Sunday, May 20, 2012

Three Days ... Three Lifers

Chimney Swift over a Chimney!
Were you expecting something more rare? :-p
Saturday: Chimney Swift (#298)
Don't laugh, but this spring, someone had posted to Ontbirds that Chimney Swifts had arrived, and I thought to myself, do I have those on my life list?... The answer is NO! This Saturday, a birding friend from Kingsville (after chuckling at my desire to see a Chimney Swift) said to go to Kingsville and look up! lol... Thanks Kory! Now that I have officially acknowledged them, its interesting to read a little about them. They are at risk in Ontario due to the change in design of Chimneys (open brick design vs covered natural gas style). Also, they spend all their time in the air, eating and even bathing by dipping into water in flight. You never see them perched (like you see tree swallows) because their feet are not designed to perch. They have small claws that allow them to hang against the inner wall of a tree or chimney. So thats it, they are either in the air or in a chimney... pretty cool!

Friday: Whimbrel (#297)
As you may have read already, I lifered Whimbrel on Friday after work this week by twitching this bird at Hillman Marsh. Click here to read more on this bird.
Ten or so Whimbrel at Hillman... Did you know that a group of shorebirds is sometimes called a contradiction of shorebirds? I read this on my IBird App and thought to myself,... only a group of Solitary Sandpipers should be called a contradiction!!!

Sunday: Lark Sparrow (#299)
This weekend, my wife and I decided we would make a day trip out to the Toledo Zoo. Toledo is about an hour south of the Windsor so it made for a good trip. But since we were going to be in Toledo, I figured I would try to sneak in a little pre-zoo birding walk at Oak Openings Metropark. Oak Openings is known for some cool breeding birds such as Summer Tanager, Acadian Flycatcher, Lark Sparrow, Blue Grosbeck, Pileated Woodpecker (see here for more).  Since the zoo trip was the days' focus, we only had about 30 or so minutes to bird this park, so I decided on the Girdham Road Sand Dunes area. Lark Sparrow was easily found (conspicuous), and I took a few photos of these beautiful birds and headed off to the zoo with the family.
Two Lark Sparrows, one banded and the other not.
This is an amazing sparrow. Very distinct plumage in the face, and a very nice song. I was really happy to see this bird today.

Regarding butterflies, I also saw an American Copper as well as many Pipevine Swallowtail butterflies during my brief walk at OOMP. I was hoping to see a Karner Blue Butterfly, but dipped. Here is a link to a Butterfly Checklist for Oak Openings in Ohio.

Oak Openings Habitat @ Girdham Road Dunes
Wild Lupine
I would really like to make it out to Carden Alvar for the OFO Field Trip in early June. I am going to try my best to make that happen. That amazing trip would probably give me a few lifers (Upland Sandpiper and Sedge Wren to name a few)... The logistics of getting there and back are killing me though... We'll see.... Virginia Rail or American Bittern would be really nice to see as well.

Good Birding,

Life List Summary:
Chimney Swift #298
Lark Sparrow #299

1 comment:

  1. Well done indeed; those are all great birds. It's interesting to think of what your 300th bird might be. You're in a position to make it something fantastic (Yellow Rail perhaps? ~_o )



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