Birds and Herps at Stony Swamp

On August 24, with Derek Dunnett and Sophie Roy as our leaders, we took a leisurely walk through over 3km of easy trails at Stony Swamp, encountering 22 bird species, 9 herp species, along with numerous interesting insects and plants.

Some of the bird highlights :  A Barred Owl posed very close to the trail for photos; a beautiful pair of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds sat out in the sunlight, showing their amazing colours; a pair of Scarlet Tanagers posed in a bare tree; a Baltimore Oriole sat near the trail; 4 Rose-breasted Grosbeaks (both male and female adults and juveniles) gave closeup views and a Broad-winged Hawk soared overhead.

White-breasted Nuthatch

As we went along, we searched under fallen logs and stones and along the sides of the trail for snakes and salamanders.  We were assisted to a great extent by our Young Mac, Will, in this adventure.  Thanks Will for adding so many critters to our list!

The Herps we observed: 2 Wood Frogs, 2 Leopard Frogs, 1Painted Turtle, 1 Snapping turtle, 4 Eastern Newts, all adult form, 5 garter Snakes, I Northern Water Snake, 1 Milk Snake.

Young Northern Water Snake

Eastern Newt, adult

Milk Snake

A few other interesting things:

Willow Pinecone Gall caused by a midge

Milkweed Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Common Boneset

“Fairy Garden” in tree cavity. Mushroom species unknown. Could they be of the Pholiota Genus?

Wild Mint–tasted great!

Some of our group

Thanks to Derek and Sophie for leading and to everyone else for sharing.  Thanks also to Karine Scott for some of the pictures.