Laurel Creek Conservation Area
4 August 2013
I enjoyed a stroll through Laurel Creek Conservation Area this morning and found my first Northern Mockingbird ever in Waterloo County. Unfortunately I was unable to get a picture of it!
Common Starlings Sturnus vulgaris seemed to be everywhere one looked and they have obviously had a very successful breeding season. From treetop to grassy meadow this species was easily heard and seen.
The collective term for a gathering of crows is a murder and these American Crows Corvus brachyrynchos were perhaps gathered to discuss matters of life and death in the crow world.
A Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularia was very cooperative at the water's edge, and I wished I had the skills of my artist friend Barry Kent MacKay to enable me to render the exquisite palette of colours formed by the reflection of the shoreline vegetation.
A Wooly Bear Caterpillar was crossing the road at a good pace. This is the caterpillar stage of the Isabella Tiger Moth Pyrrharctia isabella, and it has a very interesting life cycle. It hibernates each winter, virtually shutting down its body and protecting its tissues with a cryoprotectant. These caterpillars can re-emerge and hibernate again for several years before finally attaining adult moth status.