Thursday, April 27, 2017

Malden Park - More First of Year Birds...

After work today, I had a text message from Kit that there were lots of warblers today at Malden Park. So I stopped by quickly on my way home.

Lots of first -of -year (FOY) birds this afternoon. Palm & Yellow rumped Warblers were abundant. Singles (or doubles) of Yellow Warbler and Blackburnian Warbler were seen as well! The Blackburnian might be a little earlier than usual an Ebird occurence map for this species for Jan 1 2017-April 27th, 2017 (today) hints that it hasn't even been seen in the province yet!

I also had nice looks at Great Egret, Blue Heron and Green Heron (FOS).

Blackburnian Warbler Occurrence Map for Jan 1 2017-April 27th, 2017

Seeing Palm, Yellow and Blackburnian Warblers at Malden this afternoon was very nice. I hope to get out to Pelee this weekend - probably Saturday and catch up with the Blue Grosebeak and all the other mega rarities that are waiting to be discovered.

Good Birding!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Earth Day Birding at Point Pelee - April 22nd, 2017

Just a quick posting today. A 4 hour walk this morning at Pelee provided some decent birding. I walked from White Pine to Cactus Field over to Tilden's Trail then over to Woodland nature trail, down to Post-woods Trail, then over to the Serengeti Tree then Tram Loop Woods.

Woodland Nature trail was pretty good this morning. I was happy to see Red breasted Nuthatches, a female YBSS, my first of season Blue headed Vireo, Nashville Warbler and Black throated greeen Warblers. One rarity that was observed was a singing Tufted Titmouse!

Post woods trail was very birdy this morning with a few small flocks of warblers that included: Yellow rumped, Pine and Black throated Green warblers.

Two species that I was hoping to get but missed were:  L. Waterthrush & Lincolns Sparrow.

Seeing four warbler species + Blue headed Vireo today was pretty exciting. Its only going to get better from here!

Good Birding!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Windsor's Malden Park - Mid April Migrants

I stopped by Malden Park on the way home today after work, and was pleasantly surprised to see some nice migrants. One highlite was hearing a Brown Thrasher singing its heart out, with its paired sounds. I was listening to its calls for a few minutes before I was able to spot the bird - and one can't help but smile when one hears its song. 

A few other common birds were around, Black capped Chickadees, Flickers and Downy Woodpeckers - but a familiar woodpecker call graced my ears as I walked along the forest -field habitat - perhaps my favorite bird - a Red Headed Woodpecker!

Blue grey Gnatcatchers were seen and heard today, along with a pair of Yellow-rumped Warblers and my FOS Black throated Green Warblers! A flyby raptor seems to have fields marks that hint at Broad-winged Hawk.

This past weekend, while visiting the in-laws, my kids found this snake on the road. Sadly, it was not moving even though it did not appear to be crushed by road traffic. I grabbed a stick nearby and gave it a more dignified resting place in the grass along the side of the road. Perhaps a sharp eyed raptor will eat this little fellow.

I photographed this snake assuming that it was simply a common Garter Snake, but remembered a field mark that I had heard about for the "Butlers" subspecies of Garter Snake. The field mark is a bright yellow scale in front of the snake's eyes. I had asked herp expert Josh V for a confirmation and he agreed on the ID. Regarding the ID of this snake Josh noted: 'Of note are the small head (its neck is the same width as the head), relatively short and stocky appearance, reddish brown coloration along its sides, and pale crescent in front of the eye (a feature not noted in most field guides, but something I have noticed over the years).' I've seen many snakes over the last few years of nature observation but this is my first confirmed look at a Butler's Garter Snake. It was found on a residential road that bisects the South Cameron Woodlot forest in Windsor. Sadly, I've seen many dead snakes on this road over the years.

Good birding, herping, leping, and botanizing!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Black necked Stilts at Windsor's Ganatchio Trail

GPS coordinate for the Wetland where the birds where:

This afternoon, Jeremy Bensette called me and asked me to followup on an E-bird report that a birder - Samantha Dundas had posted at about 1pm this afternoon. She had listed 7 Black necked Stilts! Jeremy suggested that they were along riverside drive, so ask I drove to East Windsor, I ended up using the ebird checklists' pinpoint as my GPS destination point. I was familiar with the wetlands at Ganatchio as I walk that path a few times per year with my family.

I really didn't think the Stilts would pan out - but low and behold --- wow! 7 gorgeous stilts were in the middle of that wetland. Of course, I quickly informed Jeremy that yes- they were present. 

My intention was to post the birds to Ontbirds, and state: "Please see the attached Ebird list for the location and the finder"... the intention was there ... but ya, I suck at typing on my phone, with its slow performance out in the field. Also, in the presence of good birds - typing somehow becomes difficult for me :).

I felt bad as the day wore on  - I was at my mother in laws house eating festive Easter dinners. But yes, even some local Essex birders requested details about where these birds were. 

I will go at 7am Easter Sunday to see if they are there still and report a yes / no to ontbirds.

Its amazing to think that there were flocks of these beautiful shorebirds (35 Avocets at Hillman and these 7 Stilts at Ganatchio) that settled into the region last night. And at least in this location, a local birder had the skill to ID them and ebird them... Amazing!

Good Birding!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Yellow bellied Sapsuckers at Black Oak Heritage Park in Windsor

Saturday, I stopped by Ojibway Park hoping to see Yellow bellied Sapsuckers and eventually found some (3!) at Black Oak Heritage Park. Seeing this particular species during spring migration brings great joy. They are common enough that you will most likely see them yet rare enough that you might need to look for them or perhaps know their call.

I went to Point Pelee today with high hopes of seeing several new migrants but Pelee was a little quieter (bird wise) than I was expecting!

Forster's Terns and Common Loons up close were nice to see at Leamington Marina.  Rusty Blackbirds, Fox Sparrow and a Rick M sighting were Pelee highlights. I had my first of year Spring Azures which was exciting to see.

Good birding, botanizing and leping!

Friday, April 7, 2017

Early April Migrants at Ojibway Park

After work today I went to Ojibway Park to soak in some sunshine and see if I could find some good birds. I had a surprisingly good walk! I was pleasantly surprised to see and hear several Winter Wrens for example. I watched a Hairy Woodpecker excavating a cavity. It would be really neat to see a breeding pair at Ojibway this spring!

I was also delighted to see my first breeding-plumaged Yellow rumped Warbler. Eastern Phoebe, Northern Flickers, Hermit Thrush were seen as well. It really is an amazing time of the year.

On April 2nd, I had my first Red Admirals for the year along with a pair of Eastern Commas. Its amazing to thing that last year, Rick and I had seen an early Red Admiral in Mid March! I don't think this species is well understood as to whether it winters in SW Ontario or if its a migrant from states to the south of us.

Good Birding!


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