Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Quick, three beers! Olive sided Flycatcher at Ojibway Prairie


After work today, I drove to the Ojibway Tallgrass Prairie for a relaxing walk. I was hoping to see some interesting butterflies, but did not really see any rarities. (Monarch, Buckeyes, Eastern Tailed Blues, Pearl Crescent etc.) I really had been hoping to find an Olive sided Flycatcher this season, and recent sightings by Blake Mann and Paul Pratt reminded me that indeed, they are in season! I was not expecting to see one at Ojibway tonight, but to my utter amazement, one was perched at the top of a dead, leafless tree in the Ojibway Tallgrass Prairie! I am quite confident that I'm identifying it properly, I had mis-identified some Eastern Pewees in the past as Olive sided Flycatchers. This bird was large, had barely visible dusky wingbars, perched at the top of any tree it was perched in. I wish I had heard its call ("quick three beers"), but it was not vocalizing.

The Olive sided Flycatcher is yet another species at risk. According to ROM, its status is "Special Concern Provincially, Threatened Nationally". See http://www.rom.on.ca/ontario/risk.php?doc_type=fact&lang=&id=329 for more details. According to the Ibird App on my phone, it indicates that breeding bird surveys are showing alarming negative trends. Its estimated that its population has declined 72% between 1966-2002! Its a life bird at #305. The MNR has another PDF fact sheet here: http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/stdprodconsume/groups/lr/@mnr/@species/documents/document/276684.pdf

Anyone know what tree this is?

Some birds seen this week at Ojibway:
Northern Flicker 1
White breasted Nuthatch 1
Robins 2
Red Breasted Grosbeck 2
Olive Sided Flycatcher 1
Eastern Pewee 4
Eastern Bluebird 2
Common Nighthawk 2
Cedar Waxwings 50
Blue Jays 10
RT Humingbird 2 (chasing a nuthatch!)
Field Sparrow 2
American Goldfinch 10
Blue grey Gnatcatcher 2
Red eyed Vireo 1

While walking back to my car, I noticed a tree that was loaded with berries, and birds! Cedar waxwings were flying in and out of this tree, and a Vireo and BG Gnatcatcher were seen as well.

I took the photo below while picking up my son at my mother in laws house. It was in a residential neighborhood!

Just found: Checkered skipper, looking fresh and blue-ish in my mother-in-laws garden! Taken with my cell-phone!

Good birding!

Last six lifers:

American Bittern #300
Willow Flycatcher #301
Upland Sandpiper #302
Bank Swallow #303
Cliff Swallow #304
Olive Sided Flycatcher #305

PS: This was a posting from Sunday that I never published, but will add as a post-script to this posting.

While waiting to get my hair cut last week, I noticed a bird-related Subaru advertisement behind the cover of a recent Macleans magazine. I went to take a photo of it with my cell phone, but realized I left it in my car. This week, the ABA had a blog posting about the ad, so I couldn't help but re-post.

I've attempted to bird Holiday Beach on Friday (Aug 24, 2012) after work, but not much of note was seen. The place was crawling with Cedar Waxwings. Other birds seen include:
Eastern Pewees,
Downy Woodpeckers
Black capped Chickadees
Warbling and Red eyed Vireos
Black and White Warbler
Blue grey gnatcatcher
Yellow warblers
Northern Flickers
Belted Kingfisher
Bald Eagle (flushing many ducks, egrets and herons)

I was hoping to see an Olive-sided Flycatcher, but no luck! Maybe the birding gods are punishing me, with no lifers in several months!

Good birding!


  1. Congrats on getting your Olive-sided, Dwayne!

  2. Congrats! Crystal and I had one at Malden Park a couple of weeks ago. It was her first as well.

  3. Congrats on the lifer! That ad is hilarious- there's only been one bird that I thought looked like a dolphin and it was a Western Kingbird. Can't explain it.



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