NATURE MONCTON INFORMATION LINE, September 14, 2020 (Monday)
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Info Line # 506-384-6397 (384-NEWS)
** After Clifford Twist’s report of the SANDHILL CRANES [Grue du Canada] in the Tantramar area, Louise Nichols paid a visit and spotted them as well. They did not linger. She stayed in her car but they flew off, possibly to another nearby field. Louise took a walk on Lake Road after, to get some great photos of BLACK-AND-WHITE [Paruline noir et blanc], NORTHERN PARULA [Paruline à collier], BLACKPOLL [Paruline rayée], CHESTNUT-SIDED [Paruline à flancs marron] and PALM [Paruline à couronne rousse] WARBLERS, as well as a BLUE-HEADED VIREO [Viréo à tête bleue]. Note the huge change in the fall version of the Blackpoll Warbler. The fall non-breeding plumage of our wood warblers do become muted versions of their spring finery but the Blackpoll and Bay-breasted Warblers tend to take the molt more seriously!
** Jane LeBlanc got a striking photo of a BLUE-HEADED VIREO [Viréo à tête bleue] on Sunday, nicely showing the large, stout vireo bill, white spectacles of the Blue-Headed Vireo, and the white wing bars that the RED-EYED [Viréo aux yeux rouges], PHILADELPHIA [Viréo de Philadelphie] and WARBLING [Viréo mélodieux] VIREOS do not have. Jane still had a lingering RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD [Colibri à gorge rubis] on Sunday in her St. Martin’s yard.
** Ruth Rogers sent the attached photos of a caterpillar. It was approximately 7.5 cm. long with a false eye feature at the rear, which had fallen from a Saint John River Grape tree onto her deck. Unfortunately, the photos pixelated badly and many experts were unwilling to comment, but one felt the apparent association with grapes, the size, and false eye suggest it may be the caterpillar of the ABBOTT’S SPHINX MOTH. The guides say Abbott's Sphinx Moth is not present in New Brunswick, but it is not far away, so something to watch for in the future!
** Brian Stone was in the Cap Pele area birding on Sunday to find it fairly quiet but was surprised to see a quite worn but very intact BLACK SWALLOWTAIL BUTTERFLY [Papillon du céleri] flying and nectaring.
** There are lots of galls on plants that usually are made by an insect of some type, and if cut open, a larva will usually easily be seen. They come in every size shape that one could imagine. Aldo Dorio sends a photo of a large round gall on a Rose bush. Some birds do seek out the larvae housed in the galls.
** The BROCADE TOADFLAX MOTH CATERPILLER [Calophasia lunula] that I gathered on Wednesday and put into a dish with its food plant BUTTER AND EGGS [Linoria vulgaris], on which it fed heavily, went into its cocoon stage for the winter on Sunday. It ended up to be a compact 1 cm long package. It may not be much to look at, but when you stop to think about what has happened and the changes that will occur inside that cocoon, to have an adult moth fly out next spring is incredible.