Baird's Sandpiper on Pelee's East Beach
This past Saturday morning (Sept 7th), my son and I went to Pelee to see if we could find any interesting birds or butterflies. We parked in the VC parking lot and soon found a worn Tawny Emporer fly by and perch on a nearby shrub. Later, while walking through Sparrow Field, we noted few butterflies other than Cabbage Whites! It would have been nice to see a Grey Hairstreak or Cloudless Sulphur, but no such luck. Going out towards the east beach from Sparrow Field, a large group of gulls were seen, along with a distant shorebird. Long story short, a nice Baird's Sandpiper (see bottom right of photo below) was there. Just as I was noticing the first shorebird through my binoculars, I noticed it was joined by a small flock of 7 Sanderlings... Then quickly flushed by my 4-year old son!
Marbled Godwit at Harrow
An Ontbird posting on Saturday night revealed that a Marbled Godwit was at Harrow SL. Sadly, most Essex County Lagoons are locked up like Alcatraz. Unlike Blenheim, Port Stanley*, Ridgetown*, Tilbury, which allow birdwatchers to view migrant shorebirds (and sometimes are progressive enough to offer viewing platforms*), to my knowledge, Essex lagoons are locked to the public. Its ironic that Essex does this, but then tries to sell itself as a "Birding and Nature" tourism destination.
First of Year Checkered Skipper
As I was putting some books into the trunk of my car this week, I noticed a small blueish-brown butterfly alight onto a white clover plant adjacent to my car. A closer inspection turned out to be a first-of-year Checkered Skipper! I followed it for a minute and noted that it soon flew into a 'whirl-about' with another Checkered Skipper. There must be 6 or more butterflies at this one parking lot alone (alongside a clover filled courtyard). I assumed these were recently arrived migrants but Alan Wormington informed me that they are resident in Essex County, and west Windsor has lots of ideal habitat: disturbed, industrial areas with potential for its larval foodplant: Mallow. A cool thing about this butterfly is that it is very common in the Southeastern US but drops off (non-resident) north of the 40th parallel [more on common checkered skippers].
|North American Range for Common Checkered Skipper|
I have some cool Holiday Beach hawk-watching photos to share. Stay tuned!
Good Birding (and Butterfly Watching),
Update*** --> Could this Tawny Emperor be a record breaking late record??
Photographed Sept 7th near the PPNP VC parking lot.
|Tardy Tawny? Lepidopteric Laggard?|
|Green Frog - Along marsh boardwalk|