Saturday, April 22, 2017

Earth Day Birding at Point Pelee - April 22nd, 2017

Just a quick posting today. A 4 hour walk this morning at Pelee provided some decent birding. I walked from White Pine to Cactus Field over to Tilden's Trail then over to Woodland nature trail, down to Post-woods Trail, then over to the Serengeti Tree then Tram Loop Woods.

Woodland Nature trail was pretty good this morning. I was happy to see Red breasted Nuthatches, a female YBSS, my first of season Blue headed Vireo, Nashville Warbler and Black throated greeen Warblers. One rarity that was observed was a singing Tufted Titmouse!

Post woods trail was very birdy this morning with a few small flocks of warblers that included: Yellow rumped, Pine and Black throated Green warblers.

Two species that I was hoping to get but missed were:  L. Waterthrush & Lincolns Sparrow.

Seeing four warbler species + Blue headed Vireo today was pretty exciting. Its only going to get better from here!

Good Birding!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Windsor's Malden Park - Mid April Migrants

I stopped by Malden Park on the way home today after work, and was pleasantly surprised to see some nice migrants. One highlite was hearing a Brown Thrasher singing its heart out, with its paired sounds. I was listening to its calls for a few minutes before I was able to spot the bird - and one can't help but smile when one hears its song. 

A few other common birds were around, Black capped Chickadees, Flickers and Downy Woodpeckers - but a familiar woodpecker call graced my ears as I walked along the forest -field habitat - perhaps my favorite bird - a Red Headed Woodpecker!

Blue grey Gnatcatchers were seen and heard today, along with a pair of Yellow-rumped Warblers and my FOS Black throated Green Warblers! A flyby raptor seems to have fields marks that hint at Broad-winged Hawk.

This past weekend, while visiting the in-laws, my kids found this snake on the road. Sadly, it was not moving even though it did not appear to be crushed by road traffic. I grabbed a stick nearby and gave it a more dignified resting place in the grass along the side of the road. Perhaps a sharp eyed raptor will eat this little fellow.

I photographed this snake assuming that it was simply a common Garter Snake, but remembered a field mark that I had heard about for the "Butlers" subspecies of Garter Snake. The field mark is a bright yellow scale in front of the snake's eyes. I had asked herp expert Josh V for a confirmation and he agreed on the ID. Regarding the ID of this snake Josh noted: 'Of note are the small head (its neck is the same width as the head), relatively short and stocky appearance, reddish brown coloration along its sides, and pale crescent in front of the eye (a feature not noted in most field guides, but something I have noticed over the years).' I've seen many snakes over the last few years of nature observation but this is my first confirmed look at a Butler's Garter Snake. It was found on a residential road that bisects the South Cameron Woodlot forest in Windsor. Sadly, I've seen many dead snakes on this road over the years.

Good birding, herping, leping, and botanizing!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Black necked Stilts at Windsor's Ganatchio Trail

GPS coordinate for the Wetland where the birds where:

This afternoon, Jeremy Bensette called me and asked me to followup on an E-bird report that a birder - Samantha Dundas had posted at about 1pm this afternoon. She had listed 7 Black necked Stilts! Jeremy suggested that they were along riverside drive, so ask I drove to East Windsor, I ended up using the ebird checklists' pinpoint as my GPS destination point. I was familiar with the wetlands at Ganatchio as I walk that path a few times per year with my family.

I really didn't think the Stilts would pan out - but low and behold --- wow! 7 gorgeous stilts were in the middle of that wetland. Of course, I quickly informed Jeremy that yes- they were present. 

My intention was to post the birds to Ontbirds, and state: "Please see the attached Ebird list for the location and the finder"... the intention was there ... but ya, I suck at typing on my phone, with its slow performance out in the field. Also, in the presence of good birds - typing somehow becomes difficult for me :).

I felt bad as the day wore on  - I was at my mother in laws house eating festive Easter dinners. But yes, even some local Essex birders requested details about where these birds were. 

I will go at 7am Easter Sunday to see if they are there still and report a yes / no to ontbirds.

Its amazing to think that there were flocks of these beautiful shorebirds (35 Avocets at Hillman and these 7 Stilts at Ganatchio) that settled into the region last night. And at least in this location, a local birder had the skill to ID them and ebird them... Amazing!

Good Birding!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Yellow bellied Sapsuckers at Black Oak Heritage Park in Windsor

Saturday, I stopped by Ojibway Park hoping to see Yellow bellied Sapsuckers and eventually found some (3!) at Black Oak Heritage Park. Seeing this particular species during spring migration brings great joy. They are common enough that you will most likely see them yet rare enough that you might need to look for them or perhaps know their call.

I went to Point Pelee today with high hopes of seeing several new migrants but Pelee was a little quieter (bird wise) than I was expecting!

Forster's Terns and Common Loons up close were nice to see at Leamington Marina.  Rusty Blackbirds, Fox Sparrow and a Rick M sighting were Pelee highlights. I had my first of year Spring Azures which was exciting to see.

Good birding, botanizing and leping!


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