Sunday, May 4, 2014

Henslow's Sparrow and Some Early May Birding Highlights

Henslow's Sparrow - 10:09AM May 4th, 2014 Point Pelee

Wow, I've had some great luck with rare Sparrows this weekend! First a Clay coloured on Friday evening, then today, a Henslows! It goes to show you that every dog has his day!

I had been birding by myself, occasionally meeting up with friends then separating from them.  At one point I crossed paths with Josh & Jeremy and birded momentarily with them. I had to leave the park today early to catch a family gathering so I left Josh and Jeremy, only to find this bird, a few hundred meters north of them! I found this bird so simply. I had seen a few Winter Wrens along this west beach trail then I saw this small bird on the path in front of me. It flushed from the path into a tree about 4m away from me. It stayed there for several minutes while I called Jeremy, who was 150m south of where I was on the trail. I didn't so much as "pish" to find this bird.

A few notes:
  1. For the life of me, I could not get a good photo of the bird. I had all the wrong settings for exposure, metering, mode, white balance, even my camera was on the 7m, not 3m minimum focus distance! ( I might have to bug Josh for any good photos he may have gotten).
  2. It was exciting to Ontbird this bird and see people flood in to see the bird. I was worried that people might stress out the bird though. Many people got a chance to see this bird though and I hope the bird's welfare was respected by those that saw it throughout the afternoon.
  3. I can't believe I found this. I have seen Henslows at Pelee on two other occasions and I always asked myself how the heck someone found such a bird. I guess its just good timing!

Clay coloured Sparrow - May 2nd, 2014 Point Pelee

As I was driving home from Pelee today (I drove home at 1pm, had a family commitment) I re-read my ontbirds posting and was horrified to see that my phone auto-corrected Henslows-->Helsows ... WTF?!?!?

I've had two or three such mis-naming of birds species:

1- "Red shouldered Blackbirds" (that was my fault... Just tired)
2- My phone also auto-corrected "8 Golden Plovers along road E" to "8 Golden Lovers along road E"
3- and now: Henslows-->Helsows Sparrows.

....I know of at least three LLB's that are going to chide me about this auto-correcting and typographical error prone ontbird/wepbird postings ...LOL!

Other good birds seen today were:

Blue headed Vireo (FOS)
Blue winged Warbler (FOS)
Black and white Warbler (FOS)
Hooded Warbler (FOS)
Red headed Woodpecker (FOS)
Nashville Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Horned Grebe
And lots of Winter Wrens!
Hooded Warbler

Blue Headed Vireo
Red Admiral Butterfly

Blue winged Warbler
I wanted to see the Female Cerulean warbler as well as the Yellow Breasted Chat, but I dipped on those! I saw a Red-headed Woodpecker (distant) while birding "Cactus Field" which was really nice. Red headed Woodpeckers are one of my favorite birds!

Good Birding!
Dwayne Murphy
I took this photo as I left the scene... Lots of people showed up to see this bird!


  1. See? I TOLD you that you see awesome birds. Very exciting!

  2. Looks like it was a good haul Dwayne :)



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