Saturday, September 8, 2018

Great Kiskadee at Rondeau + Migrating Monarchs and Warblers at Point Pelee

This morning, I checked my email upon waking up and was happy to see that Steve C. posted a note to Ontbirds that the Kiskadee was being seen at Rondeau. Being only an hour away - I figured I would try to go see this spectacular bird. The story behind this bird is a little interesting. A woman who goes by the name "rainbowdragon" on Inaturalist photographed the bird and posted it to Inaturalist. Ken Burrell picked up on the sighting and someone soon checked the Exif Data on the photo which contained the GPS co-ordinates of the bird. Some of the excellent local Chatham Kent birders went on Friday evening to find it! Wow!

This range map of the Great Kiskadee hints that it is more of a central and south american bird which usually only goes up into southern Texas. Its really really really far from its normal range. I can't help but wonder about the provenance of this bird. Is it an escapee? Or did it really fly this far north???
Range Map for Great Kiskadee - SRC:

There were many familiar faces around to see this bird. I was happy to catch up with Rick from Leamington. We also caught up with Blake Mann and Allen Woodliffe - who are excellent naturalists and excellent bloggers. Blake and Allen are both huge influences in my efforts to appreciate the natural history of our area. I found Blakes blog as I started to get an interest in birding, and Allen of course has shared a wealth of information on botany which got me a little more interested in botany. I think Rick was instrumental in re-finding the Kiskadee at around 10 am after it had not been seen for an hour. This bird is a life bird for me! This is the first life bird for 2018 and my 409th species for North America.

Lots of birds were to be seen at Rondeau
Some that were seen include:
Great Kiskadee
Great crested Flycatcher
Eastern Kingbird
Least Flycatcher
Cape May Warbler
American Redstart
Magnolia Warbler
Palm Warbler
Purple Finches
Caspian Tern
Common Tern
American Goldfinch
Turkey Vulture
Bald Eagle
Belted Kingfisher
Carolina Wren
Cedar Waxwing
Greater Yellowlegs
Morning Dove
Rose breasted Grosebeak
Blue Jay
Ring billed Gull

At Point Pelee- there was a strong east wind and I had heard that there were large numbers of roosting Monarch Butterflies.  I rode my bike up the west beach footpath and I'm happy to report that there were a few good pockets of migrating warblers! I also could not help noticing that there was 20 or more Red Breasted Nuthatches! Between a generous number of RB Nuthatches and lots of Purple Finches - it hints that it might be a good year for Winter Finches. We will need to wait for the report ....
Some warblers & passerines seen include:
Palm Warbler
American Redstart Warbler
Black and White Warbler
Pine Warbler
Blackburnian Warbler
Magnolia Warbler
Cape May Warbler
Black throated Green Warbler
Black throated Blue Warbler
Bay breasted Warbler
Philadelphia Vireo,
Red eyed Vireo,
Yellow bellied Flycatcher
Eastern Wood Pewee
Eastern Phoebe
& Carolina Wren!

A fantastic day of Natural History observation!

Good birding,

Lifer Summary -
400- Gray Jay
401- Spruce Grouse
402- Ruffed Grouse
403- Pine Grosebeak
404- Northern Gannet
405- Common Eider
406- Razorbill
407- Black Gullimot
408- Nelson's Sparrow

New for 2018!
409 - Great Kiskadee


  1. Nice to see you yesterday! It was a good time!

  2. Glad you caught up with the Kiskadee, Dwayne! As far as its provenance is concerned, I think the odds are quite high that it is a wild bird. Great Kiskadee has been expanding its range in Texas and there have been other far-flung vagrant records of the species to the north in recent years. Kansas (2013), Colorado (2013), Tennessee (2018) and South Carolina (2018), plus a number of records in northern Texas and southern Oklahoma in the past decade. The time of year is fine as well. Also I am not sure who would keep a kiskadee as a pet...



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