Posted by: PMGDD | July 4, 2021

Nature Miramichi – Metepenagiag Visit

Thanks to Nelson Cloud we had a very pleasant and rewarding visit this past Saturday to the Metepenagiag area.  Ten club members were joined by the extended family of Andy Stewart so we had quite an age range but I think everyone found things of interest. We were 19 in all. It was cool but it didn’t rain until we were finished and not many mosquitos found us.

We went first to see the Bank Swallows near the Metepenagiag Heritage Museum. The birds were quite active and seemed to be visiting their burrows to feed young and remove fecal sacs.

From All About Birds:

“Bank Swallows are listed by Partners in Flight as a Common Bird in Steep Decline. Their North American numbers have crashed by an estimated 89% since 1970. The global breeding population is estimated at 26 million. They rate an 11 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score, reflecting the fact that they are still widespread and fairly numerous, despite these extreme recent losses. While Bank Swallows are generally quite tolerant of human disturbance, threats can come from changes to its nesting habitat of vertical sand or mud banks and bluffs. Erosion control, flood control, and road building projects that remove these banks or make them less steep make them unsuitable for Bank Swallows. Construction projects that involve high mounds of gravel or dirt can attract nesting Bank Swallows—though they can also destroy nests if the material is removed before the nesting season ends. Bank Swallows are aerial insectivores—a group that as a whole has recently undergone steep, unexplained declines.”

There is a project under way to identify all of the Bank Swallow colonies in NB, Nelson Cloud is involved with this project.

For more information about Bank Swallows visit: Bank Swallow Identification, All About Birds, Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Following the Bank Swallow visit we went to Nelson’s property nearby to see the Showy Lady Slippers. It was a bit of a wet underfoot 20 minute walk through the woods to the wet Cedar Swamp, a habitat preferred by this rare orchid. Although some of the flower heads were past their prime we were able to see enough healthy ones to make it very worthwhile. There were a number of other wildflowers spotted along the way of course.

The Showy Lady Slipper is ranked as – S2 – very rare …. (Hinds – 2000) – can take 16 years to reach blossoming stage

Find out more about Showy Lady Slippers at:

https://goorchids.northamericanorchidcenter.org/species/cypripedium/reginae/?pile=orchid-monocots

For photos from our visit go to:

https://flic.kr/s/aHsmW8F1nN

Once again thank you very much Nelson

Peter and Deana


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