This past weekend Nature Canada hosted a Fall BioBlitz at Mud Lake Conservation Area in Ottawa, ON. Over 150 local citizens came out to explore the area and learn the secrets of identifying birds, plants, insects, reptiles and more! Everyone had a great time enjoying the beautiful area and the brisk weather. Here are some photos from the event.
Participants in the birding walk got up with the sun to catch a glimpse of migrating birds at their most active time of the day. Many birds are never seen through the foliage, so expert birders rely on unique calls and even flight patterns to identify secretive birds. Photography by Susanne Ure
This curious Black-capped Chickadee watched the birders right back! Photography by Susanne Ure
This young Black-throated Green Warbler is on its first migration journey from the Boreal Forest to South America. Many warbles migrate at night using the stars to navigate. Photography by Julia Gamble
Seed pods on a milkweed plant. Milkweed has a contentious history and has been actively eradicated as it is listed as a noxious weed. Recently however, the public has come to understand the important role that milkweed plays in the Monarch butterfly life cycle and milkweed is beginning to flourish again. Photography by Susanne Ure
Jennifer is using a small hand held magnifying glass to examine the lichen on tree bark. Don’t be afraid to look at the world from a new perspective. You might be surprised at the beautiful details that are easily overlooked. Photography by Susanne Ure
Moss is a complex group full of variety. This aptly named Wiry Fern Moss resembles tiny ferns. Mosses do not have typical root structures and thus rely on their leaves to absorb water and nutrients. Photography by Susanne Ure
Snapping turtles, a species listed as special concern in Ontario and Federally, nest at Mud Lake. We were lucky enough to see a few of the young hatchlings making their way from the nest site to the water at the BioBlitz. Unfortunately this little guy and a couple of his siblings were too small to make it over the curb to get off the road, so we gave them a hand by transporting them to a safe place with an umbrella. Photography by Sarah Kirkpatrick-Wahl
Even the rain did not dampen our enthusiasm. Photography by Susanne Ure
Thanks to our wonderful experts for making this event possible. You can read full details of the event and see the complete list of species identified at the BioBlitz (coming soon).