Friday, April 29, 2016

More Late April Birding + Bonus Botany & Herp Observations

Yellow Warbler - A little bundle of sunshine and happiness :p
I've really made an effort to go birding every day after work for the last week or two and its been really neat seeing what "comes in" day by day. I've been mainly visiting Malden Park which is really close to my house.

Malden Park never has the variety of Pelee - but time after time I'm amazed at how consistently you will see Warblers at this time of year. This week, I've seen Yellow, Yellow Rumped, Palm, Nashville, Blue headed Vireo within 50m of where I parked my car. Last year, I picked out a Summer Tanager at Malden, so rarities can happen. A Yellow crowned Night Heron was found here as well a while ago.

I stopped by Oakwood Park a few weeks ago and while the birding was good, I kept noticing that there are some interesting flowers present. Trout Lily and White Trillium are present, along with several other flowers - but one caught my eye below and I took a photo of it in hopes of identifying it later. Patrick's Blog had featured a Sharp-lobed Hepatica recently, and oddly enough, it looked like my unidentified flower I had taken with my phone. Steve Pike even mentioned this species to me last weekend at Pelee and at the time I was unaware of this flower. Allen Woodliffe weighed in on the ID of this flower below- which is clearly a Hepatica Species. The Round lobed and Sharp lobed are not easily distinguished. The Ontario Wildflower website suggests that the differentiating factor is not in the flower, but the green clover-shaped leaves surrounding the flowers. If the green leaves have a point, its sharp lobed, and if they are rounded - you get rounded. The second photo of the hepatica shows a clover shaped leave lobe with a slight point - hinting at Sharp-lobed Hepatica. (Round-lobed Hepatica- Anemone americana) (Sharp-lobed Hepatica- Anemone acutiloba)

Oakwood had some great birds as well, pretty well the same that were seen at Malden. I had caught a glimpse at my FOY Least Flycatcher at Oakwood. Lastly- my son and I caught a glimpse of this Melanistic Garter Snake at Oakwood as well (let me know if I'm wrong on the ID).

I will be heading out to Pelee Island this weekend. Wish me luck! I've heard that the birding is always good on the Lake Erie archipelago... 

Good Birding!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Late April Birding at Ojibway

Happy Earth Day! It seems like a few new migrants trickled in during the last week but even still, some of the mid to late April birds didn't really seem to show up yet. It seems like I might have missed the wave of Yellow bellied Sapsuckers this year - having only seen two at Point Pelee in the earlier part of the month. Louisiana Waterthrush hasn't seemed to have been spotted as much as one might expect. 

Two new migrants I spotted this week were House Wrens - which are singing on location at Ojibway Park since Wed this week. Another nice arrival was Green Heron today at Malden Park. 

On the day that I had seen my first House Wren for the year, I had also seen a Winter Wren, and ironically- heard a Carolina Wren while I was picking my son up from his school.  I was wondering if a three wren species day is noteworthy --- probably not --- as a good walk at Pelee could reveal 4-5 wren species - adding sedge and marsh types to the mix. Just thought it might be worth mentioning.

At one point this week while walking with my family in toe, my son screamed --- "Ahhh -- a bumble bee" and I scrouched down to look at the bee with my son and reminded him --- 'don't be scared when you see a bumble bee --- be scared when you don't see one'.... My little tidbit of earth-day wisdom for this posting.

Oakwood Park in Windsor (which is part of the Ojibway Complex) is already carpeted with blooming yellow Trout Lilies. A few other species of unidentified flowers were present as well. 

I had a scope set up in my son's room to keep an eye on the great horned owl nest out back and I had moved it to the trunk of my car - anticipating a trip to the Hillman shorebird cell as of late. It was suggested to me that I should check if the Owlets had hatched and sure enough -- it seems there are at least two in this nest. Pretty exciting!

Next weekend - I think I will be on Pelee Island with the Windsor Essex Field Naturalists. I'm excited to go because I've never been to this jewel of an island. Hopefully the group will be doing some serious birding ... or else I might have to break off on my own ;-p

Good birding!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Mid-April Pelee Birding - Pine, Audubon's Warbler ... and an early Upland Sandpiper?

Another quick posting. I have an exam on Wed of this week so blogging time is minimized. I did get out to Pelee this morning for a nice walk and got to see many of the birds I was hoping to see.

I parked at White Pine and walked through cactus field, then to Tildens, up Shuster Trail to the Visitor Center Parking Lot. I then took Woodland Nature Trail to  Post Woods trail leading to Sparrow Field. I ran into Alan Wormington and Steve Pike who mentioned Audubon's Warbler near the tip of Pelee. I then took the West Beach Footpath all the way back up West Beach to White Pine.

I would love any comments on the last photo in this group. I went by the 'radio tower fields' near amherstburg and photographed what I thought were two meadowlarks on a wire. After looking at my photos --- I think I might have photographed a Meadowlark with an Upland Sandpiper! See the link that I provided below of a photo of these two birds on a wire. Any feedback would be appreciated!

Yesterday I went to Holiday Beach and photographed this Forster's Tern which was catching fish in the water just about twenty feet from the edge of the marsh.

I photographed an Eastern Meadowlark at a grassy radio tower field, and ... I think I may have photographed an Upland Sandpiper along with the Meadowlark .... What do you think? Here is a picture online of an Eastern Meadowlark and an Upland Sandpiper beside each other on a wire.

Good Birding!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Seasonal Early April Migrants

Just a short posting tonight. Windsor and region have experienced a string of great weather over the last few days and some migrants have been noted in my own walks at Ojibway Park in Windsor.

Seen in the last few days:

Male breeding plumaged Yellow Rumped Warbler
Orange Golden-crowned and Ruby Crowned Kinglets
Fox Sparrows
White Throated Sparrows
Hermit Thrushes
Belted Kingfisher
Brown Creeper
Eastern Phobe

I have been looking for Yellow Bellied Sapsuckers this week with no luck. I saw one two weeks ago though at Pelee. Another bird I have been trying to catch up with is the Thayers Gull near the Essex Landfill. It would be my 399th life bird!

I had four Lep Species over the last two days:
Cabbage White (FOY)
Red Admiral
Eastern Comma
Mourning Cloak

I had a nice look at a Blandings Turtle at Ojibway

I'm off to see Canadian Comedian Ron James at the Casino in Windsor Tonight. Good birding this weekend!

Good Birding!


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