Thursday, May 26, 2016

May is Winding Down!

It has been a somewhat busy week here.  There are fewer migrants to be seen during my morning or evening walks, but more mosquitoes!
On Monday, I checked out Rondeau Park for a few hours in the morning.  Highlight was a singing Connecticut Warbler right beside the south point trail.  Steve and I even got to see it, but it was not too visible for a good photograph.

I even had one in the yard here Tuesday morning!

There was a good variety of warblers to sort through, but as the morning wore on, things got quiet.

I decided to head over to Hillman Marsh shorebird cell.  It was a good choice as there were thousands of birds.   Most were Black-bellied Plover of course.  Perhaps up to 6000 eventually came in until something flushed the lot.

Whimbrel were already there, but more came in.  They are always neat birds to see, and hear.

Highlight there was a Marbled Godwit.  It is always a treat to see a godwit, especially Marbled.  It was reported earlier in the morning.  I never did see one last year.

Before work, I take a look at the St. Clair River each morning.  At least one Common Loon has been hanging around Port Lambton.
This morning, I saw this boat--a familiar sight from Tobermory.

I often see these boats heading downriver in the fall to winter at Hike Metals in Wheatley Harbour. They will go there to get inspected or serviced.

This evening I went out to Mitchell's Bay.  One can always hope for a White Pelican, but I do not seem to have that kind of luck no matter how many times I go out there!  There were lots of white birds in the form of Mute Swans though.  One that flew in turned out to be a Tundra Swan.  I did not have the big camera, so no good photo.

Yellow-headed Blackbirds are still somewhat reliable at the end of Angler Line.  I did see one male at the very end.

Lots of migrants are still to come through, so this weekend should prove interesting.

Tim S. Dool

The above ship was upbound at Port Lambton yesterday morning.  Today it was in Lake Superior, but lost power and went adrift!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Holiday Weekend Birding

Although the north winds persist (and soon to change!), birding was decent so far this weekend.

Friday after work, I headed up to Dow Wetlands at the south end of Sarnia. It is one of the more reliable places nearby to find Upland Sandpipers. They used to be no problem in the pastures north of Wallaceburg, but the pastures no longer exist!
I did find one Upland, but I hope more are around Dow Wetlands.

On Saturday, birding was a bit slow at Rondeau Park and I left by noon.  Earlier, there was a good diversity of warblers, etc. on south point trail first thing in the morning.  Tennessee Warblers were quite vocal all over the park.

Along the beach, a lone Whimbrel was nice to see as a FOY.  It had been at Dog Beach earlier in the day, but moved down a bit.

Around noon, I headed over to Hillman Marsh shorebird cell.  Birds are constantly coming and going there, and you never know what you might find.  There was nothing special, but lots of Black-bellied Plover were present there and in nearby fields.  A single American Golden-Plover was among them in the cell.

Early in the day, Josh Vandermeulen reported a Clay-colored Sparrow near the green pump house.  It was still present but mostly remained out of sight.  Its characteristic buzzy song was obvious.

Today, I took a change of pace and headed up to Pinery/Port Franks.  Birding was good today with lots of warblers early in the day.  I briefly stopped at Karner Blue Sanctuary before going into Pinery and found a good selection of warblers.

Bay-breasted Warbler

The best birding trail in Pinery is Riverside Trail, which is where I always start.

Larry Cornelis was leading a large group of people, so I went on ahead.  Along the Ausable River a nice pocket of warblers was found and kept me busy.

Red-headed Woodpeckers nest in Pinery and it was no problem finding those.

Quite often I find Olive-sided Flycatcher along Riverside Trail this time of year, but today it eluded me.  I see that another party did report one around the same time, but somehow it was not evident when I was present.
Here is my list today for Pinery:

I walked several trails, also looking for butterflies.  It was a bit cool in the morning with a stiff north wind, so I did not find too many.  A number of Juvenal's Duskywings were seen.

Just before lunch, I checked out Karner Blue Sanctuary again but birds were scarce as one would expect at that time of day.
The Wild Lupine is starting to bloom.

Dwayne Murphy was lurking around the sanctuary also looking for things!

Quite a few Juvenal's Duskywings were present, but I found no other duskywings.

Nearby, I headed into the County Forest near the Community Centre.

This is an excellent spot for birding as well as searching for duskywings.  By that time of day, birds were rather quiet, but I did find a couple of Acadian Flycatchers and Hooded Warblers which are common there.  They remained too far out of sight for the camera.
One spot had a nice pocket of birds.

Several Yellow-throated Vireos were present

I did find a few duskywings.  Beside Juvenal's, there were Sleepy and Dreamy as well.  Most remained difficult to photograph.  Sleepy and Dreamy can be similar at times, but they have none of the "glassy" spots.
Some selected photos:

Sleepy Duskywing

I think this one is a Dreamy...!

Although many birders seemed to have hung up their binoculars at this time, more birds are to come!