NATURE MONCTON NATURE NEWS
September 19, 2023
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**Tonight, Tuesday, September 19 will be the first Nature Moncton meeting of the new season.
The duo of Pierre Janin and Samuel Legresley will give a live presentation on ‘Growing Native Species in your Backyard.’
Please note that this will be a live presentation. A revamped Zoom capability is under construction for future meetings. It is hoped the audio can be recorded and distributed as a link.
All details of the presentation are below:
** NATURE MONCTON MEETING PRESENTATION
“Growing Native Species in your Backyard”
September 19th, 2023
Rotary Pavilion, Mapleton Park at 7:00 PM
Presenters: Pierre Janin and Samuel Legresley
With the loss and fragmentation of habitat, the loss of biodiversity, pollution, climate change, and many more factors that take a huge toll on our native wildlife, it is time that we do our part to try and recreate what we are losing in our own backyard. For the past few years, Samuel Legresley and Pierre Janin have turned their focus to native plants, learning how to identify them, how to propagate them, and how to educate people on good gardening practices in an attempt to attract, protect, feed, and create habitat for our native species.
For about a century, non-native species have been introduced in the nursery trade to beautify our properties. Trees, shrubs, and flowers from as far as Eastern Asia, with fragrant, colourful, and numerous blossoms, have become the standard of landscaping. Everybody owns or knows someone who owns a Colorado Spruce, a Japanese Lilac, a Norway Maple, a Burning Bush, a Hydrangea or a Butterfly Bush, Hostas, Spireas, Daisies, Bearded Irises or Shrimp Willows. Even though they all look great, their usefulness to our native species, i.e. our pollinators, birds, and native insects, is very limited. Some of these alien species that do not share an evolutionary history with our local wildlife might provide some food, cover, and nectar for some, but not as much as our native species.
In this presentation, Samuel and Pierre will introduce native species, will discuss the importance of planting them instead of non-native species, and will educate us about all the benefits they provide to our backyards and to our local wildlife. They will give examples of species that you can grow and species to avoid so that you can recreate habitats that have been fragmented or lost over time, including species that will attract as many insects and birds as possible while making your garden a four-season delight for our fauna.
Come and learn how to draw pollinators, insects, and birds to your yard. All are welcome, Nature Moncton member or not.
This will be a live presentation.
Zoom will not be available for the September meeting as Zoom capabilities are being upgraded and are expected to be at full steam for meetings thereafter.
**Verica Leblanc got out a little to Hay Island after the storm. The mosquitos were in full force on the northern side; the south side of the ponds seemed a lot calmer.
It was a great day for observing. Great Black-backed and Herring Gulls, American Black Ducks, Double-crested Cormorants, Spotted Sandpiper, Semipalmated Plovers, 4 Great Blue Herons, and Greater Yellowlegs were all present. It seemed bath time for many of the shorebirds, and interesting to watch some species of fish as well.
**Aldo Dorio also sends some nice photos of a Short-billed Dowitcher that has been visiting Hay Island, showing it in different poses.
**John Massey got some excellent photos of the Maple Spanworm Moth that we often see this time of year. Its daytime tactic is to mimic a fall colour-changing leaf that will drop to the ground after being touched by an intruder.
**Maureen Girvan captured a photo of a Banded Tussock Moth Caterpillar moving along the bark of a tree Monday to add to the recent caterpillar collection of photos submitted.
**Georges Brun captured a photo of young-of-the-year Chipping Sparrows with an adult in the middle of the photo for comparison. It was taken near the entrance to Franklin Yard north of Centennial Park.
Georges also shares some photos he got earlier of 2 plump caterpillars, the Great Ash Sphinx Caterpillar, and a Polyphemus Moth Caterpillar. Georges also attaches photos of an open-wing Viceroy Butterfly and a grasshopper kin, a katydid species.
**Sterling Marsh reports that his late-blooming garden was full of bees on Monday, including miniature bee-type flying insects, the bee mimic Syrphid Fly AKA Flower Fly/Hover Fly. Sterling notes they were just as busy as the bees were and have such large eyes and stubby antennae as he had a good chance to compare the two in situ.
**On Monday Brian Stone visited his family in Hampton, N.B. and accompanied them to St. Martins for an outing. After a seafood lunch at one of the famous restaurants (which Brian did not participate in, thank you very much), he suggested a short side trip to the Quaco Head Lighthouse for a second scenery outing. As Brian exited his car, he noticed a bird hopping about the bushes in the distance near the lighthouse. Its behaviour seemed different from what Brian expected from the usual birds in the area (not that there were many), so he began photographing it from a distance, but it soon disappeared into some bushes, and Brian went about the business of scenery photography.
After looking for birds and seals in the water around the lighthouse, Brian and his family began walking up the hill to the parking area when his wife Annette mentioned that there was a bird in the bushes close by the trail. When Brian saw it moving about, he knew it was the same bird he had seen at a distance earlier and began to feel like he should get a few good photos of this interesting subject, so he circled the bush carefully, taking pictures as he went. The bird seemed unconcerned with this intrusion and continued to forage, all the while bobbing its tail in a familiar way.
After getting a few decent photos, Brian drove away, and as soon as he made it to an area with a strong enough wireless signal, he used his phone to ID the bird from a photo downloaded from his camera, and it told him he had found a Say's Phoebe. Brian posted it on a Facebook birding site for additional confirmation and was happy to have the phone's ID verified almost instantly. A good ending to a day of good photography, some examples of which will be sent for the next edition.
(Editor’s note: am adding extra photos of Brian’s find as this is a species we do not often see and get such nice photos of.)