|Little Blue Heron |
-photo by Jim Clayter
Sightings – Little Blue Heron - Old Harbor Pond – Jim Clayter sent in some great pictures of an adult Little Blue Heron that spent time on the Pond Street end of Old Harbor Pond. The bird was spotted off and on over the course of a week, last seen on July 3rd. Cousins of the local Great Blues, Little Blues are more common the further south you go on the east coast. They do breed in Maine as far north as Stratton Island which apparently is south of here.
We’ve checked sources and talked the Little Blue up a bit and it looks like this is the first Little Blue recorded on Vinalhaven. VVNM! Hats off to Jim for spotting and getting some great shots of our first time visitor.
|Puffins are small|
|Young Gannets were numerous on the 26th|
|Wilson's Storm Petrels are smaller|
-photo by John Drury
|Manx and Greater. Getting along. |
Photo by John Drury
-photo by Erin Creelman
“Ichneumon wasps are a family (Ichneumonidae) of insects in the order Hymenoptera, or bees, wasps, and ants. They are one of the largest families of all insects. Almost all species of ichneumon wasps are parasitic, developing on or within the bodies of other insects. Some even parasitize other incheumons that have already parasitized other insects. These are then call hyperparasites”.
(Kirky’s note – hyperparasites = parasite of a parasite. Epic.)
|this picture has little to do with Ickynewmans|
But wait, there’s more…
“Although there are over 6,000 species of ichneumons in North America, and although the wasps are extremely common and abundant, there are very few that come into contact with humans”. (page 76)
|Most likely there are several Ickynewmans in this photo.|
Look very, very closely
“….This is the genus Ophion, which lays eggs on caterpillars such as cutworm, one of several types of moth larvae that infest our garden and mow down the first green shoots.” (page 77).
“Our garden”, could be anyone’s garden, giving the reader a sense of belonging and connection. You see, Ichneumons are our friends.
“”…The ovipositor is obvious when the insect is in flight and looks like several strands of thread trailing behind. It is used to penetrate through wood and lay an egg in the developing larva of a horntail, a primitive wasp whose larva feeds in tunnels inside the wood. It is believed that the ichneumon can sense the vibrations of the feeding horntail larvae with its antennae. The egg develops in the larva, not killing it until it is full grown.”
An insect that lays eggs in caterpillars by jamming its ovipositor thru wood. Friends, that is what’s known as a bad ass insect. Kudos to Erin for getting (and sharing) the photo and also for getting the ruler in the shot. That’s thinking.
|7/8 - a month later|
|on my brother's birthday - 6/9|
And the Black Vulture has been seen around the island – Folly Pond, the Basin and way up high over Hurricane Sound while I was kayaking out to the Whites. It continued to rise up and eventually was joined by 5 Turkey Vultures in flying back towards Vinalhaven, and most likely back to the dump. Got the feeling it was looking to leave, but that’s made up in my head. I have now had 2 Vulture days (Turkey and Black) at least 7 times. Yes, I feel lucky. Best summer ever.
|this proves the otter has a functioning digestive system|
|Lilac-brown Bolete to find it is a treat|
"Lets turn a doggy yellow" - Leif
The bird walks – Ha, Ha! Got you to read all the way to the bottom! Anyway.
The bird walks have been great, nice folks and the observers have been a wonderful mix. Highlights for me on the walks have been – Kingfisher nest and recently fledged youngster at Carrying Place, all the posing birdies at Lane’s for the scope and the shorebirds at State Beach, plus as a bonus, the Nelson’s Sharp-tailed Sparrow that responded to my lame imitation of their song. Here’s a few others-
-Bald Eagles on each outing-Black and white warbler feeding recently fledged young (Carrying Place)
-Young Kingfisher and nest (Carrying Place)
(not sure why the font changed) Also at state beach (7/31) - 14 Lesser Yellowlegs, 12 Short-billed Dowticher and 1 Greater Yellowlegs.
|another home run.|