I did a quick two-hour kayak trip to Peche Island today. It was exciting to get out there for the first time in many months. It was birdy. No lifers or un-expected species but a nice listing of birds. Some firsts for the year etc.
Wood Ducks were seen as well as Hooded Mergansers and Mallards. Many Canada Geese were around as well as some swans.
First Belted Kingfisher of the year. Two were seen. Many Northern Flickers were heard. Two Bald Eagles were seen, as well as a Sharp Shinned Hawk. Turkey Vultures glided overhead as well.
My first non-wintering Warbler of the year. This Yellow-Rumped Warbler was a welcome sight. I had a hard time pish-ing him into view from a thicket of branches.
Only one or two Yellow Bellied Sapsucker were seen. It was amazing how many trees were tapped for sap though. Its funny how much more observant I am this year than last. Last year I saw 4 YBSS all year. This year, I must be close to twenty just in the last week! This bird is a keystone species making life better for many other species. For example, I have read once that the sap-wells give food for Ruby throated Hummingbirds. Even today, I saw an Eastern Comma butterfly feeding off the sap, as well as many flies and insects. Incredible. (See this article about how pileated woodpeckers are keystone species as well)
This Eastern Comma butterfly was enjoying the sap-tapped tree. The Yellow Bellied Sapsucker got a really nice flow from this tree. Drops of sap were pouring out.
Tree Swallows were everywhere.
Bonapartes Gulls were flying by the Windsor Shoreline at Kayak Cove as I was leaving. About 50 flew right by me. I took several photos and even saw a juvenile BGs with the classic "M" pattern on its wings and back. Almost easily confused with the Black Legged Kittiwake we saw earlier in Jan this year, minus the black bar across the back of its neck.