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April 2010 Sightings in the Windsor Area

chorus frog photo by Russ Jones
Chorus Frog

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Friday, April 30: Large numbers of nocturnal migrants arrived overnight in Windsor. After several days of chilly northerly winds we had warm southernly winds overnight. Fred Urie reported Baltimore Orioles (13), Orchard Orile (2), Warbling Vireo (6) and several warbler species this morning betweeen Spring Garden Natural Area and Ojibway Park. The nature centre feeders have lots of White-throated Sparrows and our first migrant White-crowned Sparrows in addition to the regular feeder visitors such as Tufted Titmouse, Hairy Woodpecker, Red-belllied Woodpecker and White-breasted Nuthatch. Wood Thrush, Yellow-rumped Warbler and Black-and-White Warbler are singing in the trees around the nature centre. Mary Montsch reported the first Wood Thrush singing in the nature reserve yesterday.

Tuesday, April 27: The most common question we get after a burn in the prairie is "What are those big mounds scattered everywhere?" These are ant colonies that are built by several species of mound building ants. An ant colony can take six years or more to produce these large mounds and the colony can be active for 12 years or more. Ants promote mixing of plant and animal material in the soil which improves soil fertility. The mounds also provide microhabitat for plants that require soil disturbance for germination and growth.

image of conspicuous ant mounds 12 days after prescribed burn in nature reserve

Thursday, April 15: There was a prescribed burn carried out in the provincial nature reserve today that covered about 150 acres.

prescribed burn by MNR

We had near record high temperatures (29C) and insects were evident. Butterflies sighted included Cabbage White, Tiger Swallowtail and Spring Azure. Several brightly coloured Grape-vine Epimenis moths and Common Green Darner dragonflies were also seen.

New spring arrivals today included Several Pine Warblers, Blue-headed Vireo, House Wren and Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (fide Fred Urie).

Tuesday, April 13: Tom Preney found a very early Green Heron at the Little River ponds this morning.

Wednesday, April 7: Here is a summary of spring arrivals over the past week:
Dan Loncke found Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Northern Flicker, Tree Swallow, Golden-crowned Kinglet (lots), Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Brown Thrasher, Rusty Blackbird and more at Little River this morning.

Other new arrivals at Ojibway include Field Sparrow (singing on April 1), Rough-winged Swallow (April 3, Fred Urie), Winter Wren (five on April 3 Fred Urie), Yellow-rumped Warbler (April 3, Fred Urie) and Chipping Sparrow (at feeders April 6).

The warm weather on April 2 had Chorus Frogs, Northern Leopard Frogs and American Toads singing in local ditches.

Thursday, April 1: Lands & Forests Consulting carried out a prescribed burn at Black Oak Heritage Park this afternoon. Approximately 34 acres of meadow and oak woodland were burned.

image of prescribed burn of 34 acres on April 1, 2010

 

Visit March 2010 sightings

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Ojibway's web site: Paul Pratt, 519-966-5852 (ojibway@city.windsor.on.ca)

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