ONE-EYED SPHINX MOTH, RIDGED PROMINENT MOTH and others.  Also RACKET-TAILED EMERALD DRAGONFLY, BEAVERPOND CLUBTAIL DRAGONFLY and HUDSONIAN WHITEFACED DRAGONFLIES.  
Also it was interesting to see a pair of TREE SWALLOWS using a tree natural cavity, probably one originally created by a downy woodpecker, which of course was their choice in the past until man-made nest boxes became popular to help the numbers.  
Nelson Poirier 
Nature Moncton
BEAVERPOND CLUBTAIL DRAGONFLY. JUNE 19, 2017. BRIAN STONE

BIG POPLAR SPHINX MOTH. JUNE 19, 2017. BRIAN STONE

EMERALD MOTH. JUNE 19, 2017. BRIAN STONE

HUDSONIAN WHITEFACE DRAGONFLY (FEMALE). JUNE 19, 2017. BRIAN STONE

HUDSONIAN WHITEFACE DRAGONFLY (FEMALE). JUNE 19, 2017. BRIAN STONE

HUMMINGBIRD  CLEARWING MOTH.JUNE19, 2017.ALDO DORIOa

HUMMINGBIRD CLEARWING MOTH. JUNE 19, 2017. BRIAN STONE 

ONE-EYED SPHINX MOTH . JUNE 19, 2017. BRIAN STONE

ONE-EYED SPHINX MOTH . JUNE 19, 2017. BRIAN STONE

POLYPHEMUS MOTH. JUNE 19, 2017. BRIAN STONE


RACCOON (YOUNG).JUNE 20, 2017.RAY GAUVIN 

RACCOON (YOUNG).JUNE 20, 2017.RAY GAUVIN 

RACKET-TAILED EMERALD DRAGONFLY ( FEMALE ). JUNE 19, 2017. BRIAN STONE

RED FOX.JUNE 20,2017. JP LEBLANC

RIDGED PROMINENT MOTH 20. JUNE 19, 2017. BRIAN STONE

ROSY MAPLE MOTH. JUNE 19, 2017. BRIAN STONE

TREE SWALLOWS USING NATURAL CAVITY. JUNE 19, 2017. BRIAN STONE

YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER TO JAM (FEMALE). JUNE 19, 2017. BRIAN STONE