Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Aug 23 2016

** A photo of a Lady Beetle went out unlabeled a few days ago. It's reattached today, labeled as the ASIAN MULTICOLORED LADY BEETLE, an introduced species that is now very common in New Brunswick, and one that likes to overwinter in crevices in our homes.
** Ron Arsenault leaves an interesting explanation for the fish skeletal remains on the Tantramar marsh in yesterday's edition. A Department of Fisheries and Oceans biologist has suggested it to be the remains of a STRIPED BASS [Bar rayƩ]. Good size ones are running now in the Bay of Fundy rivers. This could be just a fileted out fish with the remnants taken to the marsh for eagles to feed on which is a great idea.
** It's a short day on news reports from Monday. Rainy days do that. So a good day to re-run the write-up for the Nature Moncton workshop/field trip combination on shorebirds set for this coming Saturday, August 27th, lead by Roger Leblanc. That write-up is added to the transcription, and participants are encouraged to register ahead if interested so we can get a handle on numbers.
Workshop and Field Trip with Roger Leblanc
Saturday August 27, 2016

Even though we’re smack in the middle of a beautiful summer, autumn migration (although some don’t like to think about it J) has already started. No, not so much those confusing autumn warblers or hard to differentiate flycatchers yet, but shorebirds. Now the simple mention of shorebirds brings a glazed look to the eyes of many who are just starting out in birding -- and for good reasons!  There are many species of them and they are often seen in mixed flocks. Plus here, we mostly see them at this time of year, when they are going into drab basic or winter plumage that is essentially the same for all: a bi-colored combination of dark gray on top alternating with pale gray on the bottom -- great for hiding from predators but not so good for birders. Add to that that they are more often seen from afar, out in marshes or mud flats, and it is understandable that some just call them peeps and move on to more “reasonable” birds. But that would be an error. Shorebirding can be lots of fun and we are in fact fortunate in this region that we have some shorebird migration phenomena that are world class and of global importance. But all this brings us back to the dilemma: How am I supposed to identify those little gray birds all the way out there on the mud flat that just won’t stand still and kind of all sound the same?

Well once again Nature Moncton is coming to the rescue. On Saturday August 27th we will be offering a practical workshop on shorebirds. Following our recent successful approach to combine an indoor presentation with a hands-on field outing, we will also go out to observe what we have learned.  So rather than tackling the 30+ species that you might expect to see at different times of the year in the province we will focus on the 15 or so that we can reasonably expect to see here now. Our own Roger Leblanc will lead this workshop/outing and will share with us the tricks of the trade that he has honed over several decades for putting names on most of these shorebirds of autumn. In the workshop he will focus on ID field marks but also habitats, behaviors and other devices that, all put together, help expert birders more easily and quickly call birds.  So if you have been hoping to find something to do bird-wise to bridge the extravaganza of spring birding and the allure of autumn rarities, this is your chance. Don’t miss it!!

Saturday August 27th
Workshop from 1:00 pm to 3:00;  Field trip will follow and will likely go into the early evening, so bring a sandwich and some snacks.
Tankville School,  1665 Elmwood Dr.
Registration with Louise Nichols at nicholsl@eastlink.ca, or phone Louise at 939-5054.
Cost of workshop is $8 payable at the door .  All are welcome, Nature Moncton member or not.
** Bring binoculars (and a scope if you have one) and bring footwear that will enable you to walk on a beach.

Nelson Poirier,

Nature Moncton