Saturday, September 20, 2014

Rondeau Friday to Pelee Saturday

Friday looked like a good birding day so I headed to Rondeau Park.  There were loads of birds to sort through.  Most were warblers of course!
I ended up with about 19 species of warblers and 3 species of vireos.  There were several Blue-headed and Philadelphia. I always find right about this time is peak for Philadelphia, my favourite common vireo.

I saw one Blue-headed catch a cicada.

There is still the odd Yellow Warbler around, of which I found one.  It comes up as a rarity on eBird at this time!
Later on I checked out the maintenance area and found a good-sized flock of warblers.  Right at the start I caught sight of a male Hooded Warbler.  Not often we see them in the fall, and it is getting late for them.

I saw a couple of Purple Finches in my travels, so fall must be coming!

I briefly stopped at Spicebush Trail to listen for birds...which were absent!  A butterfly caught my eye and it turned out to be the first Gray Hairstreak I have seen this year.

Marsh trail was out of the wind and warm, so I walked a bit of it.  There were lots of butterflies there in the goldenrod, asters and that yellow flower that grows in wet areas.

Eventually I found another Gray Hairstreak!  Seems that they are starting to show up now.  This one had a crinkled wing.  Unknowingly to me at the time, some sort of fly or bee was cruising by!

I did check Blenheim Lagoons, but that is consistently a waste of time anymore it seems.  With more time on my hands, I headed down to McGeachy Pond to walk the dike.  Here there were loads of butterflies.  Must have been 100 Orange Sulphurs among others.  Highlight was a fresh Milbert's Tortoiseshell.  This photo turned out remarkably well!

I also checked Erieau's marsh trail, but only a few birds and butterflies were present.

Today, Saturday, a stiff SW wind was blowing which sucked me down to Point Pelee!  It was decent day.  I never made it to the very Tip, as I stopped at one of the openings near the Tip and raised my binoculars.  In the view was a Sabine's Gull!  How convenient is that?  Just 50m down the trail was Jeremy Hatt who saw that bird a few seconds later.  I did manage a poor record shot.

the one to the right!

Jeremy joined me, and soon Josh Vandermeulen, David Szmyr, Dwayne Murphy and Jeremy Bensette came along for the watch.
About a half hour after the Sabine's blew by, I spotted a shorebird that looked remarkably similar to a phalarope.  After a brief discussion, we concluded it to be a Red Phalarope, rare, but not unusual for this time of year.  Interestingly, I have not been able to find the more common Red-necked yet this year!

After some time, Josh spotted a jaeger.  Turned out to be a fine adult that put on a show.  It was heading south, but later headed back north for another pass.  Magnifying the photo, you can see the retrices.

We spent four hours watching but only another distant jaeger was spotted.  There were thousands of birds to sort through including about 10 young Black Terns heading south.

Four Peregrine Falcons were seen today among a couple of Merlins and other birds.

After that watch, I walked north hoping to see some butterflies.  There were hardly any.  The most interesting sighting was a Bob Yukich.
Lots of bees on Short's Asters today.

I stopped at Northwest Beach (the usual spot) and found a Common Buckeye for the day, a couple of Eastern Tailed-Blues and the highlight, a Wild Indigo Duskywing.

The autumn is only beginning so more good birding to come in this good year for Sabine's Gulls, etc.

Carolina Saddlebags


  1. I love surprises like fly-by bees!
    I count on experienced birders to point out the rarities, especially gulls. AND especially when they're flying. I don't know how you guys do it. Lots of time in the field, I guess, eh?

    Blake, could you please look at this photo for an ID:

  2. Blake, great posting. Good seeing you today! Amazing photos, particularly of the Milberts! I'm yet to see that lepedopteric gem!

  3. Thanks for visiting my blog and IDing the butterfly for me, Blake!
    Like Dwayne, I've never seen a Milbert either. It's beautiful.