Sunday, September 30, 2018

Unofficial OFO Pelee Birding , Ojibway Park Birding in Late September + New Yard Bird - Northern Mockingbird!

This weekend was a surprisingly excellent weekend of birding in Essex County. The weather was fantastic and the birding was excellent as well. On Saturday, I went to Point Pelee and it just so happened that it was the OFO (Ontario Field Ornithologists) bird weekend there. At about noon, after I had birded Delaurier and Cactus Field, someone pointed out a pair of white pelicans that were soaring over west beach of point pelee.

West beach footpath was a nice walk as usual. Black Saddlebags and Carolina Saddlebags were abundant. Monarchs constantly fluttered overhead. Singles of Eastern Comma and Question Mark butterflies, as well as a worn Spicebush Swallowtail were noted. A few warblers were seen as well as some Southbound Yellow Bellied Sapsuckers.

Sparrow field had some of the best warbler birding for the day, and some trees in the field had Cape May, Wilsons, Nashville, Blackpoll, Bay Breasted warblers easily seen. Eastern Wood Pewee, and a sleeping Common Nighthawk delighted birders as well. I had seen my first southbound blue headed vireo as well in Sparrow Field. It was actually singing/vocalizing in a deciduous tree on the outer edge of the field. On the shore next to Sparrow field, a group of 5 Sanderlings noted but soon flushed by beach walkers.

Of course, raptors were constantly flying overhead. We had nice looks at Eagles, Red Tailed and Broadwing Hawks, Coopers and Sharp Shinned hawks, Peregrine and Merlin Falcons flew overhead as well. At one point, a Merlin flew clumsily over a group of OFO birders with a fluttering woodpecker in its talons.

See below for a writeup on my walk at Ojibway today...

Turbulent Phospila - a Pinstriped Caterpillar crossing the road at PPNP

Today at Ojibway - I walked at Black Oak Heritage Park in West Windsor. I walked for a while without seeing many birds but eventually hit nice pockets of birds. At one point, I had seen about 20-30 Cedar Waxwings with about 10 or so Purple Finches! I then saw about 10 or so warblers and vireos. Some warblers go unidentified at times as I just cant figure out what they are! I had stunning views of Blue Headed Vireo and Scarlet Tanager ... which was a huge highlight. Red breasted Nuthatches were surprisingly abundant as well.  Later on at the main Ojibway Park forest - where I had met up with my wife and two kids, we ended up seeing two separate groups of warblers as well. There could have been 30-40 birds in total. Some birds seen were bay-poll warblers, American Redstart, Black throated Green, Nashville, Tennessee, and some Ruby crowned Kinglets.

I feel like I've seen many Philadelphia Vireos this year, both north and south bound. 

Good birding!

PS:  I was out on my back porch today looking out at the hedgerow behind my house. Blue Jays, European Starlings and Crows were making a rucous. At one point today, I had my binoculars and noted a NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD on my back fence. I did not have my camera nearby so I attempted to digiscope the sighting with my cellphone and binoculars! I took video with my phone's camera - hoping it would increase my chances of documenting the bird.  I've included a 6 second video of my sighting!

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