NATURE MONCTON INFORMATION LINE, June 21, 2021 (Monday)
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Edited by: Nelson Poirier firstname.lastname@example.org
Transcript by Fred Richards email@example.com
Info Line #: 506-384-6397 (384-NEWS)
**Mother Nature can sure change plans quickly. With the strong possibility of the tropical storm coming through late Monday and Tuesday, the first regular Nature Moncton evening outings is postponed until Thursday June 24, 2021 at 6:30. We will run the announcement again on Wednesday and Thursday.
**The cultivar Hascap Berry has become popular with their tasty fruit. The Cedar Waxwings have gone on the alert and have arrived at Lois Budd’s Hascap crop to enjoy it with Lois. Lois comments the waxwing’s buzzing vocalization serenade is so pleasant that she is leaving some to share with them. Lois sent some photos of the Hascap bushes and blue berries that I suspect many of us are unfamiliar with.
**Groundhogs are commonly seen in rural areas but it was a bit of a surprise for my next-door neighbor in the midst of an urban subdivision to see a Groundhog in their backyard appearing to come from under the shed, with very little exposed area to get underneath. The animal did not seem to show concern about humans near and was easily photographed with a cellphone. This animal is either very street smart or lucky to cross a number of streets to get to where it was seen. Sunday was the first day they saw it. There is no garden or any apparent forage opportunities in the yard. It is getting quite common for White-tailed Deer and Red Fox to adapt to urban areas and people, and wonder if Groundhogs are doing the same thing.
**Maybe we should include the MALLARD DUCK as another adapting urbanite. Kathy Breaton who tunes in from Kitchener, Ontario had a female mallard stroll across her very urban yard this morning as many folks are seeing in recent years and not infrequently nesting in yards and public places very successfully.
**Brian Stone walked the roads and trails behind Crandall University on Sunday to find many things to photograph. Several types of butterflies were present and 6 of those were photographed going about their business. A pair of VICEROY BUTTERFLIES were caught in a mating embrace, 2 COMMON RINGLET BUTTERFLIES showed both the presence and absence of the "ring", a LITTLE WOOD-SATYR BUTTERFLY proved difficult to shoot clearly, a NORTHERN CRESCENT BUTTERFLY perched nicely on a stem of grass, and a fresh-looking WHITE ADMIRAL BUTTERFLY was intensely focused on some animal scat.
A good variety of flies were busy in the area including a female EUROPEAN DRONE FLY and a ROBBER FLY. A CUTWORM WASP was investigating the side of the Gorge Rd. near the University and a male COMMON WHITETAIL DRAGONFLY perched for a bit near the larger pond. The big puddles on the road/trails were completely dry now, and even the larger pond was much lower than at the same time last year. Brian fears that the abundant pond life might be in for a difficult year. (Editor’s note: the forecast for a tropical depression remnants may come to the rescue)
Plant life imaged were LUPINS gone to seed, LITTLE EVENING PRIMROSE aka SMALL SUNDROPS, FLEABANE, HONEYSUCKLE, SPEEDWELL (Editor note: note the characteristic one smaller petal of the 4 in the speedwell family), and some small Spruce Trees were heavily laden with new cones. Brian managed to look up from scanning the ground and low plant life long enough to get a nice photo of a WHITE-THROATED SPARROW that seemed to be curious as to why someone with a large camera was pointing it towards the ground so often.
**I was in my natal neighborhood of Scotch Settlement-MacDougall Settlement on Saturday and pleasantly surprised to note that 3 old neighbours had a pair of EASTERN BLUEBIRDS nesting on their property and two of them had small developing colonies of CLIFF SWALLOWS.
Margaret Murray and Jim Johnson are Nature Moncton members and Jim’s brother Winston has a pair of nesting bluebirds. If there are that many bluebirds in this small area, I wonder how many there really are about the province. I suspect the real number is as high as they have been in a long time. There have been many other actual reports of nesting pairs of Eastern Bluebirds this season.
But, am wondering where are all those Northern Cardinals, that were around all winter in many areas of New Brunswick that had few nesting pairs.