Monday, June 13, 2011

Bluebirds, Buntings, Butterflies and Breeders

Even though I was sick this weekend,  I made an attempt to go for a short walk on Sunday and I don't even know if its worth posting with so many awesome birds around. White-faced Ibis have shown up at Point Mouillee (which is closer to Windsor than Point Pelee is) and Willow Ptarmigan was found in Oshawa. Jean Iron's site has some great photos: Luc Fazio's took video and shared on youtube: Willow Ptarmigan Youtube Video. I guess my photos of juvenile Robins pale in comparison :^).
Even though very common, a recently fledged Robin is still a beautiful Thrush to observe

I walked Black Oak Heritage Park Sunday and saw some great birds and butterflies. My favorite area of this park is a little grassy meadow surrounded on the North and South by Carolinean Forests. Some of my best birding experiences have been in this valley-meadow. The google map below makes an attempt to show the location of this grassy area behind the Dainty Rice company. This area is also crawling with butterflies, in particular, Pipevine Swallowtails.

View Larger Map

Possibly the most interesting bird I saw this weekend was a breeding Chestnut sided Warbler! I had no idea they breed this far south but according to the Ojibway birding checklist, they are marked as breeders.  This photo shows a Chestnut sided Warbler trying to impale a (spider nest?) on a short branch.

Below are the Buntings and Bluebirds sorry for the repetition, but it's summer... I still get excited seeing Eastern Bluebirds. There are no Bluebird Houses that you can hang out around to take photos... I'm thinking the Bluebirds at Ojibway are generally using natural cavaties in the trees...

In this meadow behind Black Oak Heritage Park I saw:
Indigo Buntings
Eastern Bluebirds
Chestnut Sided Warbler (Wow... I was shocked to see this in June!)
Warbling Vireo (Close to the ground perched on a branch)
Red eyed Vireo (heard)
Great Crested Flycatcher
Great Blue Heron (flyover)
Red tailed Hawk
American Goldfinch
House Wren
Song Sparrow
Spicebush Swallowtail (many) -8
Red Spotted Purple -1
American Painted Lady-1
Giant Swallotail-2

3-4 Spicebush Swallowtails on the same flower... cool!

Good Birding,

PS: I learned something about swallowtails today. A Black Swallowtail has two rows of yellow (see below) on the upperside of the wing, and a Spicebush Swallowtail has only one row of yellow (see above). A pipevine swallowtail has no rows of yellow! I need to invest in a small butterfly guide.


  1. Thank you so much for the map to Black Oak. And what is that gorgeous butterfly on the header of your blog today? WOW! I have a butterfly guide, but I have only memorized about five butterflies so far. I love field guides. I have a fern guide and a wildflower guide. The next purchase will be a mushroom book.

  2. I really need a butterfly guide, other than my phone app. Have you had any recommended?

  3. You're getting closer with the Bluebirds, I think! They're the kind of subject that requires much patience and luck.. at least in my experience.

    Lots of hungry robins and starlings here, too...

  4. Kiki, I would love to get a guide on trees and Carolinean plants as well. The butterfly is a Baltimore Checkerspot, and it was pretty exciting to find it!
    Crystal, I do not really know of any good guides. I did see one at the PPNP bookstore for about $10 that was pretty nicely illustrated. Ojibway Park might have some good books on hand as well.
    Stuart, thanks for the good advice. I didn't get closer, just a tighter crop!

  5. I carry "Photo Field Guide to the Butterflies of Southern Ontario," which I probably bought at PPNP store. It was $9.95.



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