Sunday, May 24, 2015

North Lambton Day

For a change in pace, I headed up to Pinery/Port Franks today.  I had a feeling things would be slow along Lake Erie today and I was right.  Things were slow up at Lake Huron as well, so obviously a mass movement of birds occurred last night under the ideal conditions.
I wanted to check out butterflies anyways, as well as some different birding areas.



I first walked Riverside Trail in Pinery park, which is always the best for variety.  But, things were rather quiet and among the more common birds, I got a Mourning and a couple of Wilson's Warblers.  Often Olive-sided Flycatcher will be singing atop the snags, but not this time.

I then drove around to Cedar Trail.  Prairie Warblers were found on the extension near the dunes last week, but I could not pick out any today.  Prairie Warblers used to nest regularly at Pinery, but things changed and they have not (to my knowledge) in recent years.  We used to get them easily along the dunes of Wilderness Trail.  They could still be around though.
Wilderness Trail had lots of Pine Warblers and Ovenbirds.  These are very common in the park.



During my walks, I found dozens of Juvenal's Duskywings, and a neat little butterfly, Hoary Elfin.  I have little experience with elfins since they fly during a short time in May when we are always down on Lake Erie looking for birds at the same time.



Pinery also has Eastern Pine Elfin and Brown Elfin I do believe.
I probably saw 5 Hoary Elfins today.

Hoary Elfin


Juvenal's Duskywing


A FOY Giant Swallowtail flew by me on Wilderness Trail.

Different dragonflies are now coming out and I saw a few today.

Four-spotted Skimmer

Dot-tailed Whiteface


My next stop was the Karner Blue Sanctuary in Port Franks.  There has been considerable lack of rain this spring, and plants were looking thirsty.

Wild Lupine


The sanctuary is good for duskywings, but other than many Juvenal's and perhaps some Wild Indigo, it did not produce.  Last year I found Sleepy and Dreamy there.



I also walked part of the Lambton Heritage Forest.



It is good for several Hooded Warblers and a few Acadian Flycatchers.  In the past I have had different warblers there in the breeding season, but today, it too was rather quiet.
I came up with at least 4 Hooded Warblers and 2 Acadian Flycatchers today.

"peet-suh!"


The L-Lake Trail on the other side of Outer Drive is one I sometimes check out.  It too had lots of Juvenal's Duskywings.  The first Hobomok Skipper of the season was here...finally.


Sandhill Cranes nest in the area and today they were making much noise!

Looks like a hot week!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Flycatchers to Thrushes at Rondeau

Birding was rather good at Rondeau this morning.  Although it was frosty overnight, the weather was good and lots of birds were around.  As well, hardly another birder in sight!  It is only the 23rd of May, so birds can be plentiful at this date.

The goal today was to add some missed birds to the year list.  Just before 6 a.m., I heard Acadian Flycatcher in the usual spot near spicebush trail.
I met Steve at south point trail at sunrise and we started walking to be greeted by a singing Connecticut Warbler.  It was close to the trail, but we did not make an effort to try and see it.  Its waterthrush-like song was quite obvious.
Several Mourning Warblers were heard along the way, but I do not think we actually saw one!  With the leaf-out, some birds were difficult to see.

Blackburnian Warbler


A few Alder Flycatchers were singing, and all the other usual flycatchers were seen or heard.
More Blackpoll Warblers were in as expected and we saw the first female of the year.

The lake was dead once again as it has been most of the month!  At least here.

We then travelled up to tulip tree trail to look at Prothonotary Warblers.  It was noted that many thrushes were in, and in fact it was one of the better days this year.  Lots of Gray-cheeked were seen.

Travelling up Rondeau Road, we found the Acadian Flycatchers beside the road.  Both the female and male were singing and seen well.
Photos taken in the shaded forest.




From maintenance to south of pony barn had a few birds, including one of the day's target birds, a singing Olive-sided Flycatcher.  It was too early and cool for a quick three beers.

More thrushes were seen and at one point I remarked to Steve that we just need a Hermit.  Strangely, just 2-3 minutes later, a reddish-tailed bird was hopping on the trail in front of us.  There is the Hermit!



For some reason, this bird gave us considerable concern.  We watched it for a good 15 minutes but Bicknell's came to mind.  It did not seem like a typical Hermit at the time, but maybe it just was.  For whatever reason, we tried to make it Bicknell's.
Almost a year ago, a Bicknell's was found at Point Pelee!

Here are a couple more photos of the thrush.



We had not seen Hermit Thrush in about two weeks, but sometimes there is the late migrant.  However, it is a good time for Bicknell's....

Later we checked out Blenheim Lagoons, and found the usual shorebirds, including at least 5 White-rumped.  No sign of the Wilson's for us, but they were reported today.



It was noon and I wanted to go over to Hillman Marsh, as there is always something there.  I arrived to find the two Avocets still there, plus a lone Whimbrel that never moved the whole time I was there.
Plover kept coming and going, but I still cannot find a Willet!

Ducks were scarce today, but a male Redhead and a female Ring-necked were there with Mallards and a couple of Blue-winged Teal.

There was yet another Adam Pinch sighting!

Later in the day is better, but that does not fit my schedule.

Tomorrow is another day...