Sunday, August 2, 2015

Shorebirds to Sedge Skippers

I really had no plans for today, but did some wandering around.  I went for a walk out at Mitchell's Bay first thing, then decided to take another stab at the shorebirds at Blenheim.
I met up with Garry Sadler at the lagoons and we checked out the sprinkler cells.  There was only a fraction of the birds from yesterday, but perhaps a slightly different mix.

There were more yellowlegs (Greater included) today.  No sign of the Wilson's Phalarope or Snipe.

Late yesterday, Garry had a couple of Stilt Sandpipers, which certainly were not there earlier in the day.  They were not present this morning either.

Solitary Sandpiper

The Redhead raft from yesterday has grown to 11 birds!  There were more males plus two females today.  They were a bit distant for any decent photo though. Ten are in this photo.

Late afternoon always seems better for shorebirds at the lagoon, but I am almost never there at that time of day.  Hopefully the sprinkler cells will stay the same as they are presently to attract shorebirds.

This afternoon I wanted to explore a bit of Reid CA north of here.  One can spend a few hours there walking through the forest and the entire property.  I had it in my mind that there might be another spot for Dukes' Skippers.  Sure enough, I found another location for the species, quite some distance from the usual area!

It is a rather small patch of sedges, but there were at least 8 Dukes' Skippers milling about.  I stood there for some time as they fluttered by at my feet.  Most were getting quite worn.

After that, I walked through the forest towards the river.  There are some impressive walnut and oak trees here.

Black Walnut

I even saw one large ash tree that has escaped the borer.  I did not really check what species, but possibly White.  We do have quite a bit of Blue Ash here as well, but those tend to be smaller trees along the river edge or old oxbow edge. They seem to escape the borer.  Of course, there were lots of large dead ash trees scattered throughout.

Along the trails, this Royal River Cruiser briefly stopped to hang around.

There seems to be a fresh batch of Great-spangled Fritillaries out now.

On the way out, I saw a Broad-winged Skipper or two in their usual area, and a Dukes' Skipper in the area by the gate.

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