Thursday, October 4, 2012

American Pipits... Just by chance

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.

American Pipits are also known as Buff-breasted Pipits or Water Pipits. They breed in the arctic north, and migrate to the Southern US for the Winter. My birding field guide lists them as 'common' in migration, but that has not been the case for me. Many birders have told me to listen for them flying over in flocks but, I'm old school, I prefer to see them perched or walking around on the ground. I guess they can be found along beaches, watery areas and fields. I had an impression that they could be seen in the Onion Fields or any birding hotspots along the north shore of Lake Erie.

This yellow rumped Palm Warbler was curious and bounced around in a leafless tree in nice sunlight.

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! ;^)

Good birding!

Lifer Summary: American Pipit #307


  1. Congrats on #307!!!!! That is amazing! I agree, seeing them is far better than just hearing them :) I hope you find a Saw Whet!

  2. Glad you finally got those elusive Pipits, Dwayne!

  3. I like the Kestrel shot Dwayne. I find they are impossible to approach. Even better to get one with something it caught!



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