Saturday, October 27, 2012
On friday after work, I went out to Holiday Beach to help observe at the Hawk Tower. Finally met Jeremy Hatt, a great birder and blogger that I've been reading for years. On the way to Holiday Beach, I saw hundreds of Swallows perched on a powerline, and several Horned Larks and American Pipits were hanging out on the road. I stopped to snap a few photos. Its been said that once you lifer a bird, its easy to find it after!
Lifer summary: #308
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
A good birding friend mentioned to me this past Friday that Sturgeon Creek had incredible shorebirds so I figured I would try my luck on Sunday morning. It was gorgeous out, but my time at this pleasant pelee peninsula was brief.
Before entering the park, I stopped by the Hillman Bridge, which gave looks at Cormorants, Herons and Egrets but nothing too noteworthy. An Eastern Bluebird along with some yellow rumped warblers caught my eye at a residence near the marsh.
The promised shorebird show at Sturgeon Creek was decent, but difficult to take in with the eastern sunshine back-lighting the shorebirds. I did see a Sandhill Crane, as well as some Yellowlegs, Killdeer and groups of distant Plovers. Some Dunlin and one Semi-palmated plover were around but I left hoping to go back later during the afternoon sun.
Upon arrival to PPNP, I birded Delaurier trail. I did not see anything out of the ordinary. Lots of Juncos, Kinglets, Sparrows as would be expected. I think I may have even seen Pine Sisken but not too sure on that. I heard a Carolina Wren, but did not really see much. As I approached the Delaurier parking lot, I heard a bird singing its heart out, as I rounded the corner, I discovered that it was a female Purple Finch. It sounded like a red-eyed vireo!
I was thinking while driving home about how a birder could easily set up a chair at the Delaurier Trail on the south side of the parking lot (looking north) and just watch raptors and huge flocks of migrating birds stream by overhead. Buteos and Accipiter Raptors were constantly streaming by! Huge flocks of Crows were in the Onion fields as well as flying overhead.
|Broad winged Hawk being mobbed by a Sharp Shinned Hawk|
|Singing Purple Finch... very cool! I always see females, almost never males of this species.|
Shuster trail was my next and last destination on this short trip. All the seasonal birds that one might expect to see were seen. A nice treat though, was a Winter Wren. Overhead, more raptors were flying overhead, including this nice, low Red-shouldered Hawk.
|Winter Wren scolded me on Shuster Trail|
East beach, at the terminus of Shuster Trail gave nice views of a pair of distant Bald Eagles.
Back at Sturgeon Creek, I tried to scope out any shorebirds that were hopefully front-lit, but nothing too noteworthy. A few plover species.
The Saturday prior to this trip(Oct 13th), I had birded Pelee with the Ojibway Birding Group and had a chance to see some cool birds. Off the top of my head some birds seen were:
Lesser Black backed Gull
Greater Black Backed Gull
Red breasted Nuthatch (many)
Yellow rumped Warblers (many)
Golden & Ruby crowned Kinglets
Carolina Wren (heard)
Rafts of Scaup
Northern Flicker (8 or so perched in trees near the tram loop)
Hundreds of Chipping Sparrows
Yellow bellied Sapsucker
Overhead Raptors (Sharp shinned hawks, Coopers Hawk, Merlin)
Perched Turkey Vulture
Indigo Bunting (seen by some)
PS: The latin name for Winter Wren is "Troglodytes Hiemalis"... Troglodyte being a Greek word meaning "Cave Dweller". Hiemalis is latin for Winter. Winter Wrens live in the underbrush in damp, rotting wood thickets. I've had some luck finding them at Shuster Trail in the Spring and Fall, as well as Holiday Beach near the Hawk Watching Tower.
Winter Wren is one of three images that Cornell University's Allaboutbirds.org website is using of mine.
It can be seen at this link:
Other images they are using include: Golden Eagle, Yellow bellied Sapsucker
I couldn't help but try to recall where I heard the word "troglodytes" before, and I recalled reading the word this summer and not really knowing what it meant. I found the cartoon I had read a while back using a quick google search. It was from a political cartoon in Windsor. So go ahead and incorporate the word "troglodyte" to your vocabulary!
Sunday, October 21, 2012
The photo above was taken with my cell phone in the tallgrass prairie section of the park. (See this link to read more about Ontario's Tallgrass habitat).
This past Saturday Oct 20th, was a pretty good day to bird Ojibway Park. My wife, two kids and I went for a 1 hour walk at Ojibway. We walked the main path through the main forested area, and of course, I brought my camera. It was pretty quiet until I was blasted with "tea kettle tea kettle tea kettle" from a nearby Carolina Wren. I pished for a few moments (to the chagrin of my wife and son) and was able to coax a great photo of this awesome Carolinian species. Amazingly, I hear this bird alot when I'm out birding but only see this bird 5-10 times in a year.
Some other birds seen during this walk included: Hermit Thrush, Eastern Phoebe, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker as well as three White-breasted Nuthatches.
|A late Wilson's Warbler|
This birding walk had some great birds, especially considering I was pushing a stroller for most of this walk! The Blue headed Vireo was really nice, its actually my first self-found fall BHV. The Wilson's Warbler was a nice surprise as well. Hairy Woodpecker and Carolina Wren are residents at Ojibway but not often seen.
This week after work, I had a Black Capped Chickadee eat some sunflower seeds out of my hand. I have video of it, but will post some other time... I can't find it on my youtube account!
Thursday, October 4, 2012
Just a short posting tonight. I had gone out to look for Pipits once or twice this month on the advice that they sometimes hang out on compost piles at a landfill just north of Kingsville. After scoping the compost mounds for twenty minutes from the roadside berm, all I had seen was sky-blackening numbers of European Starlings and some doves in the area. I left, dejected.
Then, while driving home, while still in the 'pleasent valley' area of Essex Co, I noticed four little sparrow-like birds perched on a power line on a gravel side road. I pulled over to see these buffy beauties! Lifer!!! #307! I took a few shots from my car, then walked out in a recently harvested soyabean field to get front lit shots. A nearby raptor flushed them, and I even got a chance to hear their tell-tale chirping flight calls.
Other birds seen in the area were some Yellow rumped Warblers, and a three separate American Kestrels. The Kestrel below had a huge insect, perhaps a Praying Mantis. Pretty cool!
I'm hoping to see Saw Whet Owls by the end of the month, it would be pretty cool to have three lifers in three blog postings. Any good advice to help me find one would be appreciated! ;^)