Saturday, October 9, 2010

Kinglet Bonanza...

Golden Crowned Kinglet showing off its incessant/ acrobatic foraging strategy
I've editted my first copy of this posting. I wrote it too quickly! My writing process should involve a  rough draft, a second and a final third draft before I post it! Basically, on Friday and Saturday this week, I visitied Holiday Beach and Ojibway Park. There were so many Kinglets... Hence the title of this posting.  Last year, I photographed only one of each (ruby & golden crowned) but at the time, I did not really know what I was looking for. I did not really know where to look.  This year, I've "calibarated" my observation skills to look for birds just slightly larger than a Hummingbird!

Speaking of Golden crowned Kinglets, it blows my mind that in the toughest, darkest depths of Winter, this bird overwinters in various woodlots in Windsor / Essex. The Ojibway birding group saw this birds in February this year at Holiday Beach! I don't even think they use feeders either! That's pretty tough for a little fluff of feathers!

Its been a while since I've had a lifer (they really slow down after 200!) but I photographed this bird (below) at the round pond of Ojibway Park. I was unsure if it was a Rusty Blackbird... but after collaborating with Blake, I think its safe to say ... Lifer #203! The Rusty Blackbird is a pretty interesting bird. It has won respect amongst birders because of some of its behaviors. It builds a sturdy nest, it has remained very rare and elusive, it is 'the' birders blackbird!!!  Its 'gestalt' helped identify it from its related blackbird cousins.  For example, I have not seen Common Grackels foraging along ponds, yet this guys was foraging like a sandpiper. Boreal Birds states of the the Rusty Blackbird: " It often searches for its prey along shorelines, much like a sandpiper, often wading, probing in soft sediments, and sometimes even plunging its entire head under water." ( I wish I would have taken a better photograph, I could have ... with a little more thought and care, but I just assumed it wasn't a Rusty BB.

A weekly tradition I've started this fall is to stop by Holiday Beach after work on Fridays!  This week was no different. But, I noticed there weren't too many raptors moving, so I did a quick walk around the forested and brushy scrub along the water. Not too many surprises. White throated sparrows, field sparrows, both kinglets and Dark eyed Juncos were abundant.  I saw a Bay-Poll Warbler wearing jewelry (banded). Yellow Rumped Warblers were present... but I'm yet to add an Orange Crowned Warbler!!!   Where the heck is this guy? I just have not seen this bird yet!

A quick 30 minute Saturday (today) walk had more Kinglets, and Eastern Towhee, Red bellied Woodpecker, and some close views of a Cooper's hawk. I also saw a Tufted Titmouse as well.... my first in a while. It too seems to be more easily seen during the winter months.

Birds I would like to see (add to my  life list) before years end (that everyone else seems to be seeing):
Orange Crowned Warbler
Wilson's Snipe
Pine Siskin
Purple Finch
Common Redpoll
Winter Wren
Northern Shrike
Saw Whet Owl (late October hopefully!)
Golden Eagle (late October hopefully!)
Rough legged Hawk (late October hopefully!)
Red shouldered Hawk

I end this posting with a few more photos from my birding travails at Ojibway Park in Windsor. This park just keeps giving to me. I love it so much! The Ruby crowned Kinglets are less acrobatic but still extremely difficult to photograph, as anyone reading "nerdy for birdy" already would know. I just feel the need to share these photos because they would otherwise be buried and lost.

Red eared Slider (not Painted Turtles)

Good Birding!


  1. Kinglets are everywhere right now! Several of your wish birds are presently around...just keep a keen eye for them. Winter Wrens are sometimes hard to see, but you will hear their squeaks.

  2. Those aren't Painted turtles, red-eared sliders, an invasive species



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