Sunday, August 17, 2014

Another Tour (Cannot Stay Put!)

This time of year I like to get to Blenheim Lagoons at least once a week.  Things have been mediocre there this summer, but there are always shorebirds in the sprinkler cells.

Today there were not too many shorebirds, but 2 Baird's and 2 Stilt Sandpipers were the highlight.  Also present were Semipalmated Plovers (4), Semipalmated Sandpipers (~20), Least Sandpipers (4), White-rumped Sandpiper (1) and scattered throughout the lagoons about a dozen Lesser Yellowlegs.  Where are the phalaropes??

Looks like a Baird's!

This time there were several ducks!  Mostly Mallards, but a few Wood Ducks and a single Hooded Merganser.

While at the sprinklers, a pure flock of 8 baby bonies flew in.

Five of them

The leucistic Tree Swallow was also flying around.  Its ghostly form stood out!

I checked out Erieau as well.  Along the marsh trail a few birds were present including the first Yellow-rumped Warbler of the fall.

Punk Warbler?

An elusive Northern Waterthrush was also there and the usual multiple Yellow Warblers.

I wanted to get into Elgin County, so I checked out a few spots there including Fingal WMA.  It was quiet for wildlife.  It is a neat natural area, but this place has essentially turned into a huge dog park.
I went as far as Port Stanley Lagoons, and as expected, the water levels were high.  Around the edges I did see a couple of Short-billed Dowitchers, Lesser Yellowlegs and Pectoral Sandpipers.
Lots of Bonaparte's Gulls there including several baby bonies.

My last walk was in Middlesex County at one of my favourite stops.  Wardsville Woods (the old golfcourse) is a neat place to walk and look for butterflies.  Usually there are just common things there, but I like wandering around.  As I got out of the car, a Common Sooty-wing was at the parking lot.  Strangely, it was the first one I have seen this year!
A couple of the butterflies:

Obvious today was the number of Giant Swallowtails.  I estimated close to 70 there, the bulk of which were feeding on Canada Thistle.
Many other species were present including Tawny-edged Skipper, Common Painted-Lady, Great-spangled Fritillary, and Common Wood Nymph.  The latter two were showing their wear as expected this time of year.

Tawny-edged Skipper

Just before getting home, I made a quick check at Reid CA.  This dragon was 'cruising' around.

Royal River Cruiser