Monday, March 28, 2016

Erieau Harlequin Ducks + Breeding Carolina Wrens?

Easter Monday is traditionally one of my first days of spring birding --- but this year, I had relatives visiting from Ottawa --- so an afternoon of viewing early migrants was not in the works for me. But as you might have guessed from the title of this posting, I woke up early (ok 8:30) and headed out to Erieau Point to see if I could luck out with the recently found Harlequin Ducks. Blake, Allen and Ken had described them well in their blogs and since this was a lifer - I was almost obligated to go out and find them.

When I got to Erieau, it was cold, windy and rainy. I scanned the watery lake Erie lakescape and pretty well assumed I was not going to see them. But somehow, I picked out some dark ducks that had white facial spots. There were some false alarms with some female buffleheads but I think I have diagnostic photos of Harlequins here. A life bird at 398!

Breeding Carolina Wren Habitat

On Easter Sunday, I was at my dads house in Windsor.... and while hanging out in the back yard with family, a Carolina Wren started belting out its tell tale Tea-Kettle Tea Kettle Tea Kettle song! I walked around to the back area of my dads yard (behind his shed) and saw a Carolina Wren singing its heart out! I ran to my car and grabbed my binoculars and Bino-scoped it singing. The first ten seconds of this video are blurry but the remaining twenty seconds after that are not too bad. The wren jumped down to a pile of twigs and I had great views of it in my binos when low and behold, a second wren was bouncing around as well (his lady friend perhaps?). Its quite probable that these birds are breeding somewhere in the messy piles of sticks and twigs in my dads back yard!

Its not a total surprise though... I've seen / heard Carolina Wren at my parents house in Windsor on several occasions. Some readers may remember this wren I photographed on an icicle. It was drinking water dropplets melting off the barn roof! That was back in 2011.

I think that whether you are a pro birder or just starting out --- if you are having a drink at a family get-together and find nesting Carolina Wrens in you back yard.... and you're in Canada.... thats pretty cool.

Shuster Trail at Point Pelee? Nope --- my parents' house

Good birding!

PS: I dropped my old honda civic off at a local junk yard in Windsor and could not help but notice a little yellow flower in the gravel driveway... Dandelion? No... I think it could be Colts - Foot! A chance botanical discovery!

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