It might not seem likely, what with another night of below -10°C (26-March) temperatures here inn Quebec, but the dragons are coming. In temperate parts of the continent there are fresh odes on the wing now, some species never actually stopped flying. In February I was lucky enough to spend a week in Texas with Sandra. We didn’t see many odes but we saw some and so my ode year list stands at three species so far. I’m looking forwards to adding more soon.
One species that was common along the Rio Grande Valley was Red Saddlebags. I later heard that, on a sunny day a few days after we’d visited Santa Ana, the site where I photographed the Red Saddlebags below, fifteen species of ode were recorded. Take a good look at the photos because this species is a potential addition to the current Quebec odonata list. It gets into Ontario with, I think, records as near as the Kingston area. So what makes me predict Red Saddlebags?
A couple of years ago we had a huge northwards push of butterflies in mid-April and with the many millions of Red Admirals passing through were a few Green Darners. These constituted the earliest for the province. If we were to get similar climatic conditions to those that inspired the butterfly arrival but a bit later in the season, then there are a number of ode species that could, potentially, also be carried on such an incursion including the saddlebags.
Oh, and I’ve twice seen saddlebags that might have been reds but only in flight and only briefly.
I’ll give it some thought and make a more reasoned post with predictions later. I’d also appreciate some suggestions for additions from you. We odeists may be few but we are active, so what do you think will the next ten additions be to our expanding Quebec list of odonata?
You can leave a message here or mail me your thoughts.
I’ll be running the ode blog again for the forthcoming season and I welcome your input. Time constraints mean that I’ll be streamlining the writing side by putting a reference list of odes with their English, French and Scientific names on the side bar. I’ll then be using only the scientific name in the main text. I’m doing this to make myself learn those scientific names quicker, they are the anchor for identifying the species recorded whatever language you communicate in.
I’d also like to see more ode species this season, I’m sure you would too, so, I’ll be putting up a list of rare and scarce odes and then using the pages feature to produce a hotline sort of thing. If any of the odes on the list show up, I’ll write it up with specific directions to the site, if you give me the details.
I’ll also put up a wants page this year. The wants page is yours so I want you to send me a list of your ode ‘wants’ and your contact details if someone can help. Obviously I’ll be doing mine first so that you can see the format, tell me whether this is a good idea or not. The wants list will be in three languages, English, French and Latin!
Although this blog is written in English, I will be happy to post in French if you send me something in French, I will probably use a Google translation to do a summary at the end so apologies if it gets a bit scrambled. If you want me to link your ode blog or web site I will, send me the details.
Finally, the Quebec Odonata survey continues and you can contact Michel.Savard@ssss.gouv.qc.ca to report sightings or take part. I am still grappling with the over-complicated, unilingual recording forms and have sent nothing. I will but in a format that suits me.
I’d dearly love for us odeists to have an eBird/eButterfly recording device, it would be so easy. Unfortunately I have neither the time nor tech skills to set up such a thing, is there someone out there that can. I know that there is Odonata Central but it is not the same as logging on, selecting your site and putting in your data as in eBird. Perhaps it is already happening and someone will send me the details. If not and you are thinking of setting one up, how about ‘Ode-Net as the title, obvious eh!