Flora and Fauna at Whitchurch Conservation Park

Last week I made a quick drive at lunch time to Whitchurch Conservation Park to take a few photos.

Whitchurch Conservation Park
I was trying to find out what kind of bird this one was, and I came across this amazing resource online, a listing of all Ontario birds, along with small thumbnails of each one. This is an Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea). It often migrates by night, using the stars to navigate. Read more about Indigo Buntings on Wikipedia.

Whitchurch Conservation Park
Butterfly with an eye on its wing.

Whitchurch Conservation Park
Honey bee feasting on nectar from the flower pod on top of a second year growth of the biennial Mullein plant. Biennial plants will form the rosette flower the first year, and the stem emerges on the second year. With Mullein, you can eat the root in the first year, but it loses starches and gets quite fibrous in the second year.

Whitchurch Conservation Park
Lily pads in the pond scattered across the surface.

Whitchurch Conservation Park
It appears that the tadpoles from my last visit have turned into little green frogs. This fellow and all of his friends were no more than an inch long. Bait sized...

Whitchurch Conservation Park
The pond is quite shallow and the bottom is densely covered in weeds - perfect hiding places for small fishies and beasties. As I watched the banks, I was half-hoping to see a bear or some deer arrive for a drink or a swim about. Then I thought about what might happen if I saw a black bear. I figured I'd switch my camera onto the movie mode, and take some nice images of the bear, and then quickly recite my last will and testament. I know - that's dramatic. I know - just stand up, appear as a biped, shout, don't stare in its eyes, look 'in charge' and if push comes to shove, use my knife and fight for my life. Karate, or plain knuckle punching, eye-gouging, stab fighting. I have watched a few videos on Philipino knife fighting techniques. I hope they work on bears who try to eat me.

Whitchurch Conservation Park
One of many fish filling the pond - this one was bigger than most, but still only about 2 inches long. I'm hoping someone can help me identify this little fellow. (Update: Matt chimed in and seems to have correctly identified this as a RedEar Sunfish (Lepomis microlophus)- native to Florida and the southern states - also known as a Shellcracker because of how they can eat mussels, snails and other shellfish, they've been introduced as game fish all over North America. They are present in Ontario - as seen in the image above... And Phil has pointed out that this particular RedEar Sunfish's name is Robert. Thank you to both of you.)

Whitchurch Conservation Park
Grassy verge overlooking the pond, just outside of the woods. No-one was there. I fell asleep for an hour under my blanket.

Whitchurch Conservation Park
Dragonfly eating from the tiny white flowers of a Narrow Leaf Plantain.

Whitchurch Conservation Park
The same Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea) kept hopping from branch to branch, apparently trying to impress a female Indigo Bunting with brown plumage. He sure had it going on.

Whitchurch Conservation Park
Mayweed, or Stinking Chamomile (Anthemis cotula) flowers covered the clearing by the pond.

Whitchurch Conservation Park
Clouds in the sky

Whitchurch Conservation Park
Bright yellow flowers, identification pending, in amongst white Mayweed, or Stinking Chamomile (Anthemis cotula) flowers.

Whitchurch Conservation Park
Dragonfly sitting on the stalk of a Narrow Leaf Plantain

Whitchurch Conservation Park
White flowered Yarrow.

Whitchurch Conservation Park
Horse Tail.

Whitchurch Conservation Park
Wild Mint.

Whitchurch Conservation Park
Some kind of moth having some nectar from a Mayweed, or Stinking Chamomile (Anthemis cotula) flower.

Whitchurch Conservation Park
Some kind of moth climbing about on a plant.

Cheers,

Mungo

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