Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Labour Day Weekend Birding v2

Hackberry Emporer - On a Hackberry! There must have been 15 Emporers on this tree alone!

I got up early on Monday and headed out to Point Pelee. I briefly stopped at the northmost parking lot and found it to be quiet with the exception of an unidentified flycatcher (Acadian Perhaps?) perched on the powerlines. Moving on, a quick stop at Delaurier Trail was very birdy, but the hot, humid air had my camera optics all fogged up. Cedar Waxwings, Least Flycatcher and a mix of Warblers were fluttering around in the sun-lit tree tops. My next stop was the visitor center parking lot. The sunlit east side of the parking lot was crawling with birds. Sadly, my camera had an "Error 30" message, that indicated the shutter was jamming.

I spent more time fumbling with my camera than I wanted to, but some birds seen were Red-eyed Vireo, Warbling Vireo, Magnolia Warbler, Blackpoll Warbler, Red breasted Nuthatch, Scarlet Tanager, and Yellow bellied Flycatcher! At one point, I gave up on my camera and just looked at a pair of Red breasted Nuthatches fluttering and skylarking over the parking lot through my binoculars. It was cool to see them flying with their stubby blunt tails. Very cool and exciting to see what everyone else is noticing on Ontbirds... There seems to be a Red breasted Nuthatch invasion!

Red breasted Nuthatch Invasion!
Yellow bellied Flycatcher
The beak of this bird hints at Scarlet Tanager... Thoughts?

A walk along west beach was a little bit of a letdown, with only a few butterflies and birds. Sharp shinned Hawks, Merlin and American Kestreal were abundant overhead. A Common Yellowthroat, Magnolia, Peewee, were seen along with a pair of noisy Kingfishers. Closer to the tip, American Redstarts and Blackpoll and possibly Cape May Warblers were seen.

Spicebush Swallowtail along West Beach

South end of NW Beach Parking Lot offered a Grey Hairstreak among many others...
At the tip of Point Pelee, a Merlin was perched at the top of a tree, giving nice close looks at this beautiful raptor. Overhead, Falcons and Accipiters flew at high altitudes. A Broad-winged Hawk (Buteo) flew over at a pretty low level.

After Pelee, I went to Hillman Marsh to see if there might be any shorebirds in the wetland cell. There were some good shorebirds behind the visitor center, due to very low water levels. Another Blackpoll warbler was seen in the scrubby area along the wetland cell. Some birds seen include:

10 + Yellowlegs
10 + White Rumped
1 Green Heron
1 Juv Black Crowned Night Heron
25 Great Egrets
5 Red Knots (?)
10 Semipalmated Plovers
5 American Black Ducks
Blackpoll Warbler
Cedar Creek in Kingsville was visited while driving between Leamington and Amherstburg.  An Osprey overhead caught my eye. But my time was limited so I continued on...
My last stop was Holiday Beach. Upon arrival I saw a birder at a picnic table photographing birds. I joined him and to my amazement, warblers just went by almost as if they were in a parade.  Black and white, Chestnut sided warbler, Magnolia, Black throated Blue, Eastern Pewee, Red-eyed and Warbling Vireos abundant as well. All the while, more Hackberry Emporers were abundant and even landing on me!

I stopped by the banding station at Holiday Beach and Paul Pratt invited me to watch how he recorded specs for a Swainson's Thrush. They were very busy so I continued on to the tower. Red-eyed Vireo and Magnolia were seen in the mist nets while exiting the banding area. At the hawk tower, I met the official counter (Todd Pepper), and Kory & Sarah again. A few seasonal raptors had gone by ... but I had to go. My time at Holiday Beach was short as I had to be home for 3pm... But overall a great day of birding!

Good birding!

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