Sunday, September 1, 2019
I birded Holiday Beach for an hour or two this afternoon. It was cloudy and started raining, but I figured I would go for a walk with my umbrella!
As always - Labour Day Weekend is a great time to go birding in Essex County - with southbound warbler migration in full swing. Today, I had over 10 species of warblers at Holiday Beach. There were many birds to sort through and many went un-identified. Blackburnian Warblers were abundant and seemed to greatly outnumber all the other species present.
I think I photographed an Olive sided Flycatcher - although I might be mistaken on its ID. It was a little more in the interior canopy than I am used to seeing them!
Rick from Leamington informed me on Saturday that there was a Black Witch Moth being seen at the Barn Swallow Canopy by the tip of Pelee. I was unable to twitch this moth but Rick was gracious in sharing his photo with the blog readers. Thanks Rick!
Friday, August 23, 2019
Last night, I went for a walk with a great naturalist and friend, Moe Bottos. Moe has been a passionate teacher and naturalist for many years. He has traveled the world to discover all forms of wildlife and developed a fondness for insects and in particular - Moths in the Catocala genus.
It was a cool evening and at about 9pm I met Moe and his wife (and dog!) for a moth walk. Its always a treat because Moe knows his moths! His name is even printed in the Peterson Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America as some of his photos are used in the guide.
We were looking to mainly focus on Catocala moth species, and more specifically - we were hoping to see the Sad Underwing. I'm 'sad' to say that we didn't see it on this particular evening.
But, there were two new catocala moth species that I did get to see. One was the Clouded Underwing, and the other being the Inconsolable Underwing (Catocala insolabilis). I did not get a photo of the Inconsolable Underwing... and I was pretty upset about that for the whole night. I guess you could say that I was inconsolable! lol
We ended up seeing 30+ catocala specimens with about 6 different varieties.
My Catocala life list features the following species:
Sad Underwing (new for Canada [link])
Yellow banded Underwing
The Penitent Underwing
Old wife Underwing
Ultronia Underwing* (seen earlier in the summer in past mothing trips)
Locust Underwing ** (not really a catocala genus moth)
Clouded Underwing (NEW!)
Inconsolable Underwing (NEW!)
Anyway, Maurice is hosting a moth event at Point Pelee this Saturday night at 9pm. Moth sheets will be up, and underwing moth walks will most definately be taking place.
Here is a link if you are interested in going!
PS: Here are some former moth postings if interested:
Also, Paul Pratt wrote a great writeup on Catocala species at this link on the ojbiway park website:
Tuesday, August 20, 2019
I saw the following 8 species in SE Arizona during the last few days of July 2019. Yes - I have already covered these sightings over this 7-part series, but I thought it would be cool to list all of them in one spot.
Its seems that each mountain range [see my travel map from posting #1 of 7] had its 3-5 species, and to get 8 species, you would have to travel around like I did. There were many hummingbirds that I had seen while driving or had brief, distant views that went unidentified. These are the species that I saw:
1-Black throated Hummingbird (Madera Canyon)
2-Rivoli's Hummingbird (Split from Magnificent Hummingbird) (Madera Canyon)
3-Broad billed Hummingbird (Madera Canyon)
4-Violet Capped Hummingbird (Patagonia)
5-Broad tailed Hummingbird (Miller Canyon)
6-Blue throated Hummingbird (Mountain Gem) (Cave Creek Canyon)
7-Anna's Hummingbird (Brown Canyon)
8-Rufous Hummingbird (Patagonia)
All of these hummingbirds are equally amazing ... but I must say that seeing the Anna's Hummingbird at Brown Canyon --- nowhere near a feeder - just out in nature was breathtaking. Seeing a male Anna's with its pink gorget reflection in perfect sunlight is an amazing thing to witness and will not soon be forgotten! The most common hummingbird in SE Arizona during this time period is the thick-billed hummingbird. Its a gorgeous hummingbird - but as one naturalist put it - familiarity breed discontentment.
Some other life birds that I did not mention in my previous series of posts are below. There are some other birds that are lifers as well - such as a female/juvenile Scott's Oriole that I saw in Box Canyon. I never took a photo because - it was just a distant, brief sighting. I had photographed some Ravens as I drove through New Mexico which I'm quite certain were Mexican Ravens (Chihuahuan Raven) --- but I accidentally erased them from my memory card! Another photo that I lost accidentally was Violet Crowned Hummingbirds. I had some stunning photos of this hummingbird perched on a tree branch but somehow, I forgot to protect it from getting erased. (I did have a basic photo at a feeder saved though).
If I had to go back - I wouldn't change much. I think my biggest regret is perhaps not calling the Chiricahua National Monument to see if I could drive through to Portal AZ through the mountains (the road was closed due to heavy rains making the road impassable). Even though I was unable to drive through - and I lost several hours of birding time to driving, I would still state that seeing that national monument (organ-pipe rock formations) was quite stunning.
One other regret was not visiting high elevation sites in the Chiricahua Mountains (partly due to the road closure mentioned above). Even from the Portal AZ side, it was so removed from gas stations, and cellular connectivity, or WIFI - I just didn't have my bearings on getting to some higher elevation parks within that mountain range which could have given me: Mexican Chickadees, Red-faced Warbler and perhaps Zone tailed Hawks. I was told that the research station staff would be helpful but... the lady there didn't seem to be a naturalist.
Another painful miss was the Rose-throated Becard that was being seen at Tumacácori National Historical Park. Amazingly - someone had gone as far as posting GPS co-ordinates - but I was simply too offline to even consider attempting to use tech out in the field.
I hope you enjoyed this 7-part report on Birding in SE Arizona.
Trip Lifer Summary !!!!
Cactus Wren 412
Brown Crested Flycatcher 414
Curve billed Thrasher 415
Road Runner 416
Bridled Titmouse 417
Lesser Goldfinch 418
Gila Woodpecker 419
Tropical Kingbird 421
Black throated Hummingbird 422
Rivoli's Hummingbird (Genetically split from Magnificent Hummingbird) 423
Broad billed Hummingbird 424
Hepatic Tanager 425
Arizona Woodpecker 426
Harris's Hawk 427
Dusky Capped Flycatcher 427
Acorn Woodpecker 428
Ladder Backed Woodpecker 429
Canyon Towhee 430
Botteri's Sparrow 431
Montezuma Quail 431 (Heard only)
Anna's Hummingbird 432
Mexican Jay 434
Ladder backed Woodpecker 435
Violet Capped Hummingbird 436
Black Phoebe 437
Inca Dove 438
Gambels Quail 439
Cassin's Sparrow 440 (grasslands between canyons near Patagonia-Sonoita AZ)
Five-lined Sparrow 442
Ruffous capped Sparrow 443
Black throated Sparrow 444
Varied Bunting 445
Grey Hawk 446
Broad tailed Hummingbird 447
Albert's Towhee 448
Scotts Oriole 449
Sulphur-bellied flycatcher 450
Chihuahuan Raven 451
Cassin's Kingbird 452
Western Screech Owl 453
Scaled Quail 454
Graces Warbler 455
Painted Redstart 456
Yellow Eyed Junco 457
Blue throated Hummingbird 458
Elegant Trogon 459
Sunday, August 18, 2019
If you've been reading this blog - you know that I have a love for observing, photographing and identifying butterflies and this trip gave me the chance to pick up about twenty new species of butterflies. In Arizona - almost all the species you see would be life butterflies if you come from the great lakes region in the carolinian forest life zone.
One butterfly that I was hoping to photograph was a Two-tailed Swallowtail. I saw this butterfly several times in AZ - but sadly - I was unable to photograph it because they were always on the move!
I end here with a list of new butterflies that I had seen (there were many others that were not lifers, for example, Queen Butterflies, Pipevine Swallowtails, American Lady, and Common Sootywings to name a few).
Butterflies from Southeast Arizona Birding Trip:
5-Arizona powdered skipper
13-Common streaky skipper
14-Golden headed scallopwing
16-Funereal Duskywing (Or Mournful?)
18-Golden banded skipper
20-Desert Checkered Skipper
21- Two tailed Swallowtail
|Golden headed Scallopwing|
|Common Streaky Skipper|
|Arizona powdered Skipper|
|Dull Firetip Butterfly - A huge skipper!|
|Desert Checkered Skipper|
Good butterfly watching!