Sunday June 3rd Sandra and I visited the private reserve at Pointe Fortune, Quebec. I have passed the site many times but only recently realised that it was open to the public. The site consists of a linear trail along an old railway line culminating in a marsh and open pools. It proved to be excellent for dragonflies and merits many further visits. The site is leased by the town of Pointe Fortune on a 99 year lease, started in 2000. The old railway station is now a studio with washrooms and a gallery. The cost per adult is $5. which goes towards the physical upkeep of the trail. Along the trail are various points of interest and the marsh has two good viewing/resting areas including a high tower. The reserve is open Thursday through Sunday 10.00-16.00. It opens in spring in late May and remains open through to October.
Driving directions to the site, called Ruisseau a Charette et Baie Brazeau, are: Take highway 40 west, exit at the final exit in Quebec (#1) and turn left then right onto the Grande Montee. Continue north along the Grande Montee until just befre a right turn into Pointe Fortune town. Baie Brazeau is on the right, see the photos below for the entrance.
During our visit we saw the following: Hagen’s Bluet; Aurora Damsel; Sedge Sprite; Fragile Forktail; Eastern Forktail; Green Darner, Harlequin Darner, Springtime Darner; Lillypad Clubtail; American Emerald; Racket-tailed Emerald; Beaverpond Baskettail; Spiny Baskettail; Four-spotted Skimmer; Eastern Pondhawk; Chalk-fronted Corporal; Commn Whitetail; Dot-tailed Whiteface. There were a few that we didn’t get near too, perhaps Uhler’s Sundragon and an unfortunate clubtail. I had just about focussed on it when a Leopard Frog appeared from the grass and snatched it, it would have made a good action shot!
We also found some interesting birds such as a minimum of two Least Bitterns (males) in tgerritory and several Marsh Wrens also a good range of typical secondary growth species, if access can be gained from dawn there could be some good species there. The butterflies were pretty good too, the site is highly recomended.
Of the dragonflies seen the Lillypad Clubtail and Harlequin Darner are significant records for Quebec. According to ‘Les Ordonates du Quebec’ (Pilon & Legace) neither have been recorded in the region before but that book is only current to 1998 (I think).
Here are a few images. Comments are always welcome.
Harlequin Darner – above and below. I don’t normally capture insects but this one was very dopey and I wanted macro shots of it’s sides. Once I’d picked it up it showed it’s displeasure by biting me but they can’t break the skin. A few years ago I found Harlequin Darner along the Gowan Road near Huntingdon but that one was not as cooperative as this one.