Monday 11 July 2011


This weekend I took part in the annual Toronto Butterfly count. This was my second year so it was fun to be back and see everyone again and also be able to help out more with identifications since I've learned a little more since last year.

My group was quick to begin barging through the woods and we were soon rewarded with several Banded Hairstreaks dueling it out to protect their territories:

We found several species of skippers which was good for me because I have for the most part neglected the family (they're very difficult).
But I think I've learned a few at least, correct me if I'm wrong though:

Northern Broken-Dash

Long Dash Skipper:

Dun Skipper:

Eastern Forktail:

My group ended up with 23 species for the day, which isn't bad considering we were in Toronto!

I thought this dragonfly was going to be so easy to ID because of it's striking orange colour. But apparently it can be 1 of 3 species that are only distinguishable by their genitals!

I think the best part of dragonflies and damselflies is the badass names some of them can have! You can boast to your friends about the Dragonhunters you've caught or scare a hiker walking in the direction when you mention that a Cobra (Clubtail) is just up the trail or make them think you've gone mental when you suggest they look for the Zebra (Clubtail) that was flying around the bog.

On another note, the University where I'll be studying in Denmark has recently found me a place to live. The first thing I did was search the location on Google Maps and make my first guesses as to what/where my 'local patch' will be. I am less than 3km from the Baltic Sea and less than 2km from a relatively large lake. So needless to say, those will be one of the first locations for me to experience EU birding! The next most important thing was to see how far away from the University I will be...

A few interesting articles about birds on BBC today: