Hopes and Odes for 2018

Hello and welcome to 2018. While it is a tad early to be seeing any odes in Nova Scotia, that doesn’t mean we can’t speculate on what might be found in the coming (eventually!) season. My NS odeing remains in its infancy, but 2018 will be the year when I get a bit more done. I’ll be restricting my activities to the tri-counties of Shelburne-Yarmouth-Digby but there is plenty to go at there and I can hardly do worse than I did in 2017. There were mitigating circumstances, different from those in 2016 but mitigating all the same. Subsequently I only added one new species, Mantled Baskettail, to my life list.

So I thought I’d use some of my stock photos (taken mostly in Quebec) to offer up my list of top ten hopes to find in NS in 2018. Some are realistic, some fanciful, but you have to have ambitions otherwise why get out of bed. I am hoping to buy a boat, something I can use to get out into the lakes and streams with, getting me close to the action and not drawing those stares we get from passers-by, you know the ones, when you are chasing a fast flying ode with the net and just catching fresh air! I also plan to build a pond in the yard on the ‘build it and they will come’ principle. We’ve always had ponds at our past homes and now is the time to get one here, nothing too fancy but something that might pull in a few species.

Looking down my list of NS wants, I’m surprised that I’ve not come across many of them already, lots of them were very regular in my last odeing patch but, a different climate, geology and flora means there will be differences in range and abundance, it is all part of the ode learning curve. The wants list is not exhaustive, but you have to start somewhere.

My spreadwing  selection in NS is not great, mostly through lack of effort, so I’l be looking for the following: Spotted Spreadwing, Southern Spreadwing, Amber-winged Spreadwing, Sweetflag Spreadwing, Slender Spreadwing, Swamp Spreadwing. Below is an Amber-winged Spreadwing, a species of ephemeral pools


I have plenty of bluet room too: Subarctic Bluet, Taiga Bluet, Sedge Sprite, Eastern Red Damsel, Boreal Bluet, Vernal Bluet, Orange Bluet, Vesper Bluet, Citrine Forktail. A bit of diligent searching should get me the illustrated species, Sedge Sprite and Orange Bluet.


There are some great darners yet to be seen by me in NS, some may be very rare but all are worth looking for: Spatterdock Darner, Mottled Darner, Lance-tipped Darner, Variable Darner, Azure Darner, Zigzag Darner, Subarctic Darner, Black-tipped Darner, Green-striped Darner, Cyrano Darner, Ocellated Darner, Fawn Darner. This is a Variable Darner.


We have plenty of clubtails to go at in NS, I’ve found a few and hope to get a few more in 2018: Black-shouldered Spinyleg, Spine-crowned Clubtail, Skillet Clubtail, Moustached Clubtail, Beaverpond Clubtail, Harpoon Clubtail, Dusky Clubtail, Zebra Clubtail, Northern Pygmy Clubtail, Eastern Least Clubtail, Extra-striped Snaketail, Brook Snaketail, Riffled Snaketail, Maine Snaketail, Delta-spotted Spiketail. Here is a Black-shouldered Spinyleg and a Maine Snaketail. Here are shots of Black-shouldered Spinyleg, Eastern Least Clubtail and Maine Snaketail.


I’ve been happily surprised at the number of emeralds, baskettails and the like  already seen in NS Wants are: American Emerald, Racket-tailed Emerald, Beaverpond Baskettail, Spiny Baskettail, Broad-tailed Shadowdragon, Ringed Emerald, Quebec Emerald, Lake Emerald, Ski-tipped Emerald, Forcipate Emerald, Delicate Emerald, Kennedy’s Emerald, Ocellated Emerald, Muskeg Emerald, Williamson’s Emerald , Ebony Boghunter, Swift River Cruiser. Here is an Ocellated Emerald:


Of the rest of the species on the NS list, I have plenty of gaps: Elfin Skimmer, Martha’s Pennant, Frosted Whiteface, Hudsonian Whiteface, Canada Whiteface, Chalk-fronted Corporal, Widow Skimmer, Ruby Meadowhawk, Jane’s Meadowhawk?, Saffron-winged Meadowhawk, Black Meadowhawk, Band-winged Meadowhawk, Variegated Meadowhawk, Carolina Saddlebags: Here are shots of the superb Elfin Skimmer, Widow Skimmer and a Variegated Meadowhawk.


I am aware that some of the wants are just vagrants to NS but then I found plenty of vagrants in QC so why not here.? This is a Comet Darner that I found in QC.


About mdinns15

I'm a birder, I also look at odes and leps, busy guy.
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1 Response to Hopes and Odes for 2018

  1. Richard Yank says:

    Hi Mark. Enjoyed reading your blog on a cold January day. One small correction: I believe the emerald photo is of a Racket-tailed Emerald rather than an American. May can’t come soon enough! Have a great 2018.

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