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June 2008 Sightings in the Windsor Area

Red-eared Slider and Painted Turtles, photo by Gerry Pollard

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Friday, June 13: Ojibway's naturalist, Paul Pratt, and Tom Hince set a new Big Day birding record for the province of Saskatchewan on June 1. They recorded 202 species along a route from Turtle Lake to south of the Cypress Hills.

Lingering migrants recorded around Ojibway on June 1 included eight Blackpoll Warblers, Blackburnian Warbler, Wilson's Warbler, Brown Creeper and Swainson's Thrush (Fred Urie).

If you find a turtle wandering far from water at this time of year chances are it is looking for a sunny spot to lay eggs. Male and female Painted Turtles can be separated by the length of their front claws. Males have much longer claws on their front legs than on their rear legs. Females have the same size nails on all four limbs.

Twinkling lights fill the air over prairie and meadows on warm evenings. Look for different blinking patterns such as single rapid, single slow or five rapid flashes which indicate different species of fireflies.

Millions of mayflies (Ephemeroptera) emerge along the Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair shorelines in mid June. In Windsor, the Lakeview Marina is a good place to observe the clouds of mayflies under lights each night. The return of these huge numbers are a sign of the improved condition of the Great Lakes.

The adult mayflies are well known for their brief (ephemeral) adult lives, just a few days at most. They do not feed or drink during their short existance. They mate in swarms and the females return to the lakes to lay their eggs. The nymphs play an important ecological role as they feed on algae and in turn are eaten by fish.

 

 

Visit May 2008 sightings

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