With numerous Ontbirds postings over the last week about Red necked Phalaropes I figured I would make an attempt (my last for the season) to kayak Point Pelee's Marsh (Lake Pond) and find them myself. Sure enough, a pair was spotted at one of the first "Islands" that I visited. The black streak across the eye is easily seen from great distance! One of the two Phalaropes had some golden highlights in its plumage, and the other was monochromatic.
Like I've said many time before, it seems shorebirds ignore people when they are in a kayak. I was about 5 meters away from these two Phalaropes, a Greater Yellowlegs and a few Semi-Sandpipers. At one point, they flushed because of a Northern Harrier that flew by, but then returned immediately.
Some birds that I saw today (Saturday) include:
Red necked Phalarope 2
Short billed Dowitchers 20
Black bellied Plovers 3
Least Sandpipers 30
Semipalmated Sandpipers 30
Yellowlegs Sp. 6
Semipalmated Plovers 5
Spotted Sandpiper 5
Perhaps more diversity could have been found by navigating to other areas of Point Pelee's Marsh (see map), such as West and East Cranberry Pond, but as usual, I only had a few precious hours to bird on Saturday.
|I was hoping this was a Western Sandpiper, but no, its Semipalmated.|
A ditch on the nortwest side of the road leading to Point Pelee had about 20 meters of Purple Loostrife and many butterflies had taken notice. Whites, Sulphurs, Painted Lady, Monarch, Common Buckeye, Grey Hairstreak, Fiery and Sachem Skippers were all present.
Earlier on in the week, I had photographed this Duskywing below. I had heard about some duskywings having a plume on their hindlegs, so I thought I had found something interesting here. An online book I found while researching (Butterflies of Canada) mentioned that the following duskywings have such plumes: "Male duskywings of Icelus (Dreamy Duskywing - Too late in the season), zarucco, Funeralis, Persius (Persius Duskywing), Lucilius (Columbine), Afranius (Afranius Duskywing), and Baptisiae (Wild Indigo) have hair plumes on their hindlegs. So, considering the time and location, I think its just a Wild Indigo that had its wing oriented with the sun in a way to show some really nice iridecsence. The four white spots are hardly visible in this photo, but in others they are visible from the underside of the forwing.
|Iridescent Wild Indigo Duskywing, with plumes on hindleg|
|Ventral View of a Tawny Emporer|
Some of my best birding trips in my short three years of birding have been at Holiday Beach (Warblers peaking on Labour Day Weekend), and today gave me a little taste of what is to come over the next two or three weeks. Since May was a such a letdown in the warbler department, I look forward to enjoying vireos, flycatchers and warblers, as well as Raptors on their Southbound migration over the next month. Holiday Beach is one of North America's best Raptor Migration hotspots.
Some birds seen at Holiday Beach include:
Hundreds of Great Egrets
Many Great Blue Herons
Heard Carolina Wrens (many)
Cedar Waxwings (many)
Eastern Wood Pewee
Black and White Warbler
Cape May (or Magnolia) Warbler
|Hundreds of Egrets are still at Big Creek. This is a split photo, the top looking north from the big creek bridge, the bottom looking south. I looked for wing-tags but saw none.|