We started out on the cold, windy Stonecrest Road, Near MacLaren Side Road, where the Spring Peepers and Wood frogs were in full song. I heard one or two Chorus Frogs when I first arrived, but none during the event. Thanks to Jeff and Angela, we also did a quick pond study with a host of Caddis fly larvae, mosquito larvae, Amphipods and some water boatmen beetles, among others. Due to wind and cold, few birds were seen and heard(a few ducks). Of great interest to Jeff and I was the unusual appearance of 9 Rusty Blackbirds in a pine tree at the corner. They stayed there for most of the time we were present. This was reported to Ebird, making our field trip a significant birding event as well!
As darkness fell and coldness amplified, we convoyed to Mrs. Duffields, and marched into the ponds at the forest edge. Steve gave short review of maple syrup production before we moved onto the pond, where a kidlet captured a spotted salamander before the whole group made it down to the pond. Kids were having a ball, and yet being respectful to the animals, as we found more and more. Jeff was able to net a blue-spotted salamander and a newt, to show everyone and round out the evening. We even captured a Hellagrammite (Dobson Fly larva) which impressed several of the younger crowd. Spring Peepers and Wood Frogs abounded, and we were able to net several for quick view.
Thanks again to Steve and Mrs Duffield for being such welcoming hosts. There were a few wet feet, nothing serious. All the kids, young and old, were very excited, asked a lot of questions and were very much happy with the event which closed down at about 9:30 PM.