<p>Ferry Point Landing, Alberta, Canada<br />
Nikon D5100, 105 mm f/2.8<br />
June 21, 2014</p>

Solitary Bee

Ferry Point Landing, Alberta, Canada
Nikon D5100, 105 mm f/2.8
June 21, 2014

<p><i>Enallagma</i> sp., Coenagrionidae<br />
Ferry Point Landing, Alberta, Canada<br />
Nikon D5100, 105 mm f/2.8<br />
June 21, 2014</p>

Bluet - ♀

Enallagma sp., Coenagrionidae
Ferry Point Landing, Alberta, Canada
Nikon D5100, 105 mm f/2.8
June 21, 2014

<p><i>Chrysopa oculata</i>, Chrysopidae<br />
Ferry Point Landing, Alberta, Canada<br />
Nikon D5100, 105 mm f/2.8<br />
June 21, 2014</p>

Golden-eyed Lacewing

Chrysopa oculata, Chrysopidae
Ferry Point Landing, Alberta, Canada
Nikon D5100, 105 mm f/2.8
June 21, 2014

<p><i>Ochlerotatus dorsalis</i>, Culicidae<br />
Ferry Point Landing, Alberta, Canada<br />
Nikon D5100, 105 mm f/2.8<br />
June 21, 2014</p>

Mosquito - ♀

Ochlerotatus dorsalis, Culicidae
Ferry Point Landing, Alberta, Canada
Nikon D5100, 105 mm f/2.8
June 21, 2014

<p><i>Ochlerotatus dorsalis</i>, Culicidae<br />
Ferry Point Landing, Alberta, Canada<br />
Nikon D5100, 105 mm f/2.8<br />
June 21, 2014</p>

Mosquito - ♀

Ochlerotatus dorsalis, Culicidae
Ferry Point Landing, Alberta, Canada
Nikon D5100, 105 mm f/2.8
June 21, 2014

<p><i>Carterocephalus palaemon</i>, Hesperiidae<br />
Ferry Point Landing, Alberta, Canada<br />
Nikon D5100, 105 mm f/2.8<br />
June 21, 2014</p>

Arctic Skipper

Carterocephalus palaemon, Hesperiidae
Ferry Point Landing, Alberta, Canada
Nikon D5100, 105 mm f/2.8
June 21, 2014

<p>Ferry Point Landing, Alberta, Canada<br />
Nikon D5100, 105 mm f/2.8<br />
June 21, 2014</p>

Root Maggot Flies (I think) - ♂

Ferry Point Landing, Alberta, Canada
Nikon D5100, 105 mm f/2.8
June 21, 2014

<p>Ferry Point Landing, Alberta, Canada<br />
Nikon D5100, 105 mm f/2.8<br />
June 21, 2014</p>

Jumping Spider

Ferry Point Landing, Alberta, Canada
Nikon D5100, 105 mm f/2.8
June 21, 2014

<p><i>Scudderia</i> sp., Tettigoniidae<br />
Ferry Point Landing, Alberta, Canada<br />
Nikon D5100, 105 mm f/2.8<br />
June 21, 2014</p>

Bush Katydid Nymph

Scudderia sp., Tettigoniidae
Ferry Point Landing, Alberta, Canada
Nikon D5100, 105 mm f/2.8
June 21, 2014

<p><i>Cosmopepla lintneriana</i>, Pentatomidae<br />
Ferry Point Landing, Alberta, Canada<br />
Nikon D5100, 105 mm f/2.8<br />
June 21, 2014</p>

Twice-stabbed Stink Bug

Cosmopepla lintneriana, Pentatomidae
Ferry Point Landing, Alberta, Canada
Nikon D5100, 105 mm f/2.8
June 21, 2014

<p><i>Cathartes aura</i>, Cathartidae<br />
Ferry Point Landing, Alberta, Canada<br />
Nikon D5100, 105 mm f/2.8<br />
June 21, 2014</p>

Turkey vulture

Cathartes aura, Cathartidae
Ferry Point Landing, Alberta, Canada
Nikon D5100, 105 mm f/2.8
June 21, 2014

<p><i>Cathartes aura</i>, Cathartidae<br />
Ferry Point Landing, Alberta, Canada<br />
Nikon D5100, 105 mm f/2.8<br />
June 21, 2014</p>

Newly Hatched Turkey Vulture Chick

Cathartes aura, Cathartidae
Ferry Point Landing, Alberta, Canada
Nikon D5100, 105 mm f/2.8
June 21, 2014

<p><i>Hybomitra</i> sp., Tabanidae<br />
Ferry Point Landing, Alberta, Canada<br />
Nikon D5100, 105 mm f/2.8<br />
June 21, 2014</p>

Horse Fly - ♂

Hybomitra sp., Tabanidae
Ferry Point Landing, Alberta, Canada
Nikon D5100, 105 mm f/2.8
June 21, 2014

<p><i>Winthemia</i> sp., Tachinidae<br />
Ferry Point Landing, Alberta, Canada<br />
Nikon D5100, 105 mm f/2.8<br />
June 21, 2014</p>

Tachinid Fly

Winthemia sp., Tachinidae
Ferry Point Landing, Alberta, Canada
Nikon D5100, 105 mm f/2.8
June 21, 2014

<p>Ferry Point Landing, Alberta, Canada<br />
Nikon D5100, 105 mm f/2.8<br />
June 21, 2014</p>

Battle River Badlands

Ferry Point Landing, Alberta, Canada
Nikon D5100, 105 mm f/2.8
June 21, 2014

<p>Ferry Point Landing, Alberta, Canada<br />
Nikon D5100, 105 mm f/2.8<br />
June 21, 2014</p>

Battle River Badlands

Ferry Point Landing, Alberta, Canada
Nikon D5100, 105 mm f/2.8
June 21, 2014

<p><i>Pyractomena borealis</i>, Lampyridae<br />
Ferry Point Landing, Alberta, Canada<br />
Nikon D5100, 105 mm f/2.8<br />
June 21, 2014</p>

Boreal Firefly

Pyractomena borealis, Lampyridae
Ferry Point Landing, Alberta, Canada
Nikon D5100, 105 mm f/2.8
June 21, 2014

<p><i>Pyractomena borealis</i>, Lampyridae<br />
Ferry Point Landing, Alberta, Canada<br />
Nikon D5100, 105 mm f/2.8<br />
June 21, 2014</p>

Boreal Firefly

Pyractomena borealis, Lampyridae
Ferry Point Landing, Alberta, Canada
Nikon D5100, 105 mm f/2.8
June 21, 2014

<p><i>Lygus</i> sp., Miridae<br />
Ferry Point Landing, Alberta, Canada<br />
Nikon D5100, 105 mm f/2.8<br />
June 22, 2014</p>

Lygus Bug

Lygus sp., Miridae
Ferry Point Landing, Alberta, Canada
Nikon D5100, 105 mm f/2.8
June 22, 2014

<p><i>Allium textile</i>, Amaryllidaceae<br />
Ferry Point Landing, Alberta, Canada<br />
Nikon D5100, 105 mm f/2.8<br />
June 22, 2014</p>

Prairie Onion

Allium textile, Amaryllidaceae
Ferry Point Landing, Alberta, Canada
Nikon D5100, 105 mm f/2.8
June 22, 2014

<p><i>Koeleria macrantha</i>, Aveneae<br />
Ferry Point Landing, Alberta, Canada<br />
Nikon D5100, 105 mm f/2.8<br />
June 22, 2014</p>

Junegrass

Koeleria macrantha, Aveneae
Ferry Point Landing, Alberta, Canada
Nikon D5100, 105 mm f/2.8
June 22, 2014

<p><i>Erigeron caespitosus</i>, Asteraceae<br />
Ferry Point Landing, Alberta, Canada<br />
Nikon D5100, 105 mm f/2.8<br />
June 22, 2014</p>

Tufted Fleabane

Erigeron caespitosus, Asteraceae
Ferry Point Landing, Alberta, Canada
Nikon D5100, 105 mm f/2.8
June 22, 2014

<p><i>Collops</i>, sp., Melyridae<br />
Ferry Point Landing, Alberta, Canada<br />
Nikon D5100, 105 mm f/2.8<br />
June 22, 2014</p>

Soft-winged Flower Beetle

Collops, sp., Melyridae
Ferry Point Landing, Alberta, Canada
Nikon D5100, 105 mm f/2.8
June 22, 2014

<p><i>Xanthoria elegans</i>, Teloschistaceae<br />
Ferry Point Landing, Alberta, Canada<br />
Nikon D5100, 105 mm f/2.8<br />
June 22, 2014</p>

Elegant Sunburst Lichen

Xanthoria elegans, Teloschistaceae
Ferry Point Landing, Alberta, Canada
Nikon D5100, 105 mm f/2.8
June 22, 2014

<p><i>Chlorochroa</i> sp., Pentatomidae<br />
Ferry Point Landing, Alberta, Canada<br />
Nikon D5100, 105 mm f/2.8<br />
June 22, 2014</p>

Stink Bug

Chlorochroa sp., Pentatomidae
Ferry Point Landing, Alberta, Canada
Nikon D5100, 105 mm f/2.8
June 22, 2014

<p><i>Melanoplus</i> sp., Acrididae<br />
Ferry Point Landing, Alberta, Canada<br />
Nikon D5100, 105 mm f/2.8<br />
June 22, 2014</p>

Grasshopper Nymph

Melanoplus sp., Acrididae
Ferry Point Landing, Alberta, Canada
Nikon D5100, 105 mm f/2.8
June 22, 2014

Well, soon turned into a long time but here are my field notes from my not so recent trip to Ferry Point in the Battle River badlands. While it was my first trip out there, it seems the central Alberta naturalists have been gathering there for several years now. It provides a little taste of southern Alberta tucked into the fields of central Alberta.

I joined up with the other naturalist at around noon for a survey of the local prairie potholes. We saw a good variety a ducks, especially by summer Vancouver standards, including some courting Ruddy Ducks and some backlit Red Heads. After the pond birding we made a quick stop at a farm yard to check out the local colony of Purple Martins. Our next stop was an abandoned farm yard where we were lucky enough to have Wayne Nelson from Fish and Wildlife take us in small groups through an old farm house to see a nesting Turkey Vulture and her newly hatched chick. I also was able to get some good macro shots as I waited to see the Turkey Vulture. In addition to birding my Dad also celebrated his 60th birthday so there was of course some birthday cake to be enjoyed. After dinner we were also lucky enough to spot a family of Great Horned Owls near the campground. That evening we treated to a display from the local fireflies with one even lighting up in the palm of my hand.

The next day we stayed closer to the campground and did some botanizing on the adjoining property with some great badland topography. While we were heading out to botanize the birds conspired to hold most of my attention. I think the highlight may have been when we had 5 Turkey Vultures soaring just above our group at low altitude. I was also surprised to see a group of Lark Sparrows, which I have always thought of as a strictly Southern Alberta bird. There was also lots of great insect life out, including a bunch of Tiger Beetles who eluded me and my young assistants.

It was a productive birding weekend for me with 17 new species for my year list, including lots of east of the Rockies species like Swainson’s Hawk, Clay-colored Sparrow and Baltimore Oriole. I don’t think I’ve ever been so pleased to add American Crow and Black-billed Magpie to my list before. Over the two days I ended up with 60 different bird species either seen or heard. You can see the full list by checking out the KMZ file below.



  • Petria June 15, 2017, 8:41 am

    Mr.Blake,

    I live on an acreage in Central Alberta. We often sleep out on our trampoline in the summer and have seen fireflies a few times. This suprised me at first, since I grew up around here, spending many summer nights outside and never saw any. But upon asking around to some old timers, I have heard stories about swarms of them being seen on a regular basis.

    I am trying to find more information about encouraging habitat for them. Can you inform or point me in the right direction please?
    Thanks,
    Petria

    Reply
    • ajblake June 15, 2017, 10:51 am

      Hi Petria,

      I can’t say I know too much of Fireflies in Alberta. Until I took the photos I didn’t know we had any Firefly species that actually glowed. With a small amount of googling all I can really suggest is encourage of bunch of snails (this firefly is a snail eater). This page from the U of A Strickland Museum should provide a bit more info (http://entomology.museums.ualberta.ca/searching_species_details.php?s=5431).

      Adam

      Reply

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