Sunday, May 12, 2024

Golden-Winged Warbler + Olive Sided Flycatcher - May 12th Ojibway Park


This morning, I was heading out toward Black Oak Herritage Park and I was driving along the northern boundary of the Ojibway Park Forest. I drove slowly, listening for anything interesting - and sure enough, a Golden Winged was singing his heart out!

Later at Black Oak Heritage Park , an adjacent park that I like to frequent - I had a decent morning --- one of my highlights was an Olive-sided Flycatcher!

Both of these birds are sadly becoming more and more endangered, at risk. 

On Saturday, I had attempted to bird at Point Pelee for a bit. Someone had reported a Cerulean Warbler in Cactus Field - and sure enough, it was being seen by many upon arrival. Another Highlight was seeing some Hummingbirds nectar from Eastern Redbud Tree Blooms. 

Its the most beautiful time of year. 

Good birding,

Dwayne






 

I took tonnes of photos of the Cerulean Warbler here - but sadly, my White balance was set to "indoor" so the colours are not the best.  Still - this is not bad for 25m away and 20 meters up.



Saturday, May 11, 2024

Northern Lights in Windsor ON - May 10th 2024

At about 10pm - Friday May 10th 2024, I received an alert from the Point Pelee Birding Group about Northern Lights being visible in Leamington (not to be confused with the fusia grow lights light pollution).... And to my utter amazement - I went outside and looked up to see a stunning band of green colour across the sky.

This was one of my buck list items and to think of the chances of me witnessing this. A 1-in-20 year solar storm, solar particles flying through space for 150,000,000 km, and a clear sky, between 9:30 and 11pm (dark waking hours).... the chances are incredible. Luckily with tech , I was given a warning by some keen observers via whatsapp. 

I quickly attempted to drive out to the county (mcgregor) to get darkers skies, but --- by the time I made it out there, the show was fading out and coming to an end. I didn't realize this show would be so fleeting and in hindsight, I should have stayed put and just enjoyed the show from my yard.

Nature , natural history, astronomy are so incredible to behold. I would argue that its the greatest show on earth. I was simply happy to be a humble witness to this incredible phenomena. 

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Yellow Bellied Sapsucker + Birds, Beer Cans & Burgers

 


I had a great look at a pair of Yellow bellied Sapsuckers today. A sexually dimorphic pair - male and female. 




 

Now - you might be asking about the strange title of this posting. Am I suggesting to drink and bird. Or to birdwatch inebriated? No. I just noted recently that there are beer cans and bottles all over the place and --- I wonder if anyone ever bothers to pick them up.

I have a little box in the trunk of my car, and - (this may be silly) - but I have been picking up littered beer cans and my goal is -- to make a 10x10 grid of beer cans. That would be worth $10! What could you buy with an extra ten dollars every month or so?  A burger perhaps?


This was a camp fire someone left some beers at. These cans, along with others nearby make a loonie when returned to your local beer store. Kids seem to leave beer cans near natural areas. I picked these up. I think I could easily fill up a box with beer cans like this.








Monday, April 8, 2024

Total Eclipse April 8th 2024 - As seen from Point Pelee + Comet 12P Pons-Brooks





Wow. I took the day off work today and made an effort to see today's Eclipse from the Tip of Point Pelee. 

It was pretty Amazing!  I've seen partial eclipses in the past but seeing totality at Point Pelee with a 360 Degree view of the un-obstructed horizon was pretty amazing. I attempted to make a video with my camera - see below:


PBS Eclipse Overview (awesome video -even in hindsight!) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=791qJZivHpk
CBC Eclipse Overview (awesome again) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9IlrWA-z64   




I've been meaning to post a few images of the most recent comet that is visible (not naked-eye visible). These images are just from the last week or two. I think this comet has since slipped below the western horizon at dusk and is probably very difficult to find at this point. It was actually visible (in theory) during the eclipse --- and I did make out Saturn and Jupiter in the darkened sky, but some hazy overcast prevented me from attempting to find it during the brief 1-2 minute totality.




Good Astonomizing!

Dwayne










Saturday, March 16, 2024

Birding Miami Florida in March 2024


I spent the last week in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area. The trip was with my wife and two boys and was for generic leisure and birding was not the main priority. Even still I made great efforts to visit a few natural areas over the week and get some birdwatching and butterfly watching in. In almost an underwhelming fashion, I was able to pick up one life bird and one life butterfly.




Target birds that were possible but not likely-
Mangrove cuckoo(migrates in late march)
Western spindalis
La Sagra's flycatcher
Thick billed vireo
Black wiskered vireo
Local parakeets
Least tern (migrates in late march)
Short tailed hawk

Miami Blue butterfly - extinct to extirpated to a few small islands near key west. Read more here: Miami Blue Butterfly | FWC (myfwc.com)


My efforts to birdwatch was to look at some hotspots in ebird and focus on some of the top locations.


Bill Baggs Park -Key Biscayne (link)
Prairie Warbler
Chuck wills Widow
Common warblers
Little blue Heron
Sanderling
Magnificent frigatebird
Queen butterfly
Julia butterfly





Chuck Wills Widow ! (seen flycatching in leaf litter in mid-morning, then perched)





Anne Kolbe reserve - Hollywood Fl (link)
Yellow throated warbler
Yellow rumped warbler
Palm warbler
Black and white warbler
American redstart
Northern Parula
*Mangrove tree crab







MATHESON HAMMOCK PARK (link)
Yellow throated Vireo
Red shouldered hawk
Red headed woodpecker
Yellow rumped warbler
Palm warbler
Red shouldered hawk
Magrove skipper (worn - but life butterfly)
Zebra longwing butterfly



Mangrove Skipper (worn) - Life Butterfly (#164)





Random neighborhood baseball diamond
-Loggerhead shrike
-Prairie Warbler





Hal Scott Preserve (link) (closer to Orlando ---  Red cockaded woodpeckers are here but i did not see them on this brief visit.  )
Eastern bluebird
Brown headed nutchatch
Blue grey gnatchcher
Bachmans Sparrow (lifer! #471)
Pine warbler





Bachman's Sparrow - Lifer. Most certainly soon to be renamed







I guess this trip has reminded me that even if ebird shows that a bird may be present in a location.... 90% of the days you might only see the (at best) 90 percentile birds. An area that seems promising can be a let-down and seemingly devoid of birdlife, but another area that seems to not be of great significance could have surprisingly good birds. Sometimes we have to remember that the best part of travelling is the journey, not the destination itself. 

Good Birding,
Dwayne

Last Few Life Birds:
Black crested Titmouse (TX) 466
Snowy Plover (TX) 467 
Neotropical Cormorant (TX) 468
White tailed Kite (TX) 469
Least Grebe (TX) 470

Bachmans Sparrow (FL) 471


Last few Life Butterflies:
162 - Southern Dogface (Zerene cesonia) - Caves San Antonio TX , yes [link] 
163 - Henry's Elfin (Callophrys henrici) - Caves San Antonio TX , yes [link] 

164- Mangrove Skipper (Phocides pigmalion) - Mattheson Park Area MIAMI FLORIDA, yes [link]

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