Sunday, August 18, 2019

Essex County Visit

Saturday and Sunday I spent some time in Essex County.  It was a nice change since I have been spending quite a bit of time in north Lambton, Middlesex and Elgin counties this summer.
I did not come across anything of note, which seems to be the trend for me lately.  Migration is a bit late for passerines this summer and nothing noteworthy turned up in my walks.

I started at the Tip of Point Pelee on Saturday morning with a stiff westerly wind.  It was quite nice to be there.  The only shorebirds were Sanderling and Semipalmated Plovers.  Lots of Bonaparte's Gulls were moving, but nothing with them.

A Merlin passed by at one point, on its way to Pelee Island.  It was the only raptor I saw.

Cactus Field was quite active at the north end with resident birds moving about.

After the Tip watch, I headed up west beach trail in search of butterflies.  It was a little better than the previous visits, but nothing like the "old days".
Buckeyes have finally arrived in numbers, as I saw several.

American Painted-Lady
Common Painted-Lady
Northern Broken-Dash

Spotted Datana Moth caterpillar

After exiting the park, I stopped by Pelee Wings which is having a closing out sale.  If you want something from there, get it now while on sale.  It is a popular store for optics and other nature things.  I have purchased a lot things there over the years, so it will be missed!

After lunch, I headed over to Hillman Marsh and walked around the shorebird cell.  There were lots of Monarchs, a few Buckeyes, Peck's Skippers, etc.
I found a night-heron at one point, which I could not turn into a Yellow-crowned.

Mersea Road 21 wetlands had a few shorebirds, but nothing new for me.

I started heading west.  At the end of the day, there was a nice get-together near Amerstburg of birders/naturalists.  It was  great evening of camaraderie.  Many thanks to Kory and Sarah Renaud for hosting the event.

As it was too late and too far to head home, I stayed at the Renaud residence overnight.  This morning, I decided to head back into Point Pelee for another look a the Tip.  I got there later than usual, so obviously missed some things.  Shorebirds included a couple of Semipalmated Plovers, a Least and a Spotted Sandpiper.

Several Sanderlings scurried along the beach offering photo ops.

A walk up west beach trail saw fewer butterflies than the previous day.  As is often the case at Point Pelee, it is feast one day, famine the next!

I stopped by Pelee Wings once more to buy a new tripod since my old one was getting worse for the wear.  It was a good deal with the sale price.

I by-passed Mersea Road 21 and Hillman beach where some shorebirds were reported earlier and headed home for some relaxation.

Next weekend remains a mystery!

Friday, August 16, 2019

Lagoon Outings and Other Things

This morning I once again headed up to Forest Lagoons in hopes of finding something different.  Twas not to be...again!  Certainly has been lack-lustre in the shorebird department (for rarities or uncommon species) around here so far.  There was a lot to look at but nothing new for the year.

Lots of Least, Semipalmated Sandpipers and Lesser Yellowlegs.

Killdeer was most numerous, as I counted 159.
The single juvenile Common Gallinule was still visible.  I wonder if the other disappeared?  I also saw a Sora and a Virginia Rail.

After Forest, I headed to Strathroy.  It was easy to get to since one goes straight through Forest out to Strathroy! The lagoons there have good shorebird habitat right now.  One never knows what is there until you check it out.

I found lots of Semipalmated and Least Sandpipers, along with some Lesser Yellowlegs, Pectoral Sandpipers, a Solitary Sandpiper and numerous Semipalmated Plovers.  A single White-rumped was in the mix as well.  Still no new birds!

I spent quite a bit of time there as it the trees can hold passerines.  Early on, I spotted an immature Cape May Warbler. 

I watched it for a bit until it flew off NE across the pond.  Strangely, later on I refound it on the other side of the pond!

An early Philadelphia Vireo was found as well.  It is mid-August, so we should be  seeing lots of migrants by now.

Some butterflies were around the ponds as well.

Common Ringlet

I headed back SW and ended up at Skunk's Misery on my favourite trail off Sassafras Road.  It was a bit quiet for birds, but I did pick up on a lingering Hooded Warbler.
Some Ruby-throated Hummingbirds were seen too.

A number of insects were here including dragonflies and butterflies.  I saw one dragonfly which was obviously an emerald.  There is a stream along this trail.  I can only assume it was a Mocha Emerald.  I am not sure what else would be here.
There were other common species.

Twelve-spotted Skimmer

Butterflies included both Tawny and Hackberry Emperors.  As well, an American Snout rounded out the ones that feed on hackberry trees.

A rather late Striped Hairstreak was barely recognizable.

A Peck's Skipper alighted upon a thistle.

One last stop was a quick one at Florence.  I found the same species as a couple of weeks ago, but fewer numbers.  A couple of Swift River Cruisers went by on my visit.

American Rubyspot

Black-shouldered Spinyleg

Dusky Dancer
Last Sunday I stopped at Blenheim for a change.  Not really anything of note (again).

I made another stop at Moore WMA last week to look for things.





A number of butterflies have been visiting the yard, including this Peck's Skipper.

For the Boatnerds, here is a classic laker.

CSL Tadoussac

A scene from one of my morning vigils at Port Lambton:

Algoma Hansa