Monday, June 27, 2011

Dickcissels in Wheatley

Click photo for larger view

A very observant birder (Ken Burrell) made an Ontbirds Posting recently about several Dickcissel (Spiza Americana) in Wheatley and I figured that I would go and try my luck at finding them. I found them quite easily. I had an Ipod on me but found I did not need it, because there were three birds in that area singing: Red winged Blackbird, Dickcissel, and Indigo Buntings!
A drive out in Essex County along Cabots Trail will give views of many Oil Derriks Pumpjacks (aka Thirstybird). I wonder what the stats are on Ontario's oil production?  It really smelt like oil next to these strange machines...

I also coupled my trip out to Wheatley with a quick visit to Hillman Marsh and Point Pelee. Hillman Marsh was surprisingly quiet, although I only spent about 10 minutes there. Belted Kingfisher, a single fly-over Great Blue Heron and some Terns were about all that was noted.

I kayaked the marsh at Point Pelee today and did not see much. Black Terns were abundant though! They don't mind you so much if you are in a kayak (the photo below was shot while kayaking) but... if you walk on the boardwalk, they pretty well dive bomb you. They literally would hover 2ft over my head!

One of my favorite birds, the Red headed Woodpecker returned to the docks in Leamington.  I can't help but wonder if someone should come in and consult with the local landowners about making life more hospitable for this bird. Its  a "Special Concern Provincially, Threatened Nationally" (ROM) . There were all kinds of feeders around which seems to be attracting House Sparrows, Brown headed Cowbirds and the like. It would be cool if someone suggested planting various fruit bearing trees, remove the cheap feeders etc... or is it better to just leave these woodpeckers in the environment they've chosen?

Good birding!

This (Banded?) Hairstreak butterfly was on the roof of my car as I was about to remove my kayak at Point Pelee Marsh Boarwalk. I think my car needs a wash!!!

 ROM, "Red-headed Woodpecker ", Royal Ontario Museum, Web, Obtained June 27th, 2011,


  1. Love those car butterflies!
    Yes it is a Banded, usually the most common hairstreak you see.

  2. Great series, and the Dickcissels are a special treat!!



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